Facebook Moves Into New South Lake Union Offices

On Monday, May 16th, Facebook moved into their new South Lake Union offices at 1101 Dexter Ave. N. The space is a custom-built project designed by Frank Gehry, the notable architect of Seattle’s EMP Museum and other Facebook campuses. It’s a 10-story, 335,000 square foot space that will be the local headquarters for as many as 2,000 Facebook staff, but currently holds the 1,000-plus workforce that’s in the region now.

The new offices were in construction for 10 months, with completion over the past seven. In addition to the interior office space, there is a four-story atrium, full-service kitchen and cafe, coffee bar, gym, and parking for bikes. Quirky meeting spaces, alternative work areas, and snack bars provide the technology-industry standard amenities. There are also eight outdoor decks that are fully landscaped with paths, outdoor seating, and structures like a pergola, offering semi-covered outdoor space.

“We’ve carefully tried to represent the philosophy of Mark Zuckerberg in the spaces that we’ve created. We have worked hard to create a working environment that is helpful to the mission of Facebook; one that is open and flexible to quick change as is required in a business that’s moving as fast as they are moving. We want the company to be in continuous compatibility with its environment,” designer Frank Gehry said.

Before moving to the new South Lake Union offices on Monday, Facebook’s local workforce occupied several floors in the Metropolitan Park towers. “Seattle is really a key part of our long-term mission,” Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer, told the Seattle Times.

Featured photo source: Seattle.Curbed.com

Ground Broken This Week on 12-Story South Lake Union Office Project

Construction started when workers broke ground on a new South Lake Union office project on Tuesday, May 10th. The mixed-use office project is being built at 9th and Thomas by Sellen Construction, and is partially financed by Multi-Employer Property Trust according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. Olson Kundig, a local architecture firm, designed the building.

Once complete (estimated at the end of 2017), the 9th and Thomas building will have 12 stories and 165,000 square feet of space. The first floor will be a community space that is lined by commercial space for restaurants and/or shops. The floors above will be unique office spaces, some with outdoor and indoor terraces. The penthouse will be an apartment for the Redman family.

This project has a special importance to Sellen Construction’s current president, Scott Redman, since his grandfather John Sellen started the company at this very address 72 years ago. Sellen Construction is currently the largest private union construction company in the Pacific Northwest.

The 9th and Thomas project will have a unique benefit to the craftsmen and women who participate, with pension plans to include some of the building’s cash flow after completion. This is a legacy project for the Redmans, who own Sellen Construction. They “wanted the craftsmen and women who have been part of Sellen Construction’s success to benefit,” as reported by the Puget Sound Business Journal.

The cost of the 9th and Thomas South Lake Union office project has not yet been disclosed.

Featured photo source: BizJournals.com

New Lake Union Restaurants

As part of the latest development to our rapidly growing neighborhood, we are welcoming three new Lake Union restaurants!

First up, the owner of Matt’s in the Market, Dan Bugge, is getting ready to renovate waterfront space in South Lake Union for two new ventures at 1001 Fairview Avenue N, which has been home to I Love Sushi, A Terrible Beauty, and Citrus in the past couple of years.

Later this month, the first of these ventures is expected to open: 100-Pound Clam. It will be opening on the waterfront patio of the building, and feature a walkup window and patio-side oyster bar. In addition to clams, of course, there will be standard fried whitefish, oysters, and delicious seafood. The place gets its name from owner Dan Bugge’s family, which used to own a cannery in Sequim Bay. The diggers would come back with sacks 100-pounds full of clams. 100-Pound Clam will be open at 11 a.m. most days, and close before dinner.

Adjacent to the patio-side 100-Pound Clam, Bugge’s main event eatery in the space will be called White Swan Public House, which Bugge hopes to open by mid-June. It’s reported to be very much in the style of Bugge’s Pike Place Market establishment, Radiator Whiskey, but with a focus on seafood. White Swan’s brick oven will roast crab and whole rockfish, instead of a whole pig’s head as you’d find at Radiator Whiskey. The White Swan Public House will be open daily, with weekend brunch.

As a caveat, waterbound patrons of 100-Pound Clam and White Swan Public House will be able to enjoy dinghy delivery service!

A third restaurant has joined this batch of newbies to the neighborhood, with Ethan Stowell’s Ballard Pizza Company opening an additional location on the Amazon campus at 500 9th Avenue N. The place opened on April 11th, and serves the celebrated New York-style pizzas and slices from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m., Monday through Sunday, with Happy Hour from 4 – 8 p.m. daily.


Lake Union Events: Things to Do in May

Read below for all of the fun springtime Lake Union events coming up in May…

May 2-7: Dog Fest
12pm – 1pm | Downtown Dog Lounge
The 1st Annual Dog Fest is the premier event for the Downtown Dog Lounge, which will officially open mid-May. There will be special guest appearances from the Dog Food Dude, K9 Scooters Club, Trainer Steve Duno, and more, with special offers and prize giveaways.

May 7: Lung Force Walk
8am – 10am | Lake Union Park
Help raise awareness and funds to fight lung cancer and promote lung health at the Lung Force Walk on Saturday, May 7th. Register here.

May 8: Cascade Second Sunday Stroll
1pm – 4pm | South Lake Union Neighborhood
On the second Sunday of each month, businesses and residents of Cascade and SLU get out and about to appreciate the fun activities and features of the neighborhood in the Cascade Second Sunday Stroll. Visit participating businesses and venues that offer deals and discounts, special products and services, seasonal treats, art pop-ups, and more. This Sunday, May 8th, the Second Sunday Stroll coincides with Mother’s Day, so businesses will be offering even more specials and fun: Caffe Torino is doing chair massages – $15 for 15 minutes.

May 11: Orphan Barrel Series Whiskey Tasting
6:30pm – 7:30pm | Chandler’s Crabhouse
Enjoy a variety of whiskies from Orphan Barrel distillery, as well as a special whiskey craft cocktail at the Orphan Barrel Series Whiskey Tasting at Chandler’s Crabhouse in South Lake Union, on Wednesday, May 11th at 6:30pm. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served. The price for the tasting is $30/person, not including tax or tip.

May 14: Graduate Programs Open House
10am – 2pm | Northeastern University Seattle
Unlimited possibilities for graduate study are offered by Northeastern University’s Seattle campus, and the university is hosting an open house for professionals and students. The open house is on Saturday, May 14th, and offers a chance to learn more about Northeastern University’s 40-plus graduate programs through booths, interactive stations, panel discussions, and one-on-one meetings with faculty and admissions counselors.

May 14: Opening Day SLU Saturday Market
10am – 3pm | 217 9th Ave, Seattle
The SLU Saturday Market returns on Saturday, May 14th! In addition to the new name and new location, there will be new vendors, chef demos, live music, prepared food booths, and even a new craft brewery tasting room. This is your weekend brunch destination and a hotspot for locally sourced foods and ingredients.

May 18: Spring “Grower” Champagne Gala
6pm – 9pm | Daniel’s Broiler Lake Union
Springtime is ideal for sipping some bubbly! Daniel’s Broiler in South Lake Union is holding a Spring “Grower” Champagne Gala on May 18th to showcase some small production, estate-grown Champagne. The tasting, which costs $150/person, includes six wines from six different producers, paired with dishes from a special menu, by Chef Ayhan Barlas.

May 21: Art on the Fly
11am – 3pm | South Lake Union
Enjoy a day of live dance performances, interactive events, free dance classes for all ages, and more in Art on the Fly, a free festival celebrating dance and the urban canvas.

Featured photo source: Wikipedia Commons

Seattle Will Have a Brand New Skyline in Just 4 Years

Whether your daily commute takes you through South Lake Union, or you come through the neighborhood on a less regular basis, you’ve probably noticed the huge changes. With the Mercer Corridor project nearing completion, and all of the new towers going up in SLU and Downtown, the Seattle Skyline is going to look very different in just four years.

As depicted in a recent video showing a simulated flyover of the city, our skyline in 2020 will look radically different than it does today. The flyover showed 20 projects for 30- and 40-story towers that are either currently under construction or scheduled for breaking ground in the next year.

“We are going to witness one of the most explosive growth cycles in downtown Seattle history,” said Dean Jones, a local realtor. “Much like Manhattan, I think in downtown Seattle we are going to feel like we are living on an island.”

But the growth is not without controversy, as some argue that the growth is not sustainable and Seattle is falling behind on supply for the demand associated with this continued rapid growth. “(Washington) was a leader in growth management for 20 years,” said Peter Orser, director of the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate, “I’m fearful the growth curve is going to be greater than what we’ve been planning for.”