February 28, 2020
Once home to a Safeway, the 2.3-acre property at 4208 Rainier Ave. S. has been on the market for at least three years. Now prospective buyer Lake Union Partners has filed a redevelopment plan that also involves Mt. Baker Housing.
With SkB Architects, the proposal is for two five-story apartment buildings with ground-floor retail and underground parking.
Lake Union Partners’ larger building, apparently on the south side of the property (on the corner of South Genesee Street), would have 228 units, 98 underground parking stalls and about 33,000 square feet of retail.
Mt. Baker Housing’s smaller north building would have 153 affordable units and 87 underground parking stalls.
The two prospective partners indicate they have the property under contract. It’s been owned by the Kane family for decades. Since Safeway relocated to a new store nearby in the 1990s, the now-vacant Rainier Mall has variously been home to Jumbo Seafood Restaurant and a furniture store.
The family’s brokers are Baylor Gordon of AMG Real Estate and Tiffini Connell of West Coast Commercial Realty. Intracorp previously floated a plan for the site about two years ago, under the old zoning, but didn’t proceed. It’s now zoned up to 55 feet.
Lake Union Partners and Mt. Baker Housing are currently partnering on Grand Street Commons, about one mile north near the future Judkins Park Station, where light-rail service will begin in 2023. That three-building complex will have around 769 units and retail. HAL Real Estate is also a partner.
Rainier Mall is about a 12-minute walk southwest to Columbia City Station.