In the battle of the boutique hotels, count Palihotel as being the first renovated old brick structure to reach the finish line.
The 96-room hotel just opened at 107 Pine St., on the corner of First Avenue, facing Pike Place Market.
Previously the Gatewood (and before that the Colonnade), the four-story building was constructed in 1895 and modified in 1911. It was owned by the late Sam Israel from 1975 forward, then passed into the hands of the nonprofit Samis Foundation, which owns and operates his portfolio to support Jewish education.
Palihotel and its sister companies Palisociety and Paligroup are run by Avi Brosh of Los Angeles, who turned from residential development to hospitality after the recession. Beginning in 2008, Brosh developed his first three hotels in Los Angeles, and is now working with partners to expand the Palihotel mini-chain to Portland, San Francisco, Miami Beach and other markets. Seattle is the fourth location.
One of those partners is Lighthouse Investments, also of Los Angeles, which signed a 75-year ground lease with Samis last year, as the DJC first reported — along with the hotel renovation plan.
Gensler was the architect and JTM Construction was the contractor for rehabbing the old Gatewood. Plymouth Housing Group had operated it as low-income housing from 1991-2016. The exterior was landmarked last year.
Lighthouse has a 25-year option to extend its lease with Samis. The terms of Palihotel’s deal with Lighthouse were not announced. Lighthouse, which is led by Ramin Kolahi, previously partnered with Brosh on the Palihotel Santa Monica and will work with him again on the planned San Francisco location.
Palihotel sent a press release with details about the new Seattle hotel, which totals about 50,000 square feet. Just off the lobby, on Pine, is The Hart and The Hunter, a Southern-themed restaurant overseen by Palisociety chef Joey Elenterio. It’s the second location for the eatery, which was established in 2011 in one of the L.A. Palihotels.
Brosh said in a statement, “Palihotel Seattle is a true labor of love for our team. The hotel hits the mark in the design, amenities and services we dreamt up from day one, all in our signature eclectic style. It’s a really fun and truly unique addition to the neighborhood.”
Kolahi added, “Seattle is easily one of the most dynamic cities on the West Coast, and this property will be a true game-changer in that market with its creative, unique approach to the city’s boutique hospitality landscape and today’s modern-day traveler.”
Room sizes range from about 160 to 415 square feet, with bunk beds up to king-size beds.
Anne Marie and Erika Koehler of JLL are leasing the retail, with no tenants open yet. One bay on First with 1,770 square feet, including a mezzanine, is still available. Signed tenants couldn’t be confirmed before deadline.
There’s also a window coffee bar on Pine for passersby.
Brosh recently told The Los Angeles Times that the recession shrank his old Palisades Development Group from 53 employees to four. Paligroup is now up to about 200.
“I would never want to go through that again,” he said, “but what it did do is prove that I could get through that.”
• Meanwhile, Lake Union Partners and Columbia Hospitality expect to open their 91-room State Hotel in March, after extensive renovations to the former Eitel Building at 1501 Second Ave., on the corner of Pike Street. (The big Shepard Fairey mural went up last month, facing the Market.)
• Revolve Development is still hoping to convert the vacant old Seven Seas Building (aka the Lusty Lady building) into a 43-room hotel, though work hasn’t yet begun. It’s also a ground-lease deal. Extensive and costly seismic work will be required.
• Seneca Ventures’ planned conversion of the Metropole Building and J&M Hotel Building in Pioneer Square into co-managed boutique hotels (with about 60 rooms total) has apparently hit another snag. Those two properties are headed back into foreclosure, with an auction set for Feb. 15, 2019. Seismic work and historic preservation tax credits are complications here, too.
Marcus & Millichap was trying last year to sell them both.