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SEATTLE-Nordstrom Inc. says it will unload its minority interest in the 1700 Seventh Ave. building but retain a 20-year lease and occupy 80 percent of the building.

Terms of the sale to Clise Properties have not been disclosed, but the local retailer says it wants to focus on its core business rather than real estate. While the company owns real estate, such as many of its stores and distribution centers, it has decided at this time not to focus on real estate opportunities not directly related to retail space.

“We feel privileged for the unique partnership we have with Clise Properties. Not only have we been able to address our office space needs, but we have been able to partner with a company that shares our longstanding commitment to creating a healthy and vibrant Downtown community,” Blake Nordstrom, Nordstrom president said in announcing the news. “In our 100th year of doing business we’re focused on taking care of our customers. In the end, this decision made good sense for us and is favorable to our stakeholders.”

Nordstrom continues to house its corporate headquarters above its flagship store located at Sixth and Pine. Nordstrom employees from several different Nordstrom corporate divisions currently occupy the newly opened 1700 Seventh Avenue office tower. Nordstrom currently also leases corporate office space in six other downtown locations, including Museum Plaza, the Kress Building, the Broadacres Building, One Union Square, the Metropolitan Tower and the Securities Building. It owns the corporate headquarters located at Sixth and Pine. The move to 1700 Seventh Avenue will be completed by January 2002, at which time the company will have vacated the Museum Plaza and Broadacres buildings.

“We enjoyed partnering with Nordstrom and are pleased that we can still provide the company with the necessary office space it needs to grow in the coming years,” says Al Clise, president, Clise Properties. “We’re also pleased that our partnership with Nordstrom to develop 1700Seventh Avenue brought more affordable housing to downtown.”

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