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JP Morgan Chase Drops Seattle Art Museum Lease, Leaves Museum $60 Million Short

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As predicted back in October, the Seattle Art Museum had good reason to be concerned about the financial crisis, particularly after Washington Mutual, who was renting several floors of the museum’s new Brad Cloepfil-designed building, went belly up. It’s now being reported that the former bank’s new owners, JP Morgan Chase, have decided that it won’t be needing the more than 200,000 square feet anymore and will be pulling out of the lease. While they’re giving the museum $10 million in grant money, that still leaves the museum in the lurch by almost $60 million for the amount they still owe on the new building. Now they’re hoping, we’d think rather desperately, to find someone new to move in to the space. Here’s a bit:

WaMu will end its lease in March, at the same time it’s pulling out of leases at several other downtown office buildings.

Cara Egan, a spokeswoman for SAM, said the space has not been listed. She is hopeful that the museum will find a new tenant despite a weakened commercial leasing market.

“The space is in a great location and it’s priced competitively,” said Egan.

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