FOR SALE: Salish Crossing in Edmonds

New Edmonds icon on the market for $18.8 million
By Brian Soergel | Dec 26, 2018
Photo by: Capital Pacific Salish Crossing in Edmonds is for sale.

Want to own a new Edmonds icon near the ferry dock? Salish Crossing can be all yours.

The asking price? $18.8 million.

“It’s pretty simple,” said Nick Echelbarger, when asked why he’s selling the property he purchased for $4.5 million from Val Kern and husband Don Udhus in September 2012. “I’m 37 years old, and I’m in the phase of my life where problem solving is exciting for me. It’s my job to take real estate that needs optimizing, and try to fix it.”

Makes sense. Echelbarger is managing partner of Echelbarger Fund Management, which focuses on distressed commercial opportunities.

Salish Crossing is no longer distressed.

The former home of the Waterfront Antique Mall – and before that, Safeway – is now fully leased at 190 Sunset Ave. South and anchored by Cascadia Art Museum (founded by Echelbarger’s father and museum board president Lindsey Echelbarger) and 190 Sunset restaurant.

“Now that Salish is 100 percent leased,” Nick Echelbarger said, “the lion’s share of that work is complete. So it seems like a natural time to look for the next Salish Crossing-style opportunity.”

He said there have been a few nibbles since Salish Crossing was put on the market. “Certainly for this market, Salish is one of the more attractive, unique buildings you could own.”

When Echelbarger bought the property, that wasn’t the case.

“What we bought was a hunk of junk, and we’ve invested many millions in creating something everybody can be proud of. I was very hands-on with our brokerage team to try and recruit and select the new tenant mix we wanted down there.

“I turned down quite a few national tenants (he wouldn’t say which) in favor of smaller tenants, such startup tenants and local icons like Spud and Top Pot.

“It would have been easy to list that up as a strip center with typical names and not have a Scratch Distillery, 190 Sunset, a museum and Brigid’s Bottleshop. Most of those business are startups with strong ties to Edmonds.”

Brigid’s Bottleshop, in fact, is relocating to a new location next to Hunni Co., adding 1,500 square-feet of indoor space and an outdoor deck with fire pits on its west side that’s twice the size of the existing one. It will have direct access to the Sounder station.

190 Sunset will be expanding into Brigid’s current space.

Echelbarger, president of the Edmonds Community College Foundation, said the transition to a new owner should be a smooth one, with no immediate changes.

“Everybody in the center has valid and existing leases to pass on to the next owner, and just selling something doesn’t hand the owner the right to give up new leases. Everybody’s protected. There are a variety of leases, many with remaining terms of over 10 years.”

Having said that, marketing materials for the property – being handled by commercial broker Sean Tufts of Capital Pacific – states the following:

“The long-term prospects of Salish Crossing include taking advantage of current zoning laws that would allow increased density and height limits that could result in a future mixed-use development opportunity with incredible views and within a location offered rarely in sites such as Salish Crossing.”

Given that, could change be coming to the 4.28-acres? Marketing materials speak of “long-term future mixed-use zoning on a large water view site in an affluent community.”

“Let me be hyper-accurate here,” Echelbarger said. “The general plan designation for that property is to be something other than a shopping center. It’s a major regional transit node. And for a long time, people have thought that here’s a spot where there’s something good for the city and community if done in a thoughtful way.”

Current zoning, he added, restricts height to 25 feet, or 10 feet lower than Harbor Square.

What about condos and housing?

“It would take a very major exercise to buy out all of the leases at Salish Crossing and have major renegotiation with tenants,” he said. “You’d also have to go through the planning and zoning process.

“I see the buyer profile as someone looking for income property that they like and are proud of, and like going down to the mailbox once a month to collect their dividend on their investment."

 

 

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