At the end of 2008, you might recall that the Seattle Art Museum was one of the first large institutions to have the rug pulled out from under it because of the economic collapse. With Washington Mutual now dead, the museum’s largest renter in its still-new building left them roughly $60 million in the lurch. Fortunately, the museum was saved in their time of need by retailer Nordstrom, who stepped in to take on a lease for a large chunk of that vacant space. However, even with this temporary saving grace, this past year still remained tough for the museum, with news of layoffs, temporary closures, pay reductions and asking to borrow money from its own endowment to help pay bills. Now, once again, Nordstrom has come in to lend a hand (though we’re sure the combination of the sales, tax breaks and good press are certainly a motivating factor as well). The company has signed a lease for the remainder of the space once occupied by the now-defunct bank. The Seattle Times reports that the deal was actually made back in November, but has only been made public now. Here are some details:
Nordstrom agreed in November to lease the remaining two floors, about 58,000 square feet. That will reduce the amount that must be borrowed from the endowment fund to about $7 million, museum spokeswoman Cara Egan said.
…In addition to the SAM space, [Seattle developer Matt Griffin] said, Nordstrom also agreed in November to lease an additional 18,000 square feet in the former WaMu Center, where it had previously leased about 83,000 square feet a year ago.