Tag Archives: wright runstad

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.

County says PacMed proposal doesn’t meet “affordability criteria”

The proposal to move the Youth Services Center (including juvenile court and detention facilities) into Beacon Hill’s PacMed building is now off the table. King County officials have determined that none of the six proposals for replacement of the Alder Youth Services Center—including the PacMed proposal—meet the county’s affordability criteria.

According to County Administrative Officer Caroline Whalen, one of the primary goals of the process was that “the [Youth Services Center] project should be, to the extent possible, cost-neutral to King County or at least minimize the financial contribution required to be made by King County.” None of the submitted proposals were found to meet this criteria, so the county is ending the current procurement process and considering its next steps.

See further reporting from the Beacon Hill Blog‘s news partners:

  • The Seattle Times: County says PacMed won’t work for juvenile court
  • Beacon Hill KOMO: County makes it official, juvenile jail to PacMed proposal doesn’t meet ‘affordability criteria’
Photo of the PacMed building by Wendi.

Meeting tonight to discuss Juvenile Justice Center proposal

Craig Thompson sent the following notice:

“A neighbor asked me to send this message out reminding people that there’s an informal meeting of concerned neighbors at Dr. Jose Rizal Park tonight at 6 PM to discuss the proposed move of the Juvenile Justice Center to the PacMed building.

“We’ll meet in the amphitheatre. You can also barbecue at the park….”

Curtis Bonney adds: “There’s no agenda, just a discussion.”

PacMed proposal “won’t work” for juvenile facility?

BHB news partners KOMO report that the proposal to move the county juvenile court and detention facility to the PacMed building may not get too far:

…Several neighbors said they had been personally contacted by King County Executive Dow Constantine earlier in the day.

“Three members of the group were contacted by the King County Executive’s Office indicating that a decision on PacMed should made by end of this coming week (Thursday or Friday),” reads the post on Facebook.

In a separate email circulating on the BAN list another neighbor writes about those phone calls:

“Earlier in the day several of us received a call from Dow Constantine’s office to inform us that the PacMed building probably won’t work for the project and we should expect a formal announcement sometime later this week.”

The latter comment was also posted here on the Beacon Hill Blog by Hans, the organizer of Sunday’s “No Jail at PacMed” meeting. Here’s the comment in full:

“We had a very constructive meeting on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 to discuss ‘No Jail at PacMed’. Earlier in the day several of us received a call from Dow Constantine’s office to inform us that the PacMed building probably won’t work for the project and we should expect a formal announcement sometime later this week. Needless to say that would be VERY good news. However, even if the jail does not locate to the building we still intend to make every attempt to engage Wright Runstad and let them know that the North Beacon Hill is very interested in whoever they select as a tenant and we would welcome the opportunity to work with them as a neighborhood.”

“No Jail at PacMed” groups organizing

Neighbor Hans writes:

For anyone who supports “No Jail at PacMed” we’ve organized a neighborhood discussion that’ll take place at my home on Sunday at 4:00. Several people with postings on this blog plan to attend. I live 2 blocks south of the building, on 14th Ave S. If you would like to attend, please send me an email and I’ll provide the address.

Neighbors have also set up a Facebook page to help organize against the Wright Runstad proposal, which would move the King County juvenile court and detention facility to the landmark PacMed building on North Beacon Hill.

More about the PacMed proposal

The possibility that the King County Juvenile court/detention facility could move to the PacMed building on North Beacon caused a lot of conversation yesterday both here on the BHB and on other media outlets. KOMO (BHB news partner) covered the story, including quotes from neighbors Curtis Bonney and Craig Thompson.

Further coverage of the PacMed story comes from Eric Scigliano at Crosscut:

“At least one other prospect may still be in the picture: the Bellevue-based City University of Seattle, which, true to its name, has been trying to move to Seattle. ‘We have looked at their building, as well as a dozen other sites in Seattle,’ says City University spokesperson Christopher Ross. ‘We’re not far enough along in any of our negotiations to comment.'”

Juvenile court and jail could move to PacMed

The landmark PacMed building dominates the northern tip of Beacon Hill. Photo by Wendi.
The Seattle Times (BHB news partner) reports that King County’s juvenile court and jail could move into the historic PacMed building on the north tip of Beacon Hill under a proposal from the current leaseholders, development company Wright Runstad.

Wright Runstad were granted a 99-year lease on the PacMed property in 1998, and then converted the hospital to office space which it then subleased to Amazon. However, Amazon recently vacated the building for a new base in the South Lake Union neighborhood, and the Times writes that this has put Wright Runstad “in a financial bind,” owing more than $300,000 per month in lease and loan payments.

The Wright Runstad proposal is one of six proposals for the future of the county’s Youth Services Center and Youth Detention Center, and the only one that calls for moving the facility from its current location. County officials won’t comment on its viability, but according to the Times, it is “the leading proposal” among the six.

The Youth Services Center and Detention Center is currently located in the Central District at 12th Avenue and East Alder Street, and is in need of renovation; last summer, PCB contamination was found in the courthouse, and the building has had problems with plumbing issues, mold, and deteriorating infrastructure for some time.

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!