Developers bought the Old Spaghetti Factory building and parking lot on the waterfront for $9 million from the Dussin family in Portland. It’s unknown if the restaurant will stay.

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Developers have bought the two-story historic warehouse across from Seattle’s waterfront that’s been home to the Old Spaghetti Factory for 45 years, officials said Monday.

The casual restaurant, perhaps best known for its spaghetti with Mizithra cheese, will remain open as the developers noodle with ideas for redevelopment. Once a construction permit is issued, though, fans may have to say arrivederci.

“We want to keep all of our options open,” said company spokesman Ryan Durrett. The chain has 42 restaurants, including locations in Tukwila, Lynn­wood and Tacoma.

Nitze-Stagen and Meriwether Partners said they had purchased the building and adjacent parking lot on Elliott Avenue for $9 million from the Dussin family. The family owns the Portland-based parent company of the Old Spaghetti Factory chain.

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The salmon-packing company Ainsworth & Dunn built the warehouse in 1902, a year after they built a pier across the street now known as Pier 70 — the first large pier at the north end of Seattle’s waterfront.

In that era of dockside commerce, the pier and warehouse were both critical to the daily loadings and offloading of goods.

Over the decades, the building housed merchandise for Frederick & Nelson’s department store, waterproof-glue manufacturing lines for I.F. Laucks and kitchen appliances for wholesalers, according to a report to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board.

By 1970, The Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant took over the industrial space, Durrett said.

While the area’s zoning allows up to a 65-foot-high building, the city’s landmarks board in August designated the old warehouse as historic, preserving the structure.

Peter Nitze, vice president of Nitze-Stagen, said the project fits in with its portfolio of historic landmarks.

The Old Spaghetti Factory on Elliott Avenue has been in operation for 45 years. Developers who bought the property say the site fits their portfolio of historic landmarks.  (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)
The Old Spaghetti Factory on Elliott Avenue has been in operation for 45 years. Developers who bought the property say the site fits their portfolio of historic landmarks. (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)

“With our successful adaptive reuse of the Sears Distribution Center as Starbuck’s corporate headquarters, and now the Ainsworth & Dunn warehouse, our properties will bookend the waterfront,” Nitze said in a statement.

Joel Aslanian, principal at Meriwether Partners, said in a statement the property is well positioned across the street from Olympic Sculpture Park.

“We are just at the beginning stages of exploring our design options. But whatever we do, it will connect to the public spaces, honor the historic building, and be a high-quality project,” he said.