News Loser of the Year: Wright Runstad
posted by December 14 at 13:40 PMon
As we speak, Amazon and Vulcan lobbyists are calling city council members and squashing a rumor that’s intended to derail their South Lake Union deal.
The rumor? Development company Wright Runstad has an alternative property deal for Amazon.
Here’s the story: Wright Runstad got a sweet deal from the city back in the late 90s to redevelop the PacMed building on Beacon Hill and voila, score their high-dollar tenant, Amazon.
However, with Amazon looking to expand (that is: move to Vulcan’s South Lake Union property), Wright Runstad is losing a major tenant.
To add insult to injury, Wright Runstad is about to lose big when the Council votes on Monday to protect industrial zoning in SoDo and Georgetown. Indeed, Judy Runstad has been e-mailing and lobbying council to allow commercial developments there.
Here’s an e-mail she sent to council member Richard Conlin after he tried, unsuccessfully so far, to amend the industrial zoning legislation to make room for more commercial development:
12/13/2007 12:06 PM >>> Thank you for trying to bring some rational thought to the discussion yesterday. In my almost 35 years of land use, I have never seen anything so sweeping or potentially damaging with so little thought and data. I hope you will continue to press on this in the new year. Judy
Why is Judy Runstad hot on rezoning to allow commercial? Because Wright Runstad is trying to derail Vulcan’s deal in South Lake Union by putting together a competing deal with Amazon, using land owned by Runstad’s client, SoDo property owner Henry Liebman. Liebman owns a 22,609 square foot piece of property in SoDo.
At least Wright Runstad wants the council to believe they’ve got a deal in the works.
Amazon went on the offensive today to save their deal with Vulcan. Their lobbyist (and Vulcan’s) is calling council members right now to tell them: “You know this Wright Runstad deal you’re hearing about… It’s not true!”
This is a serious burn on Wright Runstad. They’re on the losing end of a sweetheart deal for Vulcan after benefitting for years off their own sweetheart deal at PacMed.
What goes around comes around. Here’s a suggestion for Wright Runstad: Turn PacMed into condos. Killer views.
Footnote: Of course, Vulcan is the big winner. If no industrial land is rezoned to allow commercial, then Vulcan’s remaining properties in South Lake Unionówhich is being rezonedóbecome that much more valuable.