Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Former Baskin-Robbins Demolished Today

Demolition has started on the upcoming Aegis Living Assisted Living triangular site at Five Corners, which will include 135 units in a six story building (55-70 feet) with 53 parking stalls and 2500 square feet of retail on the first floor which would house a salon and cafe, according to the design proposal submitted in July 2016.

Today, former Baskin-Robbins building was demolished. The popular ice-cream store stood at that location for over four decades and was forced to close in September of 2015.

The manager of Baskin-Robbins who owns that franchise location told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff at the time that "unfortunately, we were unable to reach an agreement regarding a lease on the site with the Broderick Group, a real-estate brokerage company, so Baskin-Robbins is forced to close.

He said that the new landlord "wanted to raise the rent by more than 50% with all costs included."
He added: 
I countered and it was not accepted.  But the more important issue is that they couldn't not give us the long term lease, so we couldn't accept their terms knowing that the minimum wage will rise along with franchise fee and everything else. They were very firm on not renewing us long term. And we couldn't decide to run for just an extra year only to be told to vacate, not to mention at a much higher rent, etc.

The franchisee and his family had owned the store for 15 years and the store has been at that location for 40 years.

The franchisee manager told the Laurelhurst Blog staff an interesting story of how his family came from Korea, saving up money to buy the store:

It was around December 1996 time when Seattle was experiencing one of the worst snow storms in its history when my family arrived at Sea Tac airport from Korea. I was only in 9th grade, and my parents gave up everything they had in Korea, promising career, friends, family, etc to bring my family over to America for the better future of their next generation. 
So my second chapter in life started in America and Baskin Robbins was there from the beginning. Thanks to my parents' sacrifice, I ended up going to MIT and my brother is now an oral surgeon trained in Ivy league school in New York. I've been always grateful for what this country provided for my family and what my parents did for us.  
So it's really sad that 40 years of history is now going to be gone along with 15 years of my family history at the site. Unfortunately, with the rising utility costs, payroll costs, rents, and everything else, it has become increasing more difficult each year to maintain the store.  
But we still wanted to continue operating as we have invested a lot of money into the store in the past decade+. But without a commitment from the landlord for the site, we can only do so much.  
The Baskin Robbins Store has been on the premise for over 40 years, and it's the oldest store in Washington state, and it's been with my family for over 15 years now, and we are extremely saddened by this event, and I would like to express my apologies for being unable to continue to serve the community.  
The store was my family's American dream, and it provided so many memories. It's quite sad to let it go like this.  
So with all this being said, we are closing on September 27 as the last day. And we will vacate by the end of the month.

The property then sat vacant for several years and had a couple of random stores which neighbors report never had any business and closed suddenly then sat vacant again for about another year.

Aegis will be demolishing all the buildings inside the fenced area which include 3200 and 3232 NE 45th Street and 3215 NE 45th Place. The demolition of the five buildings will take about one month. Recently a salvage/recyclable truck has been at the site removing items in each buildings, removing items to be diverted from landfills with separate waste streams by the demolition contractor.

Demolition trucks and equipment will stage on private property and traffic disruptions should be minimal. No lane obstructions are anticipated during demolition, however there will be some disconnects of existing utilities and installation of new upgraded utility infrastructure for the project and area that will occur in the right of way and are being scheduled around heavy traffic times and in some cases overnight. Flaggers will be present during construction phases that require lane obstruction. This will be intermittent throughout construction.

Last month, the landmark Benton clock was removed that stood in front of Benton Jewelers since 1986 which then became Edward Jones (3615 NE 45th Street) next to the location where China Village used to be, was recently taken down and put into storage. The cost to move and store the clock is $30,000. The new location will be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Board. Options include placing it on the corner of Ne Street and NE 45th Place, or in the large new courtyard which will face NE 45th Street.

Another retirement home, Empress Senior Living, has broken ground across at 4020 NE 55th Street, where the Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital was currently located and since been demolished, across the street from Metropolitan Market. The proposal, Permit #3025827, includes 3 stories of approximately 74 units with a restaurant at street level and parking for approximately 30 vehicl
es above and below grade.

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