Published On: Tue, Apr 7th, 2015

Martin Selig Buys Seattle Federal Reserve Building for Under $20 Million

Selig will be eligible for "generous" federal historic tax credits.

1015 second avenue seattle wa 98104

Developer Martin Selig bought what used to be the 1940s, Federal Reserve Building in the heart of downtown Seattle, which he plans to renovate, the Seattle Times reported.

The half-block building at 1015 Second Avenue is a designated federal landmark. It was sold in an auction for $16 million in February, but the winner was disclosed only on Monday.

Selig is a longtime supporter of Republican candidates, as member of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

BizJournal reported that the property has been a source of contention since the feds had left, back in 2008. There apparently was another Seattle-area real estate developer with a contract to buy the property for $19.75 million, but the deal was dropped after a lawsuit by local historic preservationists. Then there were rumors that Selig funded the lawsuit, because he didn’t want a new, tall office building obscuring the views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound from his own office building across the street.

“It’s all rumors, ” Selig said Monday.

Here’s what it looks like on the street: on the right is Selig’s office building, behind the old bank building you can see a lot of ocean…

selig's building and the bank

On Friday, Selig hired a crew to pressure-washing the building.

On Monday, the developer sounded ecstatic when he announced: “I got 100, 000 square feet. It’s right in the middle of everything. What better location could you have?”

Incidentally, according to a preservation expert, Selig will be eligible for “generous” federal historic tax credits, up to 20 percent of what it would the cost to transform the bank branch into, say, luxury housing.

So everybody wins.

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