Sunday, February 14, 2010

We LOVE Nordstrom


Love
Photo & Text Copyright 2010 Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved, including reproduction or republishing.
What's in a name? Well, a lack of confusion perhaps. In 2006 Seattle's skyline was newly graced with a gleaming 42 story building that was a joint venture between the Seattle Art Museum and now defunct Washington Mutual Bank. Here is a shot of it. First dubbed WaMu Center, 16 stories of the office space on the building's south and west elevations was owned by SAM, and the taller tower portion faced by the north and east elevations was owned by WaMu. WaMu also leased several of SAM's stories for their own use, with an agreement that SAM could possibly expand museum space from its current 4 story occupation up to 12 stories as it grew over the next 20 years.

The Seattle banking giant WaMu had barely been ensconced in the new space for three years when it failed and JP Morgan Chase purchased WaMu's portion of the building. Thus, on June 1 of last year it was dubbed with name number two, Chase Center. JP Morgan Chase chose not to honor WaMu's lease agreement with SAM, leaving the museum sweating financial bullets. Just a short three months later Northwestern Mutual purchased Chase's portion of the building and will move its Tacoma subsidiary, Russel Investments, into part of the space. So, after christening number three (which they say is a charm) the official name is currently Russel Investments Center. Do you have that straight now? Keep alert. There's more. No, it's not another name change, but a familiar local name stepping in and in effect rescuing SAM after it was left in the lurch. Seattle's own Nordstrom intends to lease 182,000 square feet from SAM (about 3/4 of the space SAM leased to WaMu) and 83,000 square feet from Northwestern Mutual. Nordstrom, a hometown business, is in effect coming to the rescue of the Seattle Art Museum. This will be a tremendous financial relief to SAM to have most of it's office space leased. Nordstrom's corporate headquarters will remain atop it's flagship store, but the other members of its 3,500 administrative staff will eventually move from three other downtown buildings where they currently lease office space.

In 2007 WaMu Center started featuring special holiday graphics on it's west face, closing curtains to make patterns from window lights, like the Great Pumpkin on Halloween, a Valentine Heart, and even the 12 th man symbol for a Seahawks' big game. I shot this LOVE display in 2008, and send it out to those who are civic minded enough to move in a direction that may make these hard financial times better for folks in our city and workers all around the region. A little good will goes a long way, and if this lease deal goes through as planned, it will be a real win-win. I hope the window displays, which I looked for and did not see last year, might be taken on again by the new owner or tenants. It brought a lot of smiles to everyone and showed the geeky, goofy, fun loving hometown spirit of Seattle. Happy Valentines Day to you all, and Happy Year of the Tiger!

16 comments:

Maya said...

What a wonderful story (in the end). I have yet to see one of these signs (except in other's photographs), but it would be great if they continue doing them!

Louis la Vache said...

Indeed, we (heart) Nordstrom. This story is typical of the Nordstrom spirit.

Dsole said...

Awesome pic! love the red :)

Kat said...

Haha it's great, I love such things. And Happy Valentine's Day and New Year (well, Chinese, but still) to you... and everyone, too! ^^

Birdman said...

All you need is...

brattcat said...

"Love" this shot.

Kim said...

From "Love, Love Me, Do" to "Love Loves You To," Happy V-Day to all us lovers in a dangerous time ;^).
-Kim

raf said...

A wonderful and informative post, Kim. Thanks for the update and hooray for Nordstroms. Happy Valentine's to you as well!

Chuck Pefley said...

Wow, Kim, I had no idea all these changes had happened since the "dark of night" shotgun marriage of WAMU and JP. Thanks for all that research. I'm thrilled to hear the white knight Nordstrom is riding in to rescue Sam! Win-Win indeed!

Happy Valentine's Day! (Again -:))

magicpolaroid said...

wow luv here!!

Small City Scenes said...

I think I followed the story OK. Hooray for Russell Investments.

I miss Wamu--they were quire nice to me and chase isn't. I have moved stuff to BofA.

Lovely shot of the building. I hope the tradition continues. MB

Small City Scenes said...

I guess I meant Nordys. MB

Oh well you catch my drift. MB

Anonymous said...

hi! "it's" is a contraction for "it is." "its" is a possessive pronoun. it's easy to remember.

Kim said...

Thanks Anon, I always need a good copy editor.
-Kim

Nathalie said...

Its and it's must be the most common mistake made when writing in English, you see it everywhere. I've given up on trying to correct people, it just keeps coming back.

I love the LOVE letters on the facade of the WaMu centre - how clever!

Espresso said...

Great Idea!!!