A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Real estate up for grabs on 85th and Greenwood

December 7th, 2010 · Comments

By Tyler Steele, PhinneyWood Intern

One of the most visible intersections in the neighborhood has prime real estate up for lease on the corner of 85th and Greenwood — first the Greenwood Academy of Hair in June and now PAWS Cat City in December.

“I wonder what’ll end up here in the future,” pondered longtime resident Rachel Hutchinson as she peered through the window into the empty salon, still littered with leftover equipment from the move. “I will really miss them.”

On her daily trek, Hutchinson said this corner always reminded her that she was almost home.

Six months ago, PhinneyWood reported that the Greenwood Academy of Hair was moving to Shoreline and merging with a national chain, Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy.

“It’s a good, high profile location,” Limantzakis Properties owner Johnny Limantzakis said by phone. “Greenwood is a great, up-and-coming neighborhood. The properties are listed for lease and we’re looking for tenants.”

“The two largest vacancies are best suited for retail use,” he added. “With the right modifications, like a hood for cooking, a restaurant could work too.”

He said the corner lot is about 4,000 square feet, and right next door is around 1,000.

PAWS Cat City, another longtime fixture, announced last month that they would be moving to the University District at 5200 Roosevelt Way NE by the middle of on Dec. 26.

“It’s bitter sweet because we love Greenwood, but we’re excited to expand and increase our operations,” Supervisor Steph Renaud said as she held a brown and black tabby named Giselle. “We wanted to find a place in the neighborhood, but we just couldn’t find a place that worked.”

Still holding Giselle, who burrowed her face in fear of the camera flash, Renaud said, “We’re growing — so, we just needed more space.”

She pointed out the new location’s 500 additional square feet, which will help meet the expanding demand for the organization’s services.

“The kitten season has grown longer, and we also have more adult cats,” she said on her way from the lobby to the cat rooms. “By expanding and increasing partnerships with other locations, our goal is to help rescue more animals.”

After putting Giselle into her room, Renaud picked up Scooby, a friendly gray tabby who did not mind getting his picture taken.

“I live in the neighborhood, so I’ll miss this location,” she said with a sigh.

A third tenant of the building, the Northwest Neighborhood Service Center, is closing on Jan. 1, a victim of the city’s budget cuts. (The NSC had been considered for closure in the preliminary budget. The service center’s Coordinator Beth Pflug just confirmed to PhinneyWood today that the office is closing.)

“It’s very likely to see something happen to these locations in the next few months,” Limantzakis said. “We’re very active and we’re looking for a good fit for the neighborhood.”

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  1. Tom says:

    Might be a tough corner for a business to make work. The building kitty corner from the GHA has been home to several businesses since Buddy’s Homesick Cafe closed about 12 or 13 years ago iirc. The current business has not been open for quite a while.

    I wish them luck and would love to see something interesting in that spot.

  2. name says:

    alright, more condos!

  3. MTH says:

    I wish Essential Bakery would open a cafe here, so Greenwood would have a good breakfast and lunch spot with awesome food.

  4. JLW says:

    too bad there are residences on top. i would love a bowling alley in the city again.

  5. gdog says:

    Adding a hood…
    That’s tough. I was looking at putting a restaurant here a few months ago and its virtually impossible to run a vent/hood through existing apartments. That resigns these spaces to retail….

  6. Tahomajim says:

    Tyler, did you ask the owner the price per square foot?

    Can anybody find out the price ?

    No use writing about what the neighborhood needs until it’s disclosed what the property leases for. If it’s for lease the price should be posted and should be in the report.

  7. Greenwood says:

    Gym! We need a gym!

  8. DonD says:

    The owners of Third Place Books were looking at Greenwood before settling for Ravenna. If they still have cash and the will, it’s a great time.

  9. Ole Clunker says:

    Perhaps the Seattle Police Dept. should move into the vacant space.

  10. Harry Tracy says:

    24 Hour Fitness, are you reading this?

  11. LS says:

    another vote for a gym!

  12. Jon says:

    From what I was told, the property owner demanded unreasonable amounts of money to rent either space. And so, two neighborhood staples packed up and moved on, because the property owner refused to budge. 🙁

  13. gym says:


  14. Ole Clunker says:

    So, the property owner wants to be more like Ballard? Empty space generates no income.

  15. Ole Clunker says:

    Neiman Marcus, Coach or Hermes would give Fred Meyer some competition.

  16. Greenwood says:

    MKG walked away from a totally underserved neighborhood when they moved to Northgate. Does anyone else think a gym in Greenwood/Phinney would find an eager bunch of future members?

  17. Matt says:

    PAWS Cat City couldn’t find another place in the neighborhood that worked? It’s too bad there aren’t more vacancies in Greenwood. Oh, wait.

    I guess it’s too bad none of those vacancies are affordable.

  18. Rob says:

    On 85th there is also the big empty space left where the design/decorator business moved out. They had been there for years but as I understand it the landlord would not compromise on the rent and yet there it sits a totally empty building WITH NO RENT coming in. Come on landlords a tenant paying a reasonable rent is better than no tenant at all.

  19. Smallu says:

    Also, heard that the landlord of the Hair Academy/PAWS/NNSC will do nothing to improve the buildings and is lax on repairs. These spaces may be prime real estate location-wise, but def come with strings attached.

  20. Smallu says:

    Ugh. No more gyms. I sure would like to see more cool retail shops like those available on the other end of Greenwood/Phinney.

  21. Bushwood Beaver says:

    Trader Joe’s

  22. BB says:

    Gross! Not a gym in the center of the neighborhood. Don’t get me wrong, a gym would be a great addition to the neighborhood, but not in this prime location. We need something like a bakery or café to built a better retail center and community gathering place.

  23. Deb S says:

    BB , we have 7 cafe’s in a 3 block radius. Do we really need another? (Greenbean, Monkey Grind, Neptune, Wayward, Couth Buzzard, Chocolati, Sip and Ship) A gym would bring a fair amount of foot traffic

  24. SPG says:

    What we need is a VCR programming shop!
    That would be great. Bring in your VCR and they program it to record all your shows for you, then you unplug it and bring it home. Yep. Booming business right there. Surprised nobody is putting those in all over the place.

  25. Ole Clunker says:

    Since parking is tight, how about a upscale bike shop?

  26. CaddyHouse says:

    Here’s a link to the listing that I found on how much the rent would be.


  27. Iron City Mike says:

    Bike shop is a great idea! Although isn’t “upscale bikeshop” an oxymoron? Brew pub is a good idea as well.

  28. Too Muchmoney says:

    “No breakfast place in Greenwood”? What’s Pete’s Egg Nest and Rooster’s Breakfast Club?

  29. Tiktok says:

    Parking is tight–gym members always drive to the gym. I’m guessing another bar or woman’s clothing boutique.

  30. Tahomajim says:

    The building has 6,100 sq. ft. and the price is $24 per sq. ft. The market place will rule on this.

    Now, will a gym, breakfast club, or bread shop make a profit at that price? I don’t know. Another bar? The Red Door(?) wine bar has already solicitied our street for customers.

    Gyms to me are a bit of a blight….driving by seeing people treadmilling with fogged up windows sickens me.

    People, burn your calories and improve your heart by keeping up your yard, homes, and walking to Greenwood. If you’re apartment dwellers volunteer in the community. Greenwood Park welcomes volunteers….Ditto Linden Orchard Park.

    Sheesh, the gym loving types will take offense but that’s my opinion.

    What is a high profile business, that does not need parking, that we really need, who can afford $24 per sq, ft.? What is it zoned for? It’ll be some sort of boring institution…… sigh….

  31. Deb S says:

    Roosters closed like a year ago, and while a cafe sounds nice, do we really need another place for sitting around drinking coffee?

  32. Ole Clunker says:

    Are you saying it’s $1500.00 per month and needs remodeling too?

  33. The Greenhood says:

    Personally I don’t think there can be too many breakfast greasy spoons. It takes me awhile to walk to Pete’s and given the lines outside of most cafes on the weekends, it would be cool.
    That said, the hood issue that gdog mentioned above seems to make it a moot point.

    The Greenwood Market will soon need a new space, but is it big enough? Parking is also an issue there. (GM should take over the old DMV)

    I know some here are against it, but a gym is a good idea. It would be great, from my perspective, to have a small gym that is within walking distance for Greenwood/Phinney residents.

  34. Daniel says:

    We have a great bike shop, JRA at 84th & 8th. JRA is adjacent to residential streets.

    The biggest problem with these spaces is that there is no place to park and no easy way to get to a safe place to test ride a bike.

  35. Tahomajim says:


    Yes, almost $1,500 per month, is what $24 times 6,100 totals. I don’t think that’s too high until you figure in NO parking, plus renovations.

    If I was an investing type none of the above ideas look profitable enough to me.

    Daniel is correct, JRA is a fine bike shop…I doubt we need another within a mile.
    Until we know the zoning there’s no need to continue spinning our wheels.

    Sadly, PhinneyWood.com only gave us half the story.

  36. R says:

    24-Hour Fitness still lacks anything west of I5 from the canal to… I dunno, Canada? Hopefully they will open something rather than have us all switch to L.A. Fitness. They may be unaware that traffic flows mostly North-South, not East-West in this town. However, the apartments… well, perhaps no-one wants to live above a gym that is open 24-hours…

    Considering the large number of vacancies in the region, it is easy to imagine that building owners are in a bidding war for tenants. A building may be vacant even if it is seeking a ‘reasonable’ rate, since supply currently exceeds demand.
    I’d like to see a list of vacancy rate by neighborhood to see how Greenwood compares.

    NOTE: Last I knew, the Greenwood-Phinney Chamber of Commerce was lacking a president (http://www.greenwood-phinney.com/about/board-members/board-members/).

  37. Too Muchmoney says:

    “Sadly, PhinneyWood.com only gave us half the story.” = as usual. PhinnyWood regularly leaves out obvious, crucial and important information. A serious newspaper it is NOT. More like an electronic over-the-backyard-fence gossip mill.

  38. iheartgreenwood says:

    Just a reminder that we do have a good breakfast place, on 85th: Four Spoons Cafe (in the old Library space). Much better food and service than Pete’s, in my opinion. That said, I’d welcome more food options, or boutiques, or anything decent. All these empty storefronts make Greenwood look like a wasteland.

  39. BL says:

    “More like an electronic over-the-backyard-fence gossip mill.”-lol. so true

  40. O says:

    The landlords in Greenwood don’t keep up their buildings and they won’t bring their rents down. The market won’t fix it. They don’t care if they sit empty. I’ve heard they can just write it off on their taxes.

  41. Tahomajim says:

    You’re wrong. Paying tenants are better than a empty building.

  42. The Greenhood says:

    Empty buildings indeed. How long do we need to stare at the checkers building? I understand that the owners can bide their time, but this neighbor finds it an eyesore. From my front porch we often like to play ‘Name that drug dealer and which neighbor are they hanging out with’. The many vacancies are only increasing this problem in that there are more places for these deals to happen.

  43. Tahomajim says:

    It is an eyesore.
    The property has potential as it has parking and great location…. what’s happening with the property?

  44. O says:

    Tahomajim – Then why don’t they adjust their rents to fit the market? Why leave a space empty for a year +? If you have the answer then please clue me in…

  45. Tahomajim says:

    O- I think $1,500 for 6,100 sq. ft. is somewhere in the ball park for that place. The city has probably raised their taxes, ditto other costs. utilities. I donno, I do not own commercial property. Show me a 6,100 sq. ft. residence in Greenwood for $1,500 a month. See what I mean?

    What is the average price per sq. ft. of commercial space in Greenwood for 2011? Except for no parking that is a solid place with high exposure. I doubt the place will be vacant for a year.

    Last night I was with friends in the U-district. I asked about their commercial rent. He said their rent went up from $500 per month to $750 (very small place). I didn’t ask about utilities. He said the owner needed to do upgrades to the building. He’s staying put for now cuz his rent is still “in the ball park.”

  46. Greenhood says:

    I agree on a gym. No parking? No problem! I’d use the commute there as a warm-up! There’s a downstairs in the old GHA that could host classes! Plus, this would be a PRIME people-watching spot while jogging away on the treadmill. GYM PLEASE!

    I am having a hard time believing that the space is so cheap. $1,500 for 6,100 sq. ft. My 650 sq. ft of space, also known as an apartment, is costing me nearly the same amount. Explain to me how this drove business out???

  47. Tiktok says:

    “Explain to me how this drove business out???”

    Didn’t they do a lot of free/cheap haircuts at GHA?

  48. Anne says:

    I’m having a hard time figuring out the $1,500 per month also. $24 per square foot x 6,100 = $146,000. Assuming this is an annual rent calculation the monthly rent on that would be $12,200. Am I missing something?

  49. Tahomajim says:

    Anne, you are correct. This whole thread- blog was screwed up from the begining . Yesterday I looked at the space and can’t figure out where the 6,100 comes from. Is half the space below ground level? Oh well, sloppy reporting gets crazy responses. PW.com take note!

  50. Township says:

    An independent gym, old school arcade (see Full Tilt or Portland’s Ground Kontrol), performance space or activity center would mix things up. Also, teens have little to do in our area besides the Boys and Girls Club. I love my coffee, breakfast venues, and karaoke bars, but Greenwood has it’s share. I’d rather see something action-packed or movement oriented. We need something to get the blood-pumping!!