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Monday, April 03, 2006

1315 1st Ave Defies Seattle's Bubble

Here's an... interesting story about the "tacky little building at 1315 First Ave."

In the high-stakes game of downtown real estate, the tacky little building at 1315 First Ave. was surely doomed. A group of heavyweight developers, including a billionaire, a wealthy venture capitalist, and a former Seattle mayor, aimed their wrecking ball at Peaches, Kitten, Trixie, and the rest of the struggling dancers at the Lusty Lady theater. They and their nudie house were about to become the next victims of the condofornication of Seattle. Then the inconceivable happened: In a city where rapacious new development effortlessly bulldozes fading history, someone said no to money. Christto Tolias and his family, longtime owners of the century-old, mostly vacant structure housing Peaches and other strippers at the popular peep-show theater, refused to sell the property to ex-Mayor Paul Schell and his fellow hotel/condo developers.

An attorney with knowledge of the deal says the rejected offer was "several" millions of dollars. Stunning as that seems, Tolias made money anyway. Schell and partners in the new 21-story, $120 million Four Seasons hotel and condo tower at First Avenue and Union Street had to regroup, then make Tolias another offer—for air rights above the Lusty building. In the end, the big developers not only didn't get their prized property, they paid the defiant Tolias $850,000 for thin air.
So what would motivate a downtown land owner to hold on to their property rather than sacrifice it to the relentless drumbeat of progress and piles of free bubble money? Why, nekkid girls, of course. So now we know.

(Rick Anderson, Seattle Weekly, 03.23.2006)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the century-old, mostly vacant structure

ah great. Less density, more sprawl, more unoccupied space in the city core, and skanks.

Gotta love this city.