WaMu leased about 700,000 square feet in downtown Seattle, according to brokers and building owners. WaMu's Cedarbrook corporate training center in Sea-Tac is in limbo.
JPMorgan Chase is notifying landlords it will pull out of all the downtown Seattle office space rented by Washington Mutual by the end of March.
The New York bank is laying off 80 percent of WaMu’s Seattle work force and consolidating the 800 remaining office workers into the WaMu Center headquarters building it owns downtown.
It also decided WaMu’s Cedarbrook corporate-training center in SeaTac is “not a core asset for us, and we are looking at options for it,” said JPMorgan spokesman Thomas Kelly.
WaMu leased about 700,000 square feet in Seattle, according to brokers and building owners.
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JPMorgan is not publicly releasing a list of the properties.
Kelly would not disclose what the bank plans to do with about 240,000 square feet of space WaMu leases from the Seattle Art Museum.
A spokeswoman for the museum declined to comment on the status of the lease.
WaMu’s Seattle sponsorships are in question, too, but officials for the Seattle Mariners and One Reel, which is the contact for WaMu’s annual Fourth of July celebration, were not available to comment.
JPMorgan has until this afternoon to notify landlords it will not keep ongoing leases, according to an agreement it signed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. when it acquired WaMu out of receivership in September.
It can walk away from any space it does not want, and the landlords will become creditors of WaMu’s receivership.
Dana Behar at HAL Real Estate, which owns the Newmark Tower where WaMu has a lease for 84,000 square feet that runs until summer, said that as far as he knows, it has not been told anything officially. The bank might have sent something to HAL’s lawyer, who is on vacation.
Behar understands JPMorgan has until 5 p.m. today to inform landlords, and they are all “waiting with bated breath.”
Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or email@example.com