Amazon’s New Troy Building Opened Last Week in SLU

By Sarah Anne Lloyd

As Amazon expands their campus downtown—and looks to expand into other cities—they’re still gaining office space in South Lake Union. The latest project to house Amazon offices in the neighborhood, the Troy Building, officially opened last week.

 

Located between Boren and Fairview avenues and Harrison and Thomas streets, the complex includes two towers, one 12-story and the other 13-story, connected by a lower-rise building. The design by architecture firm Perkins+Will incorporates two historic buildings. The first is the project’s namesake, the 1927 Troy Laundry Building, a two-story Beaux Arts structure declared a Seattle landmark in 1996. The second, the Boren Investment Building, is a 1938 warehouse declared a landmark in 2011, just as plans solidified for the Troy Block.

The original buildings are clear from a distance, with the original rooflines and ornamentation preserved. Up close, the brickwork and original window style add a historic touch.

From the top: The façade of the Troy Laundry building between the north and south towers. The reception area of the south building. A flexible seating area in the north building. A meeting area in the north tower.

In addition to the 817,000 square feet that’s going to Amazon offices, the project includes five restaurants by Farestart, a nonprofit that provides job training to people struggling with homelessness, addiction, poverty, or a criminal record.

From the top: The interior of Rise Café by Farestart. Farestart’s Community Table.  The exterior of Maslow’s by Farestart.

The project was started by Seattle-based developer Touchstone, who was purchased by another local developer, Urban Renaissance Group, in 2014.

This massive uptick in office space comes soon after Amazon’s announcement that they’d be taking over all the office space in Seattle’s soon-to-be second-tallest skyscraper, the Rainier Tower. To the north, construction is still underway expanding Amazon’s massive campus surrounding the new Day One building—and the spheres.

Syndicated from Seattle Curbed.

Amazon Still Growing, to Lease 2nd Tallest Building in PNW

By Mike Rosenberg

Less than a month after opening up a hunt for a second headquarters, Amazon has agreed to expand in Seattle in a big way.

The company confirmed Tuesday it has signed a lease for the entire office portion of a planned downtown skyscraper called Rainier Square that will become the second-tallest building in the Pacific Northwest.

 

Even by Amazon’s standards, the expansion is substantial: Rainier Square will be among the company’s biggest office buildings when it opens in three years, with room for more than 3,500 additional employees. It’s one of the biggest leases in Seattle history.

Amazon will occupy about 722,000 square feet in the development, which is in the early stages of construction. No other company in the city has a space that large in a single building.

Amazon has been scooping up offices on a regular basis for years. It already takes up nearly 20 percent of all prime office space in Seattle, the most of any company in any major U.S. city.

But the latest lease comes amid question marks over the company’s plans for its hometown city.

Amazon said last month it would build a second headquarters somewhere in North America, which fueled speculation that the company might be slowing down or halting its growth here.

The company’s job postings in Seattle have been dropping, from about 9,000 in June to under 6,000 now. Amazon billed the second headquarters as being a “full equal” to its Seattle hub and has been signing leases to open up more large satellite offices in places like Manhattan, Silicon Valley and San Diego.

Previously, the e-commerce giant had planned to grow from its current footprint of 8.1 million square feet in Seattle to 12 million in the next five years — enough to surge from about 40,000 employees now to 60,000 later. But it hasn’t publicly talked about its local expansion plans since the HQ2 announcement.

“I’ve walked away from this with a belief that they are still growing in Seattle now, clearly, and I think they are going to continue to grow,” said Greg Johnson, president of Wright Runstad & Company, which is developing the Rainier Square project.

Even though Amazon is expanding elsewhere, “I don’t think that correlates exactly to a pullback or anything in Seattle,” he said.

Amazon declined to comment Tuesday beyond confirmation of the lease.

Brokerage Kidder Mathews reported Tuesday that Amazon is also “rumored to be looking at 300,000 square feet in another planned project” locally.

“I think this signifies Amazon’s long-term commitment to their hometown,” said Jake Bos, a Kidder Mathews vice president. He thinks Rainier Square could be the second-biggest lease in the city’s history, behind another Amazon lease.

Johnson said Rainier Square attracted “a lot of interest” by Seattle area-based companies, as well as outside firms that already have a satellite presence here. At least one other unnamed company wanted to take the entire office portion, he said.

The lease marks Amazon’s first move into the downtown core, after taking up about three dozen buildings in South Lake Union and the Denny Triangle. Rainier Square — at Fourth Avenue and Union Street — is about a half-mile south of any of Amazon’s existing offices.

Office brokers have noted that while smaller businesses have been priced out of South Lake Union because of the growing tech scene there, central downtown had been somewhat isolated from the Amazon effect. That could change with Amazon now expanding into the downtown core.

When Wright Runstad began planning Rainier Square three years ago, “the folks at Amazon really didn’t want to hear anything about it,” Johnson said. But then the company kept growing, and inching slightly farther south.

“They’re already so large and they’re still growing at a great pace,” Johnson said.

Rainier Square will stand out with its bootlike frame, featuring a wide base tapering to skinnier floors higher up. It will sit next to the existing Rainier Tower, known for its narrow, curved pedestal.

The $570 million project, approved in 2015, is being built on University of Washington property.

Demolition on the site has begun as crews knock down the existing Rainier Square shopping mall. Construction will continue through 2018 and 2019, and the office space is expected to open in summer 2020.

The 58-story tower, which will also include 200 luxury apartments, retail and an adjacent luxury hotel, will be the region’s second-tallest building when it opens, after 76-story Columbia Center.

Downtown Seattle is undergoing a record construction boom, with 74 major projects active as of July. Rainier Square is the biggest of those developments.

It’s the second time in the last several months that a developer has leased out a new Seattle skyscraper before it even opened, showing how strong demand has become for job space in the fast-growing city. In May, tech company F5 agreed to take all 516,000 square feet of office space in a new building at Fifth and Columbia that will be called F5 Tower.

Syndicated from The Seattle Times

Lake Union Events: Things to Do in October

Happy Fall! There are some exciting events with food, handcrafted goods, or Halloween fun happening in South Lake Union this month…

October 4 – 7: Moving Sale at Third & Wall Art Group
9am – 5pm | Third and Wall Art Group
This fall, the Third and Wall Art Group is moving locations, so they are clearing out their inventory in a 4-day moving sale October 4th through 7th. Original art, canvas prints and fine art posters will be up to 75% off. Get your holiday shopping started early!

October 5: First Free Thursday at MOHAI
10am – 8pm | Museum of History and Industry
On the first Thursday of the month, October 5th, the Museum of History and Industry offers free general admission for the museum’s permanent exhibits – all day long! The free admission includes: True Northwest: the Seattle Journey, and the Bezos Center for Innovation.

October 13 – 15: Cowabunga USA
6:30pm – 12am | South Lake Union
America’s largest festival of beef, Cowabunga, comes to South Lake Union October 13th through 15th, starting with a Burger Bash competition on Friday night, with chef demonstrations and workshops and tastings on Saturday between the Big Tent and Little Calf Tent. Saturday night, don’t miss Seared, the marquee event with the best beef bites and drink pairings plus big band tunes. Cowabunga ends Sunday with a delicious Brunch. Buy tickets here.

October 14: Seattle Makers Market
11am – 5pm | 400 Fairview Avenue
Visit the ground floor of the Market Hall at 400 Fairview on Saturday, October 14th for the monthly Seattle Makers Market series! This free event features handmade goods from crafters, artists, makers and artisans in the Seattle area.

October 14: Jello Underground Halloween Bash
8pm | Evolv Fitness of Seattle
Head to Evolv Underground for a zombie jello wrestling showcase and Halloween party on October 14th. Hosted by the ladies of Jello Underground, dozens of fighters will be wrestling for the championship! Followed by an after party with DJ Sailor Doom, the event includes a costume contest, door prizes, treats, and all kinds of fun. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Buy tickets here.

October 21: Fall Makers Mall
2pm – 5pm | 400 Fairview Avenue
Dozens of local merchants with art, handcrafted goods, jewelry, handmade wood products, apparel and more will offer their artisan goods in a special Fall Makers Mall on October 21st. This event is presented by the Seattle Makers Market.

October 27: Urban Craft Fall Market
10am | The Meeting Center
Get started on your holiday shopping at the annual Urban Craft Fall Market, coming up on October 27th. Over 75 makers will be selling their handmade goods, from art and jewelry to clothing and household items at this free event. Pre-registration is required.

October 28: Maker Day – Superhero Masks
11am – 2pm | MOHAI
Create your own superhero (-heroine) mask at MOHAI’s Maker Day in October. There will be designs for Iron Man, Zelda and Pikachu, and you can create your own design. The Maker Day event is included with museum admission and is free for MOHAI members.

New Seaplane Flights to Link Downtown Seattle to Vancouver via Lake Union

Travellers heading between Seattle and Vancouver could soon shorten their journey, with direct flights between the cities’ downtown cores planned to take off next year.

The service will be run by Vancouver’s Harbour Air and Washington State-based Kenmore Air will include four daily flights between Coal Harbour and Lake Union.

Kenmore Air already offers direct flights between the Seattle lake airport and Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

The proposed Vancouver-Seattle flight path has been nicknamed the “nerd bird” because it links the growing high-tech sectors of both cities. If approved, the new route could begin as early as spring 2018.

In an interview at the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference in Seattle, Microsoft president Brad Smith said he’s hopeful for regular seaplane service between the cities within the next year.

“Frankly there was little reason not to have it in place this year,” he told The Canadian Press.

“I think it’s not unreasonable to say we need to move faster in getting that done.”

Smith said he also hopes a plan to build a high-speed train between the cities will come to fruition. Microsoft donated US$50,000 to a feasibility study commissioned by Washington State.

Vancouver’s Microsoft Canada office currently employs 800 workers, and Smith said he sees continuing opportunities for growth north of the border.

He added it “makes sense” for Vancouver to make an effort to woo Amazon.com, based in Seattle and currently looking for a location for its second headquarters.

Syndicated from bc.ctvnews.ca

Two Firms Propose Plans for Necessary Office Space in SLU

By Sydney Parker

Only 3.7% of office space and 1.3% of lab space is available for lease in South Lake Union, leaving much to be desired for any company hoping to settle in the hot neighborhood, JLL reports. To fill this void, Unico and BioMed Realty each put forth proposals for two big office properties in the South Lake Union market.

Seattle-based Unico Properties is planning a six- to eight-story building at 330 Yale Ave. N, according to public records, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports. The site is on the campus of Pemco’s former headquarters, which Unico bought for $51.75M at the end of 2014. Pemco relocated to its new headquarters on the west side of Lake Union in 2015.

The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce first reported on Unico’s plans for the new building. The report named Perkins+Will as designer.

San Diego-based BioMed Realty hopes to construct a two-tower, 14-story building on the full block at 700 Dexter Ave. N. The project will have nearly 350K SF of office, 26,250 SF of ground-floor retail and restaurant space, and 520 underground parking stalls once completed.

Syndicated from Bisnow.com