Intrigued by the worn sign and matching building, I was curious about Pelican Press. The Pelican Press is a free newspaper published every Thursday, in Sarasota, Florida. Here in Ballard in Seattle, the Pelican Press, not to be confused with Seal Press, are custom printers, offering various custom printing services from business cards to embroidered sportswear. Not too exciting, but in their defense that is what it says on the other signs on the building.
Like a lot of local businesses back in the day, Pelican Press has an advertisement in the 1988 Passport to Ballard. At that point, they’d been “rolling out quality printing for 16 years” and described themselves as follows:
On the ground floor of the old Junction Building Pelican Press first tried its wings after hatching from its basement printery beginnings in 1972. By 1984 Pelican had outgrown its space so (the) owners … purchased R. Jonsson’s net factory, the same building that was a live chicken butcher’s for many years.
And the same building they currently occupy. The last part of the description made me think for a moment: a live chicken butchers. It made me think of the butchers department in the supermarket I worked in as a kid. And while there was a lot of blood, entrails, and what have you, I don’t think anything was actually killed on the premises. I suppose at the live chicken butcher they wring or “wrang” necks to order. Something to think about next time you pass by the Pelican Press building.
The Pelican Press building, as the For Sale sign in the corner of the above picture suggests, is currently For Sale. Here’s what one listing has to say:
Pelican Press Terrific retail visibility, high ceilings in a portion of the building, three upstairs offices, loading door as well as man (sic) door plus a three bedroom apartment.
All for the price of a moderate-sized, partially renovated craftsman house in Sunset Hill. Here’s another, more detailed listing for the Pelican Press building, which points out that:
The lot is zoned C1 65′, which is a City of Seattle zoning designation allowing for a wide variety of commercial uses, including multi-family residential.
Did you catch that? Multi-family residential. Seems like a bargain when you consider the $12.5 million Equity Residential of Chicago paid last October for the vacant Denny’s site, a few blocks north. It will be interesting to see what happens next. Maybe if the sale across the street goes through, the new owners will give the Pelican Press folks some of the Henry panels to improve its prospects for a sale.