Tag Archives: pac med

Status update: PacMed building plans

Seattle Central Community College is proposing locating its Allied Health programs in Pacific Tower, the former hospital and Amazon headquarters building more commonly known as PacMed. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.
Tom Byers of the Cedar River Group sent a notice this week about the current status of the proposed Pacific Tower/PacMed Building project in which Seattle Central Community College would lease part of the former headquarters of Amazon.com to host Seattle Central’s Allied Health programs including Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Respiratory, Surgical Technology, and Opticianry. Remaining space would be leased to local nonprofits such as Neighborhood House and Fare Start. For the project to move forward, the Legislature needed to include funding in the State budget.

Byers’ message reads:

Dear friends—Here are the most recent developments in the effort to establish the community health college and innovation center at Pacific Tower:

  • Amazingly, supporters of the Pacific Tower project in the legislature were successful on all fronts!
  • The State operating budget includes funding for the lease of the tower as well as provisions enabling the State to enter into a long-term lease for the building.
  • The capital budget included $20 million in funding for the tenant improvements for the community health college and other improvements at the tower.
  • State officials led by Rep. Jamie Peterson have been working with the PDA and its lawyers to agree on the terms of a draft lease.
  • Although all parties agree that a great deal of progress has been made in the last 10 days, the executive director of the PDA has indicated more time is needed to negotiate several points before the Governing Council can make a decision between our proposal and the other option they have in hand.
  • Therefore the hearing and Council vote scheduled for July 9th has been postponed. The new date is 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25th at Pacific Medical Center’s Beacon Hill Clinic. Please mark your calendars and plan to be there!
  • In spite of all this positive news, the success of our proposal will ultimately be determined by a vote of the PDA governing Council. Your letters of support are making a big difference, but we can’t stop now! We need to continue the out-pouring of community support.
  • Those of you who have not yet have written to the Public Development Authority in support of the proposal are urged to do so now! You can address your letters to Rosemary Aragon, Executive Director, Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority, 1200 12th Ave. S, Quarters 2, Seattle, WA 98144; or by email at r.aragon@phpda.org. She will forward your letters to the members of the Board.

Thank you for all of the support you have given this effort. We will look forward to seeing you at the hearing, and will keep you up to date on any significant developments that occur during the next three weeks.

Tom Byers
Cedar River Group

SCCC plans for Pac Med still up in the air

As the Seattle Times reported on Monday, the plan for Seattle Central Community College to move programs into the Pac Med building is in no way a done deal.

For the move to take place, the state Senate and House much must reach a budget deal to fund renovations to the landmark building, now officially called Pacific Tower and mostly vacant since Amazon moved out in 2011. The House capital budget allocates money for the project, but the Senate does not have a matching measure. Time is running out — the legislative session ends on Sunday.

If the plan falls through, the Times reports that a developer has proposed converting the building to high-priced apartments. Either way, the building’s owner, the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority (PDA), needs to get a tenant in there sooner, rather than later. The PDA normally uses income from leasing the building to provide grants to nonprofit organizations providing charity health services.

If you feel strongly either way about the college leasing Pac Med, now is the time to contact your State legislators who represent Beacon Hill:

Adam Kline, Senate, 37th District; Bob Hasegawa, Senate, 11th District; Sharon Tomiko Santos, House, 37th District; Eric Pettigrew, House, 37th District; Zack Hudgins, House, 11th District; Steve Bergquist, House, 11th District.

Foreclosure a possibility for PacMed building

The landmark PacMed building dominates the northern tip of Beacon Hill. Photo by Wendi.

Eric Pryne of the Seattle Times reports that developer Wright Runstad has defaulted on their loan on the PacMed building at the north tip of Beacon Hill, and that the building is now in the beginning of foreclosure proceedings.

Most recently, the building was occupied by Amazon.com, whose lease expired this spring. Amazon has moved their operations to the South Lake Union neighborhood, and the PacMed building is currently mostly vacant.

The PacMed building was in the news last month when Wright Runstad proposed that the King County juvenile court and jail complex move into the building. However, county officials determined that the proposal wouldn’t meet affordability criteria, and so it was scrapped.

Pryne suggests that the default and threatened foreclosure could be “saber-rattling”:

“Owners of other financially troubled buildings, such as downtown Seattle’s Columbia Center, have engaged in ‘strategic defaults’ to prod lenders to modify their loans.

“And there’s no evidence so far of any foreclosure filing involving the PacMed building in King County court or property records—although the first step in foreclosure in Washington, a ‘notice of default’ from lender to borrower, generally isn’t recorded.”

Pryne also notes that an appraisal last year valued the building at $11.3 million, a little more than half of the $20.5 million Wright Runstad owes on the loan. Monthly payments are about $181,000.

The owners of the building are the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority, who negotiated a 99-year lease with Wright Runstad in 1998. Wright Runstad then subleased the the building to Amazon.

The Preservation and Development Authority is a non-profit quasi-public organization whose mission is to promote health care for the vulnerable and disadvantaged. Find out more about the PHPDA here.

Beacon Bits: A troubled landmark

This iconic Beacon Hill landmark is a "troubled building," unable to find a new tenant despite the best views in town. Photo by Wendi.
The Seattle Times (Beacon Hill Blog news partner) reports that the PacMed/Amazon landmark building at the north tip of Beacon Hill is a “troubled property.” No replacement for primary tenant Amazon has yet been found, though the building has been on the market for almost three years.

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The Seattle Public Library is raising fines and fees starting on Monday, November 1. Among the changes:

  • The daily fine for an overdue book, CD, or DVD will change from 15 cents a day to 25 cents a day.
  • The daily fine for an overdue interlibrary loan will change from 25 cents a day to $1 a day.

Also, all accounts with a balance of $25 will be sent to a collection agency, including accounts for children and teens.

You can find out more about the fee and fine increases at the library website.

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“Drawing the Land,” by Elizabeth Conner, is the newest and perhaps largest work of public art on Beacon HillBeacon Hill Public Art

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Angela Garbes of Seattle Weekly‘s Voracious blog notes a recent addition to MacPherson’s Fruit and Produce market (4500 15th Avenue South): day-old breads from Essential Baking Company. Yum!

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The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and City Neighborhood Council (CNC) are currently seeking input from community groups throughout Seattle as a way to find out how to support the evolution of the Neighborhood District Council system as a key avenue for civic participation in Seattle.

Please take this survey if you are interested in Seattle neighborhoods, and spread the word to anyone else who may be interested in helping strengthen civic engagement in our city. The survey will be open until November 14.

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We see on Craigslist that Salon Nouveau (2805 Beacon Avenue South) has a job opening for a salon coordinator. More information here.

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A couple of upcoming events to be aware of:

  • Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson will host a Community Coffee Chat for parents, grandparents and caregivers of SPS students on Monday, November 1 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at Asa Mercer Middle School, 1600 South Columbian Way.
  • El Centro’s Dia de los Muertos Opening Ceremony is Monday, November 1, at 5:30 pm. More information here.
  • Election Day is Tuesday! Get those ballots in the mail now!

Don’t forget to check our Events page for other upcoming events!

Beacon Hill’s December through a lens

Here are some of the photos added to the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr recently. Taken any interesting photos? You are invited to contribute them to the pool.

Aged red door on Beacon Hill. Photo by Moxie Sinclair.
Photo of the Pac Med building by Erick Mota.
Street art posted outside the library on Beacon Avenue South. Photo by Wendi.
Photo of Christmas lights on 13th Avenue South by Jason.
The Beaconettes wished us all happy holidays. Photo by go-team.