Category

Lake Union Real Estate

Category

By Harrison Jacobs

Amazon’s decision in 2007 to locate its headquarters in downtown Seattle has transformed the city in its image.

As the global e-commerce giant has grown from 5,000 employees in the city to more than 40,000, a flurry of development has followed.

The sea of parking lots, warehouses, motels, and car rental agencies that made up Seattle’s South Lake Union and Denny Triangle has become gleaming skyscrapers, luxury rental towers, tech offices, and restaurants.

Using Google Street View’s Time Machine feature, we collected before and after pictures to show just how radically the neighborhoods have been remade in a decade.

This is the corner of 6th Ave and Virginia Street in Denny Triangle in 2007. It is now the heart of Amazon’s urban campus.

This is the corner of 6th Ave and Virginia Street in Denny Triangle in 2007. It is now the heart of Amazon's urban campus.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

The building on the right is Amazon’s Doppler Tower. Doppler was the internal codename for the Amazon Echo.

The building on the right is Amazon's Doppler Tower. Doppler was the internal codename for the Amazon Echo.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Denny Triangle and South Lake Union were once full of empty parking lots, car rental agencies, motels, industrial buildings, and warehouses. This is 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street.

Denny Triangle and South Lake Union were once full of empty parking lots, car rental agencies, motels, industrial buildings, and warehouses. This is 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

This intersection continues to be remade. On the right is Amazon’s Day 1 Tower, the first floor of which is Amazon Go, the company’s cashier-less grocery store concept. On the left, construction is underway for another Amazon office tower.

This intersection continues to be remade. On the right is Amazon's Day 1 Tower, the first floor of which is Amazon Go, the company's cashier-less grocery store concept. On the left, construction is underway for another Amazon office tower.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Westlake Avenue is the main thoroughfare of South Lake Union. Development had already begun by 2007 in the area.

Westlake Avenue is the main thoroughfare of South Lake Union. Development had already begun by 2007 in the area.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

By last September, several new office and residential towers had been completed. Amazon isn’t the only company driving development. The Paul Allen-owned company Vulcan owns much of the area’s real estate and has spurred construction.

By last September, several new office and residential towers had been completed. Amazon isn't the only company driving development. The Paul Allen-owned company Vulcan owns much of the area's real estate and has spurred construction.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

The city of Seattle has long wanted to turn South Lake Union into a new business district. The $200 million mixed-use development housing Whole Foods was completed in 2006 by Vulcan.

The city of Seattle has long wanted to turn South Lake Union into a new business district. The $200 million mixed-use development housing Whole Foods was completed in 2006 by Vulcan.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Source: Vulcan Real Estate

As one of the first parts of South Lake Union to be developed, this particular intersection hasn’t changed much in the last decade.

As one of the first parts of South Lake Union to be developed, this particular intersection hasn't changed much in the last decade.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

There’s still tons of areas in the neighborhood that are currently being developed. Fairview Avenue on the eastern side of South Lake Union was untouched even in 2011.

There's still tons of areas in the neighborhood that are currently being developed. Fairview Avenue on the eastern side of South Lake Union was untouched even in 2011.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

But by last year, it has largely been developed. Swedish developer Skanska built the 13-story tower on the right. It combines 320,000 square-feet of office space with 17,000 square-feet of ground-level retail.

But by last year, it has largely been developed. Swedish developer Skanska built the 13-story tower on the right. It combines 320,000 square-feet of office space with 17,000 square-feet of ground-level retail.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Source: Curbed Seattle

Mercer Street has been nicknamed the “Mercer Mess” since development of South Lake Union began. It connects downtown Seattle to Interstate 5, the main route for commuters. Construction and an influx of new commuters has turned it into a traffic nightmare.

Mercer Street has been nicknamed the "Mercer Mess" since development of South Lake Union began. It connects downtown Seattle to Interstate 5, the main route for commuters. Construction and an influx of new commuters has turned it into a traffic nightmare.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Source: GeekWire

On the right is Amazon’s Nessie building. Vulcan is currently developing four new buildings for Google on Mercer.

On the right is Amazon's Nessie building. Vulcan is currently developing four new buildings for Google on Mercer.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Source: Vulcan Real Estate

This is Republican Street and 9th Ave in 2007. The intersection still has the area’s signature low-slung industrial buildings.

This is Republican Street and 9th Ave in 2007. The intersection still has the area's signature low-slung industrial buildings.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Now the street is flanked by Amazon’s Nessie and Brazil buildings. The shuttle on the right is one of Amazon’s buses to ferry employees to and from far-out suburbs. Unlike other companies, Amazon has kept the shuttles white and without signage.

Now the street is flanked by Amazon's Nessie and Brazil buildings. The shuttle on the right is one of Amazon's buses to ferry employees to and from far-out suburbs. Unlike other companies, Amazon has kept the shuttles white and without signage.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Development had just begun on corner of Thomas and Terry Street in 2007.

Development had just begun on corner of Thomas and Terry Street in 2007.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Amazon’s Arizona and Ruby office buildings now sit on the block. Ruby is home to a few restaurants, like Cactus and Brave Horse Tavern, on the ground floor.

Amazon's Arizona and Ruby office buildings now sit on the block. Ruby is home to a few restaurants, like Cactus and Brave Horse Tavern, on the ground floor.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Though Vulcan had already completed the Whole Foods on Westlake in 2007, the rest of the avenue looked more like this.

Though Vulcan had already completed the Whole Foods on Westlake in 2007, the rest of the avenue looked more like this.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Now the block has a Umqua Bank, a Homegrown sandwich shop, a Chipotle, and a few other businesses. Amazon occupies the upper floors of the building.

Now the block has a Umqua Bank, a Homegrown sandwich shop, a Chipotle, and a few other businesses. Amazon occupies the upper floors of the building.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

This is the same block, viewed from the other direction. You can see that some construction was underway on Westlake in 2007.

This is the same block, viewed from the other direction. You can see that some construction was underway on Westlake in 2007.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

In 2017, the neighborhood looks practically brand new. On the left are Amazon offices. The office of Sellen Construction, which has developed numerous projects in the area, is on the right.

In 2017, the neighborhood looks practically brand new. On the left are Amazon offices. The office of Sellen Construction, which has developed numerous projects in the area, is on the right.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Syndicated from BusinessInsider.com

By Svenja Gudell

Seattle has one of the strongest housing markets in the country, with home value and rent growth consistently topping nationwide rankings in recent years. A strong local labor market has been an important driver of this growth, with the area being home to some of the country’s most dynamic companies, including Amazon and Microsoft (and, ahem, Zillow). Companies based elsewhere, such as Facebook and Google, have been increasingly drawn to establish satellite offices in the region.

Shutterstock

South Lake Union

The neighborhood of South Lake Union – home to Amazon’s headquarters – has been the epicenter of this jobs boom. Over the past decade, the area has transformed from a low-rise, post-industrial district to a cluster of high rises and amenities catering to service sector workers (e.g., coffee shops, kale salads, and yoga studios).

South Lake Union and adjacent areas are home to the highest concentrations of people who work in South Lake Union, and they have seen the largest growth in numbers of residents who work in South Lake Union – an area where the employment landscape is dominated by Amazon.

As of 2015, three out of every 200 employed adults who live in South Lake Union also work in South Lake Union, the highest density of such employees across the Seattle metro. In parts of Belltown, Capitol Hill, Lower Queen Anne, Interbay, Fremont and Ballard, one to two out of every 200 employed adults works in South Lake Union.

Seattle metro census tracts with larger increases in the number of South Lake Union workers between 2011 and 2015 saw larger rent increases (on a per square foot basis) over the same period.

For the average census tract in the Seattle metro, the South Lake Union jobs boom has been associated with faster annual rent increases between 2011 and 2015 of around $0.01 per square foot (or about $5 per month on a typical 650 square foot 1-bedroom apartment). Rents per square foot increased by about $0.05 per year on average over the same period metro-wide. So for the average Seattle metro census tract, the South Lake Union jobs boom only explains a small portion of rising rents in recent years.

The relationship is stronger looking only at census tracts within the city of Seattle. For the average census tract inside the city of Seattle, the South Lake Union jobs boom has been associated with faster annual rent increases between 2011 and 2015 of around $0.07 per square foot (or about $44 per month on a typical 650 square foot 1-bedroom apartment). Rents per square foot increased by about $0.11 per year on average over the same period city wide.

Read more — and check out the charts — at Zillow Research.

Syndicated from Forbes.com

By Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Two dozen people zigzag through Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, footsteps crunching on pavement and gravel. A local blog called The Urbanist organized the tour about the history of this neighborhood — the location of Amazon’s first headquarters.

In a few years, the view around HQ1 has morphed from low-slung warehouses to tall, modern apartment buildings and cranes that poke out of construction sites around every bend.

“It looks like a millennial paradise,” said Seattle resident Anthony Bridgewater, who took the tour.

Cities across North America are sending their best pitches to Amazon to host the company’s second headquarters. Seattle is among the cities making a bid, but the city’s residents are split between those who are wringing their hands over the company’s possible expansion in a different location, and those who say “no thanks.”

Seattle’s recent changes are dizzying. Just two metrics: in 10 years, the population has increased over 20 percent and the median home price has increased around 50 percent to $730,000.

The region is home to a lot of Fortune 500 companies, all driving growth, though Amazon is Seattle’s largest employer.

Pam Carter has lived in Seattle for decades. She and her husband recently moved across town after selling to developers who put up a five-story apartment building.

“Our house no longer exists,” she said. The tour passes one high rise. Carter remembers when it went up. “You suddenly couldn’t see the Olympic Mountains. And I hated that,” Carter said. Sometimes she gets lost without landmarks­­­ in sight, she said.

Terry Franguiadakis moved to Seattle in the ’90s.

“We felt like it was an empty city,” he said. “There was a lot of parking lots. It was kind of desolate.” Now it gets more vibrant every year, he said, with good restaurants, people living in the city and milling around the streets. “I think it’s great,” Franguiadakis said.

But, the city wasn’t prepared for the boom, especially not in the housing market, said Ethan Phelps-Goodman with the organization Seattle Tech 4 Housing.

Amazon’s next host should get ready quickly, so low- and middle-income people don’t get priced out, he said.

“You’re going to need to build abundant housing to go along with all those jobs that are going to stream in, not just for the Amazon employees, but for the restaurant workers, and the baristas, and the security guards, and the many, many jobs that will be created by all the new wealth,” Phelps-Goodman said.

According to Amazon, the company’s presence is a boon to Seattle’s economy, and the company gives back to the local community through philanthropy and volunteering.

The company will announce the location of its second headquarters next year.

Syndicated from Marketplace.org

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

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

By Anca Gaguic

Modera South Lake Union, a 294-unit community located at 435 Dexter Ave. North near Seattle’s downtown, was awarded LEED Silver by the USGBC. The seven-story luxury apartment community is the first Mill Creek Residential property in Seattle to achieve the distinction.

The property was awarded the certification due to a series of green features such as:

  • the use of locally sourced materials
  • reduced construction waste
  • recycled content in materials
  • high-efficiency lighting and plumbing fixtures
  • enhanced waste management system
  • a healthy indoor environment, deemed healthy due to the use of low volatile Organic compounds (VOC) paints, coatings, sealants and adhesives, as well as a continuous, silent ventilation system and safe, formaldehyde-free wall insulation.

To achieve the LEED Silver status the community’s location was factored in too, as it has convenient access to public transit options, several community resources, eateries, job centers and nearby attractions that help limit commute times, thus cutting down on the community’s carbon footprint. In addition, from the early stages of construction, the community has been verified by an independent third-party affiliated with the USGBC.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The unit mix at Modera South Lake Union includes one- to three-bedroom floor plans ranging in size from 444 to 1,144 square feet. Common area amenities include controlled-access garage parking, self-serve package lockers, a pet spa, 24-hour fitness center, clubhouse, game room, rooftop deck, theater and coffee bar. Unit interiors feature air conditioning; wood plank-style flooring; nine-foot ceilings; stainless Energy Star appliances including gas ranges; quartz countertops; USB ports; large closets and full-size washers and dryers.

The community offers easy access to Highway 99 and Interstate 5, and is adjacent to public transit options including the South Lake Union Streetcar, several bus lines and connections to the light rail. Major employers in the area include Amazon, Microsoft, University of Washington Medicine, Gates Foundation and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Images courtesy of Mill Creek Residential. Syndicated from CPexecutive.com.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Developer of the lot in South Lake Union where Shilla Restaurant sits at 2300 8th Ave, will be developed as condominiums, at least that is the plan for now. The small triangular lot across from Denny Park is being developed by Bellevue-based North American Seattle Development LLC, which is affiliated with a company out of China.

The building will be 39 stories with 286 residential units. The plan today is to build condos but the developer is keeping their options open to see how the market is looking closer to the time when they will begin construction on the project, which is currently unknown and dependent on when the city approves their master use permit. The estimation is that the earliest they could start construction would be summer of 2018.

Rendering source: Caron architecture firm

Syndicated from SeattlePI.com

By Daniel Person

In September, we profiled Row House Cafe as part of a series on “hold outs” in South Lake Union, the once-blue-collar hood that is now ground zero for the Amazon takeover.

“Sitting in the heart of South Lake Union at 1170 Republican Street, the scruffy restaurant sits in deep contrast to the glittering newness around it, its oldness a form of defiance. And therein lies its beauty, say its fans,” we wrote then.

Well, not for long.

The Seattle Times is reporting that the three old homes that were fused together to create the bar and restaurant have a date with a wrecking ball “some time in 2018.” There was a push to get the 1911 homes designated historic landmarks, but to no avail.

Photo credit: Jose Trujillo

“By one vote, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board did not muster enough votes to designate the site a landmark. A majority of the 11-member board was needed to approve the designation, and the vote was 5 to 4,” the Times reports today.

In place of the small homes will be a 91-unit apartment complex with a gym and an “indoor pet relief area,” the Times writes. This lends credence to the contention that a lot of Seattle development is dog shit.

When we wrote our story, Row House’s general manager Erin Maher was philosophical about the changing neighborhood around here, saying that the growth was a blessing and a curse.

“We opened because we knew this area was undergoing dynamic growth; we just had no idea that it would happen literally on every block in this neighborhood,” she said. “I don’t think anyone anticipated there would be so much construction all at once.”

However, she added, “You’re not going to stop growth. Physics just won’t allow it.”

No, it seems, it won’t.

Syndicated from the Seattle Weekly

By Monica Nickelsburg

The Seattle City Council voted to increase building heights in the South Lake Union and downtown neighborhoods Monday (April 10th). It’s the second upzone that South Lake Union has seen in the past five years.

The upzone allows for buildings with an additional one to five stories. In exchange for taller buildings, developers will be required to build at least 2.1 percent affordable, income-restricted units or pay fees to the city that will go toward nonprofits that focus on affordable housing. If developers take the fee option, there’s no guarantee that the housing it funds will be built in South Lake Union or downtown.

The program is an extension of Mayor Ed Murray’s Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) plan to all of South Lake Union and a significant portion of downtown. It was a point of some contention during the City Council meeting Monday. Councilmember Lisa Herbold proposed an amendment that would increase the mandatory affordable housing to 5 percent, but it was voted down by the council.

South Lake Union has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past decade driven by the growth of Amazon, which is headquartered there. But it’s not just Amazon — Seattle’s booming technology industry is drawing record numbers of newcomers to the region, creating traffic and affordability issues around downtown.

The City hopes this legislation will reduce congestion by encouraging more people to live near their offices and alleviate some of the housing affordability issues longtime residents are facing.

“This legislation that we’re about to pass today really does set the city on a new path and a new course of requiring all construction in the city, whether it’s commercial or residential, to contribute to affordable housing,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess during the meeting. “We’ve never had a mandatory program like this.”

The upzone stems from the mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), a plan aimed at adding 50,000 new homes in Seattle over the next decade, 20,000 of which would be reserved for low- and middle-income residents.

Syndicated from GeekWire.com

A Seattle City Council committee took a step forward Tuesday in rezoning South Lake Union, Lower Queen Anne, and Downtown neighborhoods.

The Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Zoning committee voted 3-0 to forward the legislation, which would allow taller building heights in exchange for affordable housing.

Councilmember Lisa Herbold expressed her concerns on the equation used to determine the heights and suggested she could provide amendments in the future.

As crafted, the legislation would allow buildings up to 40 feet taller than the current code, depending on the amount of affordable market units within the building.

Councilmember Rob Johnson, who chairs the committee and presided over multiple amendments, acknowledged there will likely be changes to the legislation before a full Council vote on April 10.

Syndicated from King5 News.