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Originally published November 16, 2012 at 8:43 PM | Page modified November 16, 2012 at 9:16 PM

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Hostess workers here lose jobs, but bakery worth big bucks

The company's bankruptcy filing will put a valuable South Lake Union property on the market and turn Hostess foods into collectibles as customers stock up while they last.

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Hundreds of Hostess Brands employees in Washington lost their jobs this year as the company fought with unions. Now the company says it will liquidate its assets nationwide.

The company announced it would close its Seattle bakery on Monday, but at least 250 employees have lost their jobs statewide between May and when the company filed a motion for bankruptcy Friday.

In May, Hostess said 111 employees in Seattle, 17 in Kent, and 56 in Pierce County were subject to layoffs. The company also had employees in Everett, Bellingham, Bremerton, Tumwater, Longview, Moses Lake, Yakima and Spokane.

The site of the Seattle bakery that Hostess Brands closed Monday likely won't be abandoned for long. The 1-acre South Lake Union property, located at Dexter Avenue North and Republican Street, is valued at $7.8 million by a county assessor, but it could be worth even more.

Across the street is a slightly smaller property Vulcan Real Estate offered to the city this week in exchange for the right to construct taller buildings near South Lake Union — a property reportedly worth $10 million to $12 million.

Zoning limits the building height on the Hostess property to 85 feet, but a proposed South Lake Union rezone would increase that to 160 feet for commercial buildings and 240 feet for residential towers.

Meanwhile, consumers Friday loaded up shopping carts with Twinkies, Donettes and cupcakes. At a Hostess outlet store in South Everett, Miles Graydon, 29, of Marysville told The (Everett) Herald he planned to sell Hostess goods on the Internet to make extra money for Christmas.

"You've now become too valuable to eat," he told a stack of Twinkie boxes.

Seattle Times archives were used

in this report.

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