Sold several months ago, the dilapidated building located in the heart of Madison park’s commercial district that has been described by neighborhood residents as a “blight” has quite a few changes coming its way.
The historic building, located at 4114-4118 East Madison Street, was purchased in late July by the Losh family, owners of next-door neighbor Ewing and Clark Condominium Rentals. Constance Gillespie, the previous owner of the building, had held the property since her family purchased it in 1937. It was built in 1926.
Construction is ongoing on the rear of the building to change the structure.
“We’ve already torn down two-thirds of the back,” said Casey Losh, one of the new owners. “[Gillespie] had it in offices, with interior walls as support. We are getting the engineer to make just the exterior walls as supporting walls.”
Losh said the building had been divided into three units. That won’t change for the time being, but with interior walls no longer load-bearing, it could change depending on the tenants.
The building was listed at $3 million, but the Losh family bid and won at just $1.39 million.
“I think that $3 million price tag scared off a lot of people,” Losh said. “We almost didn’t bid for it. But I think it reduced the people bidding. We went in an bid what we thought it was worth and were able to get it for less than half of asking.”
Losh has spent his entire life in Madison Park and said he is excited to be part of fixing up the crumbling building.
“We want to restore it to its former glory,” he said. “Constance had all the permits to fix it up, and we are using those. She’s been really good to work with.”
The limited liability company which bought the property was even named in honor of Constance and her family’s long history of owning the property. The Losh family bought it as JDLI Constance Court LLC, which has been admittedly confusing for the current tenant, but Losh believes it’s a nice nod to the previous owner.
The building currently has one tenant, Spa Jolie. The other two storefronts are currently vacant and have fallen into disrepair, entangling Gillespie with the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development.
In 2014, the property was found to violate several codes for a vacant property, including insufficient protection from the elements, damaged eaves and fascia on the exterior and a decaying roof.
One of the notes from an inspector regarding the building reflected this succinctly.
“Secure the building against the weather, including but not limited to openings in the collapsed roof and walls,” it reads.
This was exacerbated in March of 2016 when an inspector found a large portion of the roof had collapsed.
Tim Blevins, a Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections structural inspector, wrote up a building code violation report.
“Approximately 1/3 of the roof has failed and the brick façade wall at NE property line is bowed due to the loss of the roof diaphragm,” Blevins noted.
The city found additional issues in February of this year, imposing penalties against Gillespie for not complying. As recently as last year, Gillespie had said she was not interested in selling.
The building is 2,787 square feet on a 4,900 square foot lot, or .11 acres. It is zoned NC1P-30, which means a buyer could build it up to 30-feet high with the option for a rooftop greenhouse if supplying a restaurant below.
“Some people think we are crazy for not building other units on top of this one,” Losh said. “And we might some time in the future, but not for a while.”
Losh said his family is working with Spa Jolie to keep them in the space. He said renovations are scheduled to finish in late winter or early spring of 2018. More than 50 potential tenants have called about the building, Losh said, but rates for leases have not yet been set.
Syndicated from The Madison Park Times.