Change Coming Soon for Former Independence Press Building?

As the Spring Arts section of the West Poplar neighborhood (let's just agree that this will be the shorthand name for this area from now on) has blossomed with development in recent years, the former Independence Press building at 11th & Green has remained vacant and blighted. About a year ago, we shared the news that this party pooper of a building was going to auction, which we hoped would mean that development would quickly follow. And while the "quickly" part is up for debate, it seems that the slow gears of change could finally be turning for this property.

Looking up 11th St., we see a construction fence

Fence at Green Street too

Recently, a reader noticed that a construction fence had gone up around the building. With that knowledge, we were inspired to check public record, and we discovered that Independence Press LLC purchased the property earlier this year for $3M. We'd wager that these were the high bidders at the aforementioned auction. And considering the fact that the property was previously being marketed for over $7M, we'd say they got some pretty solid value. With remediation and interior demolition already done, that perspective is only reinforced.

Several years ago, former owners went through the permitting process to get approvals to convert the 156K sqft building into 92 apartments with 92 parking spots. According to the L&I Map, the new owners have filed for extensions to the permits originally from 2010 for interior and exterior alteration and an addition. This, combined with the fence, suggests to us that work could get moving sometime soon.

It's got such great bones

For neighbors tired of a white elephant and for fans of warehouse conversions into apartments, this is clearly phenomenal news. Not to dampen the excitement, but the property has had a few false starts in recent years so we'll temper our excitement until construction actually gets underway. But still, it's been about half a decade since the building's outlook has been this good. Cross your fingers, folks.