FOLLOWUP: C & P Coffee proprietors cite ‘right of first refusal,’ continuing to muster offer

As first reported here on Thursday, a purchase offer is listed as “pending” by the owners of the property where C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) has been open for 15 years. That came just a week and a half after they listed the 5612 California SW site for sale, asking price $1.25 million. When we contacted C & P proprietors Cameron and Pete Moores about the “pending” status, they told us they still have hope of buying the property – and now they’ve explained why: In an update this afternoon on the GoFundMe crowdfunding page that has so far drawn more than $53,000 in donations, Cameron wrote:

Pete and I have the right of first refusal as part of our lease. That means that any offer the owner accepts, we have 15 days to respond with our own offer, which we intend to do. That is only possible with your generous support and the commitment of many of our neighbors to invest in this piece of history. We will be posting more information as we approach the deadline …

In a previous GoFundMe-page update, Cameron wrote that the offer accepted by the property owners is from West Seattle-headquartered development/financing firm Blueprint Capital, for $1.285 million. The property is zoned Lowrise 3-Residential/Commercial.

39 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: C & P Coffee proprietors cite 'right of first refusal,' continuing to muster offer"

  • Diane January 21, 2018 (5:01 pm)

    good to hear “right of first refusal as part of our lease”; ack, Blueprint, despicable; we all know what will happen to that property if these “dirt” seekers win (that’s literally what they call the land they seek to purchase); the lot will be filled with ginormous million $$$ lego-houses

    • diane de rooij January 21, 2018 (6:19 pm)

      WSB readers, neighbors, friends, this is so much bigger than the obvious obscenity of putting a hard-working married couple with twin boys losing their place of business, and maybe their actual business because the owner is selling at a price that would buy you 3 or 4 houses in West Seattle.

      Blueprint Capital & all the other wolves in sheep’s clothing is trying to capitalize on the recent news that there isn’t enough housing for the 1200 people per week who move to Seattle. That’s a classic red herring.

      I was doing an architectural survey on another town & there was this huge, shingle-style 3-story home with a mansard roof & a horse-hitching ring out front. It was empty, most likely because no renter could afford to heat it & buyers could see the rehabbing it needed. It was a historic home that had once housed the town’s mayor & family.

      Suddenly the zoning changed in that very neighborhood, like it did a couple years ago on California Avenue (someone will likely correct me on this. I don’t have the greatest memory.), and a matter of days later the house was mowed down, all that oak & old-growth fir, huge 20-foot banister connected ornate newel posts lay on the ground for heavy machinery to take to the dump, then burn on site in a painful, hideous pile.

      Next day, the sign went up, inviting developers to inquire. They did, immediately. Then the buyer erected a sign, offering subdivided parcels for condo opportunities. Within a week that sign disappeared & a few months later, the ugliest one-story group of condos made of the cheapest materials went up.

      Those were sold by the third developer. Each time someone bought that piece of dirt (thank you Diane, above), they did so just to resell it for a few-hundred-thousand dollars more.

      That ugly little group of condos eventually got very run down. Lawns were unmowed, yards untended, cars parked on the yard. Finally, the condos became public housing (I am on public housing, so don’t think I’m being a snob when I tell the story).

      In a matter of 10 years, the stately home of one of the town’s earliest mayors became a typically ugly public eyesore.

      The people who make themselves sound like good American capitalists are people who do their homework, targeting vulnerable sites, taking aim, filing for demo permits, but not one building permit. They tear down, then sell the dirt. The next person who buys it might think he/she can get more, so they sell it again–just dirt. This game of musical destruction of chairs feeds the greed of weak-souled owners who see dollar signs, not families, not community.

      Seattle’s best coffeehouse is not just a business. It’s the weak link in the chain called the 5600 block of California. If C&P goes, so does that ugly building next door where Potter Construction lives. Buildings on both sides of the street will be built as high as allowed so they can market these ugly corrugated steel boxes as “view condos.” They come in & take what others paid for years ago, believing that up & down the hills of West Seattle, everyone would have a view of the water & the Olympics & ferries going back & forth to our little islands. Developers are probably already figuring out how to get their sticky fingers on the apartment building on the corner of Juneau & California, where there was a fire a few months ago. The owner will probably be glad to get rid of it.

      But do you know that when that building caught on fire, destroying two apartments & leaving one woman homeless, Pete & Cam stepped up to the plate, taking donations from customers so they could help her camp at the Grove Motel while they helped muck out her apartment. The baristas at C&P donated all their tips to help with the effort.

      Halloween was coming up. Cam asked me if I would paint the front exterior of C&P coffee. She carved an elaborate, amazing pumpkin. And on Halloween night, little kids poured in to the party Cam & Pete gave in the back yard.

      They NEVER STOP GIVING. The greedy developers, many of whom are 3000 miles east of us, will NEVER STOP TAKING until they’ve gotten their filthy pieces of dirt & made a huge profit off of them. They are cutting the heart out of West Seattle, vandalizing beauty for the sake of money.

      Places like C&P Coffee, Easy Street Records & Cafe, The Admiral Theater and all the historic buildings we walk by every day are the REASON PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE HERE. It’s not the reason transients move here. They just read the polls & heard we are the hippest place in Seattle, one of the Top Ten in the United States. They’re gonna hit & run because if our community identity is gone, they’re gonna wonder what the fuss was all about.

      Now is the time for action. Apathy is for losers. Is there nothing you feel when you think of these neighborhood places are threatened or destroyed?

      Solid waste companies are always looking for sites for new dumps & transfer stations. When they target one, they list their criteria. It’s pretty insulting, the folkways they list, the way they describe us if we live there. Most insulting of all is that they seek communities where people are “culturally obedient.”  Culturally obedient. Scary words. Being culturally obedient is what urban developers seek, too, while they work under cover to launch their assaults before the brave activists can even believe what’s happening to them.

      Go to the Gofundme page for sure, but MUCH MORE IS NEEDED.  14 days to raise over a million dollars.

      WSB, delete this paragraph if inappropriate:

      Feel free to contact me on Skype at diane_seattle or 206/923-9281 if you are ready to act.

      diane de rooij

      • WSB January 21, 2018 (7:38 pm)

        Just a couple points – zoning did not change any time recently on California SW in general – in The Junction, for example, the stretch still largely occupied by one-or-two-story storefronts (except for the redeveloped sites that now hold the mixed-use Junction 47 and 4730 California buildings) has been zoned for 65-to-85-foot development going back many years. There *is* the pending HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning that will if passed (a vote is not expected before late summer) affect most multifamily-zoned parcels in the city, even those outside urban villages. And regarding developers reselling after purchasing sites, without building anything – from what I see in daily research involving permit and real-estate filings, I don’t think this particular firm is that type. – TR

      • Eddie January 22, 2018 (8:26 am)

        Cry me a river fairy tale.

      • My two cents ... January 22, 2018 (12:35 pm)

        What is exactly wrong with Blueprint? Should they only do business where lots are unoccupied? Only used by a nationwide chain. Blueprint (and others) are dealing with the property owner. Where is the vitriol for them? Not meant to defend the developers – but I believe your tone/outrage should be directed at other factors that contribute to the various ailments of society that you have listed out. 

        Also – in the case of Blueprint – they are a local, WS firm, a firm that pays taxes, creates jobs through their development, and even have staff that they employ. 

        From their website:

        “We believe that quality housing is fundamental to stronger families and communities. That’s we why we support Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission and its focus on providing transitional housing. Blueprint members, shareholders and employees recently donated more than $500,000 in land, labor and materials to create 14 units of transitional housing for at-risk women and children.” 

    • My two cents ... January 22, 2018 (12:40 pm)

      Why “ack”? What makes Blueprint is despicable how?

      If you buy a house, fix it and up and then sell it – does that make you “despicable”? What if you take your 2 bedroom house that is common in WS and expand it to make a 4 bedroom house.  It’s now “out of scale” with the other homes. Does that constitute “despicable”. What is you buy a house that was a rental and use it as your home. Is that evil since you are taking available rental housing off the market?

      Please stop assailing the developers – you may not like it, but they are a business. Outrage? Direct them at the root causes – zoning regulations, economic growth, increased population. These, among other are the drivers for these types of scenarios we are seeing. 

  • Westsider January 21, 2018 (6:04 pm)

    Don’t blame the buyer. The seller is looking to make dough, too. I don’t agree with squishing multiple units into a small parcel, either. However, there is enough blame to cover both parties. 

    • WS Guy January 21, 2018 (7:34 pm)

      There is no blame for either party.  The seller is exercising his/her right to sell the property.  The tenant intends to exercise his/her right of first refusal to match the price. Blueprint is just a typical profit-seeking company that could care less for the neighborhood. They are not to blame for doing what they do.

      If you want things like this not to happen, then the “blame” goes to city officials (ie Herbold) that set the zoning regulations that permit the ultradense, soulless development that has blighted West Seattle, and to the voters that put them in office. 

      • My two cents ... January 22, 2018 (12:42 pm)

        Here! Here! Zoning, land use regulations, economic growth, increased population are the things that should be “blamed”.  

        We aren’t in Mayberry RFD anymore! Sure do miss the good ‘ol fishing hole.

      • JRTALENT January 31, 2018 (12:30 pm)

        The tenant said in an interview that they could stay for 2 years after the building is sol. The new owner calls the shots & the lease becomes null & void after the sale.  Saw Prost up for sale on  Craigslist yesterday.

  • mamasuze January 21, 2018 (8:33 pm)

    I feel for C&P. . . . .this is a crappy thing to have happen to them. Unfortunately, it is happening all over the city. I think asking the public to help buy the place is pretty ballsy. Diane’s comment that the property owner is greedy, and that you could buy 3-4 houses in West Seattle for the $1.2 million asking price is not based in reality. I believe most people want to get the highest price they can for their property. . ..why should these people be any different?  Hopefully they can find another home for their coffee shop. 

     

  • Q January 21, 2018 (8:55 pm)

    How much is needed? Will $240k do the trick—meaning will they be able to swing the mortgage payment on a $1.045 million loan?  Or do they need more than that? What is the magic number.

  • chemist January 21, 2018 (9:30 pm)

    Blueprint, as in the naming scheme used by the developer behind local micro-apartments like the Veridian ?

    http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/30-apartment-no-off-street-parking-6917-california-sw-gets-land-use-approval/

    • WSB January 21, 2018 (9:40 pm)

      Viridian was developed by Blueprint co-founder Mark Knoll, as we chronicled along the way. And it was sold last year – we reported on the $5 million listing, but not on the final $5,030,000 sale.

  • Old Friend January 21, 2018 (9:47 pm)

    Dan Duffus is developer behind Blue print capital. Based on past deals you’ll find he has very little regard for community and could care less about any one but himself.  The city needs to see the importance of some retail components to zoning otherwise we’ll continue to see our favorite coffee shops /restaurants disappear one by one. 

  • Gatewood January 21, 2018 (10:04 pm)

    Diane, you need a major reality check.  Your rant is offensive & barely coherent. Step away from the computer & find investors for your cause rather than hurling invectives & insults. Time is of the essence.

  • AT January 21, 2018 (11:31 pm)

    3 or 4 houses?  Try 1-1/2, or 2 if you can find fixer-uppers!  (How much did that uninhabitable place in admiral go for?)

  • Seabruce January 22, 2018 (12:50 am)

    It’s a shame more small businesses don’t buy or rent-to-own the property where they run their business. Capital appreciation can be more profitable than the actual business. Does the business make enough money to pay the mortgage? If yes, why not do it before and why seek money? If no, then its not going to work, is it? Is there a business plan?

    Don’t really know how gofundme works. Is it a gift or an investment?

    Wish West Seattleites concerned with preservation would set up an investment fund (REIT?) to buy up properties like these before they’re demolished and gone forever.

    • Rational Capitalist January 22, 2018 (9:58 am)

      Many businesses prefer to rent because it gives them the flexibility to expand or relocate. Renting has risks, such as having to move when the landowner sells, but so does owning, which can restrict expansion and limit their market. There are pros and cons to both owning and rending, and it comes down to a judgement call based on what fits their business plan.

  • Roger January 22, 2018 (6:44 am)

    What is happening to the gofundme money if they don’t get to stay?

    • NSAlki January 22, 2018 (8:12 am)

      They presumably keep it. It seems like it is a donation.

      Everyone here should start a GoFundme to raise money for a down payment if needed as well. Come up with a story about how it helps the neighborhood, badmouth some developers, techies, transient people without roots moving to West Seattle with the purpose of destroying it and claim that property owners are greedy for wanting market rate for their property. Then watch the cash flow in.

    • Wes C. Addle January 22, 2018 (8:22 am)

      The money gets returned if the gofundme doesn’t hit its goal.

      • Jason January 22, 2018 (9:37 am)

        Not true.  There is no requirement to give back funds if a GoFundMe does not reach it’s goal.  Do your research.

        • Wes C. Addle January 23, 2018 (3:19 pm)

          Don’t need to.  You just did it for me.  I was thinking of another crowdfunding site.

    • Jethro Marx January 22, 2018 (10:37 am)

      Who is it, exactly, who cares? Are people who donated worried about it, or just random folks? If that was going to play into your decision to donate wouldn’t you have wanted to sort that out ahead of time? Seems like they’ll find an equivalent use for the money if they can’t buy the building.

       

  • Rational Capitalist January 22, 2018 (9:53 am)

    It seems there are always comments bashing developers for trying to make a profit, but that’s what all businesses do regardless of their size or industry. C&P is also a for-profit. Businesses relocate due to market pressures all the time, that’s in the nature of business. I do hope they find a suitable new location and continue to make a profit.

    • My two cents ... January 22, 2018 (12:46 pm)

      Well put.

      Didn’t hear any outrage from anyone when C&P opened up — and I assume by that it took a house off the market from someone to live in …. 

      Just saying …. if it’s not one thing, it’s another for some of these commentators (IMHO).

      • WSB January 22, 2018 (12:52 pm)

        That assumption is likely wrong. Archived newspaper-advertisement images brought up in a search for 5612 California SW show artist Sheila Lengle’s gallery there in the mid- to late-’90s, and a store called Crazy Daisy in the early 2000s (C&P opened in 2003), as well as realty-office status in 1927 (that also was brought up in an earlier C&P story’s comment thread). – TR

        • My two cents ... January 22, 2018 (2:23 pm)

          Thank you for the research! You always are able to get a follow-up done so quickly!

  • I. Ponder January 22, 2018 (11:08 am)

    I will lament the loss of the cultural venue. There are numerous wealthy people in West Seattle. Perhaps one or more of them will buy the building in order to preserve it as a cultural venue and then lease it to C&P at less than market rate. I’m guessing C&P wouldn’t ever sell enough lattes to pay that kind of mortgage plus operating expenses. They could continue to be the tenant of a generous benefactor landlord.

  • Brian Hughes January 22, 2018 (12:15 pm)

    I can’t say enough about how C&P enhances our neighborhood.  I’m hopeful and confident they will find additional investors to help make up the gap.  Raising $55,000+ is pretty amazing.

  • I. Ponder January 23, 2018 (2:31 pm)

    Wondering if there’s an online archive where I can view photos of that street from the good old days when it was a single family residential street. Prior to buildings like the hideous Ili Kai (sp?). Hard to believe California Ave was ever a lovely residential boulevard but I’m guessing it was judging by the few remaining old houses.

    • WSB January 23, 2018 (2:55 pm)

      If there is, I’ve never happened onto it.

      In some cases the King County Parcel Viewer includes old photos of properties, if you dig down a few pages, but generally not if the property has been redeveloped.

      You can also search the Seattle Muni Archives photo collection on a term such as California – but most of its pics are related to public works so that turns up only the occasional gem. Here’s an actual old house (where a not-so-new apt. building now sits):

      http://clerk.seattle.gov/~scripts/nph-brs.exe?s1=179834.NUM.&Sect6=HITOFF&Sect5=PHOT5&Sect4=AND&d=PHO2&l=1&p=1&u=/~public/phot1.htm&r=1&f=G

      I imagine the SWSHS has some photos but not an online archive.

      Maybe someone out there knows of something else!

  • MAGA January 23, 2018 (4:08 pm)

    People are really hitting the “member berries” hard.  Is the time of the beautiful Craftsman house what Trump means when he states “Make America Great Again”?    

  • diane de rooij January 25, 2018 (9:52 pm)

    If the owner of 5612 California SW was approached by a solid waste company that wanted to put a super-convenient transfer station there for the benefit of West Seattle residents <heavy sarcasm>, would she have had a second thought about it? If the people here who are jingoistically supportive of megacapitalism as long as money is made knew the use would be something like that, would they care? Is there no limit to greed? Why do people say, “Oh, that’s so sad. I guess I’ll have to find another coffee shop. That’s a sacrifice we make for growth.”? Is it only the minority that has the kind of values that move it to action, little Davids against bushwacking Goliaths, because they were taught it was the right thing to do? For those who believe investors & developers are contributing to the community, believe me, this is a dog-waving tale. If you want to see how it’s done, read the 1984 Cerrell report on siting solid waste facilities. https://www.ejnet.org/ej/cerrell.pdf

    diane de rooij

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