An investment group and real estate firm together will pay nearly $600 million for Seattle’s storied downtown Macy’s building, today dominated by six floors of Amazon offices.
Investment firm KKR and Seattle-based commercial real estate firm Urban Renaissance Group announced the deal Thursday. A source close to the deal said the building, at Third Avenue and Pine Street, sold for about $580 million; records of the sale were not immediately available from the county.
Macy’s closed its downtown store early last year.
The sale of the historic building comes as downtown has been hard hit by the pandemic and a vast shift to remote work. Before COVID-19, downtown accounted for more than half of the city’s jobs and tax revenues. Online retailers like Amazon have also decimated brick-and-mortar retail businesses.
Amazon said it will continue leasing those six floors, enough space for about 2,000 employees. Despite some tech companies shifting to more remote work, the tech giant said this week it expects employees to return to its offices by the fall.
KKR and Urban Renaissance Group said the lower floors of the Macy’s building will be “designed to accommodate retail flagship stores,” but did not reveal any tenants.
The deal “reflects our mutual confidence in the region and specifically in downtown Seattle, where we look forward to strengthening the heart of Seattle’s retail core,” said Urban Renaissance Group CEO Patrick Callahan in a statement.
The downtown landmark was home to the flagship Bon Marché store for decades, then Bon-Macy’s and Macy’s.
The building will now feature “a timeless façade, a 20,000 sq. ft. rooftop deck, one-of-a-kind interiors, and 15-foot tall ceilings with ornate colonnades and dramatic architectural features that originate from the 1920’s era department stores,” according to KKR and Urban Renaissance Group.
The building’s newest retail iteration — named The Bon Marché Collective — will include spaces for lease from 3,000 square feet to 16,600 square feet and potentially a food hall.
Victrola Coffee, which occupies a space at the corner of Third Avenue and Pine Street, is expected to remain in that space.