California company buys 2 Market St. properties

The old Kress building at 2220 NW Market St., home to Bop Street Records and the Ballard Discount Store, has sold, according to the Daily Journal of Commerce. So has the building at 1740 NW Market St, which is the current home of FedEx Office.

The buyer for both properties is Wang Brothers Investments in Orinda, California, according to King County records. The developer bought 2220 NW Market St. (Kress) for $4.2 million and 1740 NW Market St. (FedEx) for $8.3 million.

Wang Brothers plans to build an 8-story apartment building at the FedEx location, according to a land use “pre-application” filed with the city. It’s unclear what its plans are for the Kress building. We’ve reached out for comment.

The Kress sales listing explained that the building’s “long and narrow shape” could make it difficult to redevelop by itself, and it has “potential rental upside” through “renovation and re-tenanting.” It mentions that current tenants are paying “rents towards the very low end of the submarket range.”

Those tenants include vintage music shop Bop Street Records (above), one of Ballard’s most iconic small businesses. It opened in 1974. The Kress building itself was built in 1929 as part of the “five and dime” Kress department store chain.

We’ll let you know if we learn anything more about the buyer’s plans.

(Top photo from the CBRE listing. Second photo from Bop Street Records).


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Carla Madrigal
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Carla Madrigal

Nooooo!

Plastic Needles Not Straws
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Plastic Needles Not Straws

“Wang Bros from California”
This whole boom cycle is like a giant skit.

GJo
Guest
GJo

misspelled skit?

Mireille
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Mireille

Boooooooo👎

Ed Murray
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Ed Murray

Hi Guys, hope everyone is enjoying the upzone.
We’re seeing increasing housing equality and improvements in our neighborhoods every day.
Thanks for all the votes!

Jessie
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Jessie

No there’s no housing equality, there’s just housing with way too much rent. I’m glad you’re not the mayor anymore because you ruined this city.

Slknb
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Slknb

Pretty sure that was sarcasm.

Jessie
Guest
Jessie

Yeah just what we need is another 8 story apartment building in Ballard. You can’t get a seat on the bus going downtown to work, you can’t get a parking spot anywhere in this town, you can’t even get reservations at a restaurant cuz it’s too many people in this tiny little town. What a shame, Ballard is completely ruined.

Jeff Bezos
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Jeff Bezos

Be sure to sign up for Amazon Prime! Hope you’re enjoying all the prosperity I brought to your city!

Truth
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Truth

Myself and everyone else I know in Ballard are able to (1) get reservations at restaurants and (2) get a seat on the bus to work, a vast majority of days (sometimes a bus gets broken down, bad traffic, etc).

Are you sure you aren’t conflating your experiences into a sensationalist comment? Are you sure that you live in Ballard? Might want to double check.

Jeff Bezos
Guest
Jeff Bezos

Buses packed with doggie parents who work for me are a sign of prosperity.
Thanks for your support for my enterprise, Truth. These naysayers have no idea how much the Seattle Experience has improved since I’ve driven up housing costs, clogged roads and filled up buses. Be sure to sign up for Amazon Prime and use discount code “Liberal Suckers” which will offer you a 40% discount on all your pet toy purchases. Thanks again!

Truth
Guest
Truth

Come now Harley, shouldn’t you be out being an “advocate for the homeless”, like your delusional website and failed campaign claim you to be?

Jeff Bezos
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Jeff Bezos

Truth, did you see that video of that awful, horrendous assault on that antifascist activist in Portland by that evil right winger? The thug knocked him right out with a single punch even though the brave antifascist was swinging at “baton of tolerance” at him aggressively. I donated $20,000 to Antifa right on the spot so they could get boxing lessons and learn how to deal with combat stress without urinating themselves in front of their “partners”. Keep up the good work!

Truth
Guest
Truth

Whatchu talkin’ bout Harley?

darrel e.
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darrel e.

What a strange comment–Ballard needs much more housing, especially in the walkable core. If you haven’t noticed, there’s a huge housing shortage all over the region, which is why rents keep going up.

Margaret Bartley
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Margaret Bartley

Rents keep going up because affordable housing is being torn down and replaced by expensive housing. Did you note in the articles that the new owners are going to “retenent” the building, providing “potential rental upside”.

This is an example of why rents are going up.

If city planners were really concerned about rising rents, they would zone the areas in Rainer Valley, with mile after mile of decrepit buildings and put the new construction there, making the city better, instead of replacing perfectly good housing with unaffordable housing.

Pork Pie
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Pork Pie

But if you build it all there, then you run out people of color, destroying those communities. It’s hard to know which way to go when each way seems to pose so many issues.

Valuable Community Member
Guest
Valuable Community Member

Right on! I’m excited about new doorways and storefronts I can sleep inside and harass people from. Remember, your taxes feed me so I can pursue my drug addiction! Be sure to resist Trump!

Pharaoh
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Pharaoh

7000 a month is not low are you kidding me shitbags

Lampchop
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Lampchop

It’s actually quite low.

OliveOil
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OliveOil

People are paying more in rent then they are in mortgage payments from the early 2000s

Dog Dad
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Dog Dad

Vinyl store? Who cares?!
Ballard needs more overpriced gastropoops with tiny plates. CULTURE

Sally Simple
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Sally Simple

Thought Ballard’s soul was already sold. I see the greed just goes on and on with the rich developers. The city may as well have burnt down Ballard for all there is left of it. They won’t be happy til every inch of this area is covered with huge apartments and such a density that keeps you from getting in or out of the area. Same streets that served the area in 1950 now full of potholes and unmoving cars. The city conned us with a park and a library only to give us the monstrosity that we have today. And it will only get worse.

kool
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kool

It could just as easily be said that the greed is with you. You want Ballard to remain static so you can hoard your current neighborhood and not give newcomers anywhere to live. They need apartments, and “greedy” developers are the people that build housing. Greed is not just about money.

Ballard Rocks Hard
Guest
Ballard Rocks Hard

But where will I buy exorbitantly overpriced vinyl records now?

Dan
Guest
Dan

Ha ha ha! I too had that thought. I like that record store being there and like hearing it’s music when I wait for my bus transfer, but as a vinyl collector, I would never pay their prices, they are way way way overpriced.

doogie
Guest
doogie

Whenever I walk by Bop Street I always slow down and enjoy their music too- blues, pop, ’70’s funk…it’s all enjoyable and a fine counterpoint to the cardboard sign crazies and the leftie soyboys with their clipboards begging for progressive causes (not that there’s anything wrong with all that!).

Rick
Guest
Rick

Speaking as a seller, they are VERY selective and check condition carefully. They have rejected LPs that I thought were in good shape. They also pay a lot more than other used vinyl shops. So you’re paying a premium price but you’re getting a premium product. It’s more than I’d pay but a good friend shops there happily.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Just when you thought we have a little if Old Ballard left…time to move to Real America and I mean out of this no good Yankee State ! Frigging W.A.S.P. ” White Anglo Saxon Progressives ” ! Got to many in Ballard now with the Bums coming here to Damn it !

Dog Dad
Guest
Dog Dad

“Progressive” is code for bums, soyboys and cat moms.

Oh and foreign investors who think liberals are a huge joke.

Ballard Yokel
Guest
Ballard Yokel

Gender fluid soy boys.

Eirik
Guest
Eirik

So what’s with the part that they are paying sub market rate they should be allowed to stay in business but oh no Seattle selling everything why don’t you just sell your families as well!

BAM
Guest
BAM

Get ready to bend over and grab your ankles tenants when your lease is up for renewal.

Barbara Dannenbring
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Barbara Dannenbring

Ballard is all one big, ugly apt building

C McElroy
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C McElroy

Are they aware that rents have dropped about 20% recently? Already too many apartments.

Jeff Gordon
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Jeff Gordon

Probably not, often big purchases like this are impulse buys with very little market research performed.

BAM
Guest
BAM

Where?

WhoDat
Guest
WhoDat

Where have rents dropped 20%? Rents dropped 4.6% downtown and increased City wide 11.4%. Even tax programs (government managed affordable housing) increased the rents past 9%.

Investors do a ton of research and have to to submit the plans for even applying to build a multi-family structure.

Apartments are going anywhere soon, and the prices will rise until the variance had reconciled. As long as the larger companies move in, homes will be built for them.

Michael Shaffer
Guest
Michael Shaffer

Disappearing Ballard. Sad. Save Seattle, send a developer to …….

Ballard Yokel
Guest
Ballard Yokel

Phinney Ridge! They’re like foreigners up there

Nick
Guest
Nick

Well I’m excited. A lot of Market St is lined with rundown dated businesses. Time for some modernity. I wish we could get more new stuff west of 24th…

Jeff Bezos
Guest
Jeff Bezos

You’re right, Nick!
We need an Amazon Go right on Market Street and some more yoga studios. These rundown mom and pop operations are obsolete and outdated, just like the nuclear family, masculinity, and any book written before 1985. Be sure to sign up for Amazon Prime and use discount code “Useful Idiots” for 40% off your next purchase of androgynous clothing.
We love your dog babies, Seattle!

Bye Bye Ballard Yokels
Guest
Bye Bye Ballard Yokels

Can’t wait til the last of Ballard’s hillbillies give up, sell and go buy that dream ranch house in far South King County. Then you can pi$$ and moan about people from Pierce County ‘ruinin’ everything’

Plastic Needles Not Straws
Guest
Plastic Needles Not Straws

Enjoy your unpoliced city filled with junkies. 41 officers just quit because of retards in City Council and the hipster trash that hates cops and any semblance of civility.

Scott D.
Guest
Scott D.

Putting the word “dense” into density. Although, it is cool to live on top of each other, all voting/thinking the same exact things, while claiming individuality. Don’t worry though, they’ll squeeze in some new hip joint, dog day care or yoga studio and besides, who cares what Ballard used to be, right? After all, I really don’t mind paying $6.00 for that latte. Thank you city council and mayor(s) for combining Berkley and Manhattan. We got wealthy out of town hipsters out of the deal. AKA: Nuevo riche. They’re all good democrats, so don’t worry.

Bop Street Records
Guest
Bop Street Records

Thanks for the concern and supportive commentary. Please know that Bop Street Records is not affected by the Kress Building’s sale. Our lease is ironclad through June, 2025. The new owners of the building have acquired the legal responsibility to honor that contract.

Windbag
Guest
Windbag

That is great to hear. Bop Street is a good Ballard citizen. Also, does anybody know what a Kress Store is? Look it up! It probably has historical significance in the commercial development of Ballard. Where is Ballard Historical Society in this?

Guest
Guest
Guest

That is excellent news! Ballard wouldn’t be the same without you.

BUster
Guest
BUster

So long Ballard architectural character

ballardite
Guest
ballardite

There goes more of what makes our neighborhoods great. All the color and vibrancy is going to be heading to less expensive neighborhoods.

Old fart who has CRS. Can’t remember stuff
Guest
Old fart who has CRS. Can’t remember stuff

Wasn’t there also a Woolworth store in Ballard thru the late fifties? I seem to remember it was rather close to the Kress store. Just wondering.

Margaret Bartley
Guest
Margaret Bartley

“potential rental upside” through “renovation and re-tenanting.”

That means the current businesses may face a large increase in rent, and who knows which ones will be able to stay? Not all of them have leases that go on for many years.

There are more businesses than just the two retail stores you mentioned.
NW Crystals is in the back of the building.
In the lower level is Ghost Light Theatre, a fringe theatre that has been in Ballard for several years.
Also in the lower level are:
Bob Gilman Acting Studio,
The Music Store, which sells sheet music,
The Seattle Metaphysical Library, which I am affiliated with. It’s been in Seattle for over 50 years, filled with unusual reading material you won’t find anywhere else.
Fremont Drum Studio
Several music studios.