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May 24, 2017

Ivar's sells flagship Seattle waterfront property for $39.5 million

Puget Sound Business Journal

Marc Stiles

Ivar's on Wednesday executed on a key component of its real estate strategy by selling its flagship property at Pier 54 on Seattle's waterfront.

Public records show the seafood and chowder restaurant chain sold the property (1001 Alaskan Way) for $39.5 million to a limited liability company affiliated with A.F. Gilmore Co., a family company with deep roots in Los Angeles, where it owns the landmark Original Farmers Market.

Ivar's Acres of Clams has operated on the waterfront since 1938, and will continue doing so along with the company's Fish Bar, said Ivar's President Bob Donegan.

Ivar's completed a $20 million renovation of Pier 54 two years ago and has leases for 20 to 29 years for the restaurant spaces, according to Donegan, who said the company's lease for office space at the pier runs another 10 years.

Donegan has met with A.F. Gilmore representatives many times and said he's impressed with their commitment to real estate assets that come with rich heritages. The company has owned the Original Farmers Market, which has more than 100 grocers, other retailers and restaurants, since 1934.

"They buy and hold properties. They are not flippers," Donegan said.

A year ago, Donegan said Ivar's was selling the Pier 54 and Ivar's Salmon House property on the north end of Lake Union. The company plans to save some of the cash and lease the restaurant locations back. The cash from the property sales will set the company up for possible expansion in suburban locations when real estate becomes more affordable.

"This is year 79 for us," Donegan told the Puget Sound Business Journal last fall. "We know we don't have to be quick, we just have to be patient."

Late last year, Ivar's sold the Salmon House (401 N.E. Northlake Way) for $13.7 million to a limited liability company affiliated with the Fana Group of Bellevue.

Brokers Andy Miller, Jason Rosauer and Rob Anderson of Seattle commercial real estate services firm Kidder Mathews marketed both Ivar's properties for sale.

For the full story, go to Puget Sound Business Journal.

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