Wednesday, May 14, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Change Planned At Skinner Building

Seattle Times Business Reporter

Eddie Bauer plans to renovate its Seattle flagship store, and the 5th Avenue Theatre has proposed adding an old-style vertical sign to its marquee in two moves that would alter the exterior of the Skinner Building in downtown Seattle.

Eddie Bauer spokeswoman Cheryl Engstrom said the retailer wants

to make room for new dress-sportswear merchandise and create a stronger street presence at its Fifth Avenue and Union Street location in the Skinner Building.

She said Eddie Bauer wants to enhance the facade of the store to make it more visible. Most of the construction would not take place until next year.

Eddie Bauer moved to its present location in 1970. The company remodeled in 1992, when it added a Home Store to its Eddie Bauer Sportswear collection. It renovated in 1994, Engstrom said, but the downtown store still lacks A/K/A Eddie Bauer casual businesswear outlets.

Meanwhile, the operators of the 5th Avenue Theatre have applied for a city permit to put up a vertical marquee similar to the sign that marked the theater from 1926 to 1980, when the theater was renovated, said theater technical director Cathy Johnstone. The proposed sign would spell out "5th Avenue" in vertical letters, with the word "Theatre" at the bottom in horizontal letters, Johnstone said. Small lights would illuminate the sign.

The existing marquee would be used to promote new shows.

The city has a height limit of 65 feet for downtown signs. The

theater has applied for a variance because its proposed sign would rise 79 feet from street level.

The Skinner Building is run by Unico Properties. Mark Barbieri, a Unico leasing manager who is working with Eddie Bauer and the 5th Avenue Theatre, said the proposed changes would improve the area.

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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