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Originally published June 15, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 15, 2007 at 8:01 PM

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Clise Properties puts Denny Triangle land up for sale

Clise Properties, the real-estate arm of one of Seattle's most prominent families, has put nearly 13 acres in downtown's Denny Triangle...

Seattle Times business reporter

Clise Properties, the real-estate arm of one of Seattle's most prominent families, has put nearly 13 acres in downtown's Denny Triangle area up for sale.

Billed as the chance to change Seattle's skyline, the sale could set off a bidding frenzy with deep-pocketed investors vying to own a large chunk of prime real estate.

The land has the capacity for 13 million square feet of development over seven full blocks and six partial blocks. It stretches north of downtown's retail district to Denny Way and Interstate 5. Parking lots and low-rise buildings occupy the bulk of the land now.

"It's a very unique assemblage of real estate that probably doesn't exist anywhere else in the country," said Alfred Clise, chief executive of Clise properties. "We have been chewing on this for over a year now, and we think the time is right."

The Clise family began buying the land after a fire in 1889 destroyed much of downtown. The decision by Clise, 57, to sell the land comes a year after the city increased height limits in the Denny Triangle to encourage more commercial and residential development.

It also comes at a time when solid job growth is driving up demand for new office space, prompting real-estate investors nationwide to pick Seattle as the most attractive place to buy and own commercial property.

Clise said the family will hold on to downtown properties it already has developed, including Nordstrom's headquarters at 1700 Seventh Ave.

Who might be interested in buying a large swath of the Denny Triangle?

"I would categorize it as just about everybody," said Gary Carpenter, executive vice president at Bentall Capital, a real-estate adviser based in Vancouver, B.C. "That's where the city is growing. It's where all the activity is."

Clise said he envisions a mix of developments, including condominiums, office buildings and hotels. "We're open to everything, from A to Z," he said, adding that he also does not have a certain price in mind. He said he hopes to complete the sale by year's end.

"It's going to take time to absorb 13 acres of building development," said Dan Ivanoff, managing investment partner at Schnitzer Northwest, which has an office building under construction and another planned in the Denny Triangle.

"But if people buy it right, they'll do really well," he said. "If they pay too much, and it takes them too long to develop, it might not work out very well."

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com

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