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December 16, 2016

Ivar's sells Northlake properties for $13.7M

Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce

Brian Miller

Ivar's Salmon House restaurant has a 20-year leaseback agreement, with two five-year options to extend.
Making good on its declared intention to sell and lease back two prominent restaurant locations, the Ivar's restaurant chain has sold its Northlake properties for $13.7 million, according to King County records.

In May, Ivar's President Bob Donegan told The Seattle Times that the Acres of Clams restaurant at Pier 54 and the Salmon House at Northlake would be put on the market, represented by Kidder Mathews.

Ivar's has owned the Northlake location since 1966. Donegan said the site was once a cedar shake mill.

Ivar Haglund bought it after he returned from a trip abroad with plans to expand his restaurant business. One of his ideas was to build "Ivar's Roman Baths" in Ballard, but real estate broker Nick Nickerson dissuaded him.

The first Salmon House opened in the winter of 1969, built in the style of a Native American longhouse, with no windows - and no exhaust fans for the kitchen.

"There's no steel in the building," said Donegan. "You can imagine what happened next."

On the night of the opening - with the mayor, governor and city council members in attendance - "the place filled with smoke," said Donegan, and the fire department was called.

The following year, it reopened "in the configuration you now see," Donegan said. On the upstairs level, some of the original char marks are still visible from the 1969 fire.

Donegan says the restaurant has a 20-year leaseback agreement, with two five-year options to extend.

The buyer was Fana Northlake LLC, which is associated with Bellevue's Fana Group.

The site is at 401 N.E. Northlake Way. The 27,000-square-foot main property is occupied by Ivar's Salmon House, completed in 1970. It has about 14,000 square feet, prime Lake Union views and a floating barge in front with additional seating. The sale also includes a roughly 23,000-square-foot parking lot on the north side of Northlake.

Ivar's Acres of Clams location at 1001 Alaskan Way - in the recently renovated Pier 54 - remains on the market. It is also represented by KM's Andy Miller, Jason Rosauer and Rob Anderson.

© 2016 Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. All rights reserved.

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