Seattle Art Museum Saved by Nordstrom Coming in as New Tenant


Earlier this year, as banks were failing left and right and damaging museums in the process, the Seattle Art Museum was hurt particularly hard when Washington Mutual, a tenant in their expensive new building, died a quick, painful death. JP Morgan, who took over WaMu’s one or two remaining assets, decided not to stay in the building, leaving the museum desperate to find new renters. Back in April, they were fortunate to find Russell Investments, who wound up moving into a portion of the vacant space, but not enough to cover the entire loss. But now it appears that all will be nearly whole again, as the retailer Nordstrom is preparing to sign a lease to take over a huge section of the building:

The Nordstrom lease will make up about 75 percent of the money the museum lost when Washington Mutual moved out after the bank collapsed. WaMu had been paying the museum $5.8 million a year.

Looks like the roller coaster of 2009 for the Seattle Art Museum, which started in early January and is just (potentially) ending now, wound up turning out okay. They were certainly one of the lucky ones in all of this awfulness this year. Elsewhere, places like the Fresno Metropolitan Museum are finding that things didn’t fare as well for them.