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Sound Transit’s two planned light rail stations in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood will be five blocks apart, The Seattle Times reports. One of them is expected to cost over a half-billion dollars.

It’s part of downtown Seattle-Ballard route that was part of the Sound Transit 3 package voters approved in 2016.

According to the Times, there was initially a plan to have a station at Denny Way and Westlake Avenue. But community groups requested more.

According to early route maps, the second station is proposed for Republican Street, less than a half-block from Aurora Avenue. That would put the two stations five blocks, or 0.4 miles, apart. The estimated cost of the Aurora station is $544 million.

Sound Transit tells the Times is estimates 7,300-9,400 daily boardings at the Aurora station and 13,000-17,000 daily at the Denny station.

There is concern building the two stations will mean features that other groups are demanding for the route won’t happen due to lack of funds.

Syndicated from King5.com.

Seattle’s transit system may be radically behind the times as compared with other cities worldwide, but commuters are about to see at least one form of improvement… if they travel between Seattle and Vancouver.

Starting April 26th, Seattle’s Kenmore Air and Vancouver, B.C.’s Harbour Air will be launching a seaplane service between South Lake Union and downtown Vancouver. The air service takes just under an hour, a considerable drop from the three-hour trip by car, which is unpredictable because of the variable border crossing times. Flying commercially via Seatac Airport is relatively inexpensive and the flight itself only takes an hour, but travelers need to account at least 2 hours of additional time to get to the airport and get through security on time.

This new service will run $285 one-way.

Microsoft is celebrating the service, since the company has a large presence in Vancouver. They have been a leading voice in the demand for high-speed travel between Seattle and the Canadian city, and even supplemented Washington State’s $300,000 budget to study a plan for fast trains with $50,000. British Columbia’s government also said it would match Washington’s budget to study corridor service, which would reach Portland as well.

“This new direct seaplane route between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., will be an important link in connecting the Cascadia Innovation Corridor,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a news release. “This association between two historic Pacific Northwest companies will accelerate cross-border business and collaboration for the entire region.”

The launch of this seaplane service comes after years of talks, but the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre’s brand new customs facility and pilot program announced earlier this month seem to have been the last step.

Numerous businesses in Seattle’s Lake Union will benefit from this new service, including Amazon of course, who announced last fall that it would be doubling its Vancouver-based workforce from 1,000 people.

“With approximately 20,000 annual passengers currently traveling between Seattle and Victoria, we’re confident this new route will support the growing demand for further cross-border travel,” said Kenmore Air President Todd Banks. “Increasing cross-border collaboration has been top of mind for government, technology and business leaders alike, and we believe this route provides a fast, convenient and much needed solution.”

The new seaplane service will offer round-trip flights Monday through Friday, which accommodate nine passengers. All passengers must present a valid passport and will be subject to customs inspection upon arrival.

By David Gutman

Seattle will develop a plan to toll city roadways as part of its efforts to reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse-gas emissions, Mayor Jenny Durkan said Tuesday.

Details of what such a plan might look like are sparse, and will hinge on a tolling study focused on downtown neighborhoods that should have initial results later this year.

While several foreign cities use broad congestion-pricing schemes to reduce car travel in their most-clogged downtown areas, no American city has established a similar widespread tolling system.

Durkan said she was hopeful a congestion-pricing system could be in place by the end of her first term, in 2021.

“Obviously, we’ve got to work with stakeholders, we have to get through a lot of those things, but I think it makes a lot of sense for us to move to congestion pricing to, one, increase mobility and safety downtown and, two, to really restrict some of those greenhouse gases that are released in the urban corridor,” the mayor said in an interview.

Durkan said during her campaign last fall that the city should explore congestion pricing.

Credit: Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times

Seattle could implement tolling within the city without the permission of the state Legislature, but it would almost certainly require the approval of city voters.

In 2015, 56 percent of Puget Sound-area voters said systemwide tolling was a bad or very bad idea, according to a poll from the Puget Sound Regional Council.

Congestion pricing can take a number of forms, and it’s unclear which the city may pursue.

Charging varying amounts to use an entire roadway or just individual lanes — like on Interstate 405 — to discourage rush-hour traffic is a form of congestion pricing.

So is so-called cordon tolling, where a heavily trafficked area (think downtown and South Lake Union) is virtually “cordoned” off and tolls are charged to enter the area.

New York City has been discussing cordon tolling in Manhattan, without taking action, for more than a decade.

Durkan is proposing congestion pricing as part of a push to cut the city’s greenhouse-gas emissions. Seattle’s four previous mayors have all tried, and mostly failed, to reduce the city’s carbon output, as a booming population has offset decreases in per-person emissions.

Transportation is responsible for about two-thirds of Seattle’s greenhouse-gas emissions, and most of Durkan’s proposed changes focus on that sector.

The mayor also wants to make Seattle much more hospitable to electric cars. She said she will introduce legislation requiring that new developments (or renovations) that build parking also include electric-vehicle charging stations.

And she wants to continue adding to the city’s fleet of electric vehicles “to phase out the use of fossil fuels in all fleet vehicles.”

“We want to make, ideally, charging stations as frequent as gas stations,” Durkan said.

Revenues from congestion pricing would be used to increase transit service throughout the city and to support more electric transportation infrastructure, Durkan said.

“We want to make it easier for people to get on transit so they don’t have to drive,” she said. “We as a city and as a region have to make real on the promise of frequent transit service.”

Durkan’s climate action plan, spurred along by the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, also aims to develop programs to increase building energy efficiency around the city.

“If our country is going to do anything significant on climate, the leadership has to come from states and cities,” Durkan said.

Limited tolling is already coming to downtown Seattle, with the opening of the Highway 99 tunnel, scheduled for later this year. But the state Transportation Commission continues to struggle deciding how much to tolland when to start tolling.

Whatever price the agency settles on, the tolls will cause some drivers to skip the tunnel, pushing more cars onto already suffocating downtown streets.

That’s why, last year, the City Council authorized $200,000to study the effects of the tunnel’s tolls and to explore congestion pricing in Seattle.

“The study would focus on the broader equity implications of congestion pricing in Seattle (particularly who is driving at what times) and explore options, such as the idea of pricing downtown Seattle exits, to ensure that transit service continues to operate reliably,” the proposal for the study said.

City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who proposed the study, said last fall the city was “a long ways” from considering congestion pricing but that the study would be useful information to have when that discussion did happen.

O’Brien’s office said Tuesday that the study would likely be put out for bid in the next couple of weeks and they hope for initial findings by October.

Durkan said that study would be the “starting point” for a plan on congestion pricing, “looking exactly where those corridors are where it makes sense both from a city betterment project and a greenhouse gas project.”

Seattle has studied congestion pricing previously.

2003 study by the Puget Sound Regional Council found that regionwide variable tolling — charging varying amounts on all major roads at different times — “could make excessive reoccurring congestion a thing of the past.”

2009 study, commissioned by the city, recommended tolls as a way to lower the city’s greenhouse- gas emissions, deal with congestion and raise revenue.

And, while not exactly tolling, the state is currently studying a tax on every mile driven, as a way to replace the gas tax.

Foreign cities that have implemented widespread tolling — London, Stockholm and Milan are prominent examples — have generally faced public opposition that faded away after the system was put in place and traffic congestion decreased.

“Road pricing tends to poll poorly,” Matthew Gibson, an economist at Williams College who has studied tolling, said in an interview last year. “After people experience it for a while, support tends to increase.”

New York City is the only other American city to look seriously at congestion pricing, but it has repeatedly backed away.

Just last week, New York legislators agreed on a budget that did not include Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s much-discussed proposal for a nearly $12 daily fee to drive into midtown Manhattan.

Syndicated from The Seattle Times

Today marks the start of the tastiest week of the season- the triumphant return of Seattle Restaurant Week!

We here in Seattle are so blessed with an abundance of fabulous dining options, ranging from simple and inexpensive to exotic, lavish and extraordinary, which usually doesn’t come too cheap. Seattle Restaurant Week is an opportunity for people to explore many incredible restaurants they may not normally spring for by offering fabulous deals you won’t want to miss out on.

Every Sunday through Thursday from April 2nd to April 19th, over 165 restaurants across the city will be offering up $33 three-course dinners, with many also offering $18 two-course lunches as well. These restaurants range in price, type of cuisine and location, giving you tons of options to choose from, in every department!

To maximize your SRW experience, check out a list of participating restaurants here (click on the name of the restaurants to see their location and view their SRW exclusive menu) and be sure to check out The Seattle Times lists of best overall value, best ambiance, neighborhood favorites and SRW newcomers.

If you are going to explore SRW (which we highly recommend you do!), remember to be patient, make reservations and tip your servers well! While SRW is a great opportunity for diners, restaurants do tend to get swamped, and the nicer and more understanding we are as patrons, the better the experience for everyone!

Now, go out and get a healthy dose of YUM, before it’s too late!

By Sarah Anne Lloyd

Social media giant Facebook first set foot in Seattle in 2010—the year Amazon first moved into South Lake Union—with just three engineers. But as the surrounding tech sector has grown, so has Facebook’s interest in Seattle.

In May of 2016, its 1,000 employees expanded into a Frank Gehry-designed open office on Dexter, and since then, its Seattle employee count has doubled. Now with more than 2,000 employees in the city, Seattle has more Facebook engineers than anywhere outside of its Menlo Park headquarters (although it first hit that milestone in 2015 with just 500).

So Facebook set its sights on another South Lake Union property, the six-story, 150,000-square-foot 1101 Westlake building, adding seats for around 900 more employee butts. This time around, design credit goes to Studios Architecture.

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that, as has been in vogue in tech for quite some time, it’s also an open office, which Facebook says “enables our teams to be collaborative and transparent.” The design plays to this, too—it’s not only unwalled workspaces, but open staircases, floor-to-ceiling windows, and even semi-private spaces flowing into the rest of the office through big, glass doors.

While the space all has “open” in common, there are a few different vibes of open space: some are more social spaces with tables or booths, and while a library provides a different feel for small meetings. While employees have dedicated workstations, they can pop into these different spaces when they need a change of scenery.

Overall, the office has 47 day offices and more than 30 conference rooms, along with additional cozier workspaces, training rooms, and more informal meeting spaces.

The building’s colorful art installations come from local artists: Maria Sivak, Mary Iverson, Robert Hardgrave, Joey Veltkamp, Jesse LeDoux, Urban Artworks with Brian Sanchez, Shaun Kardinal, Ellen Lesperance, and Kate Sweeney.

And, as is all the rage in South Lake Union, the building has amenities, like a bike repair shop on the bottom floor, along with a bike cage with 96 spots inside. A transit center provides route consultations and trip planning to employees, plus “end-of-trip facilities” like showers and “a dedicated drying room.” Westlake Cafe operates a cafe in the building.

Facebook seems poised to grow even more in Seattle, especially as the city becomes more and more of a tech center. In addition to its team of engineers in Seattle, Facebook, along with Google and Huawei, also funds the University of Washington’s Reality Lab. It also signed on to the City of Seattle’s digital equity initiative. (Another way Facebook’s interacting with Seattle, although not directly related to locating here: it recently got a very hands-on lesson in Seattle election law.)

Employees started moving into the facility at the end of February.

Syndicated from Seattle.Curbed.com

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 Megan Hill

Upscale beer-bar chain Henry’s Tavern, whose first Seattle outpost has been a go-to for pre- and post-game revelry thanks to its location near Safeco Field, opens a new location in South Lake Union today with a smaller footprint and grab-and-go options for breakfast and lunch.

Henry’s SLU spot sits on the ground floor of an Amazon office tower at 501 Fairview Avenue N. This bar isn’t as big as the sprawling SoDo spot, but there are still 50 beers on tap and a menu of sandwiches, burgers, and wok dishes. For those who dine in, there are also 16 televisions for watching sports, a shuffleboard table, and a happy hour with 10 discounted plates.

The grab-and-go counter will be open Monday through Friday at breakfast and lunch with coffee, soda, juice, and snacks like energy bars and yogurt. Lighter fare like a pear, walnut, and prosciutto salad, protein power bowl, and crab and avocado roll are also available. This Henry’s location fills crowlers (can-growlers) to go, too.

Henry’s Tavern got its start in downtown Portland; other branches are located at the Portland International Airport, in Denver, and in Plano, Texas. The SoDo location opened in 2013, and a Bellevue location followed this past August as part of the massive Lincoln Square expansion.

Syndicated from Eater Seattle.

By Megan Hill

Dexter Brewhouse is closed until Friday, November 24 for a “relaunch,” the latest in a string of rebranding efforts.
 Dexter Brewhouse/FB

Beset with challenges from early on, the South Lake Union brewpub Dexter Brewhouse, formerly known as Mollusk, continues to reinvent itself: As of last night, the restaurant has closed temporarily for unspecified rejiggering. Anyone following along at home may recall that the brewery aspect of the business has retained the Mollusk moniker since its inception, but the restaurant portion — having already lost its adventurous chef and co-owner, Travis Kukull, in a previous shakeup — rebranded in July as Dexter Brewhouse, attempting to please crowds with more standard pub fare.

Dexter Brewhouse will reopen at 5 p.m. on Friday, November 24, and at the very least there will be a new chef at the helm, according to a Facebook post. A note on the doors of the restaurant also hints at the relaunch and the new chef with the lines “You love our beer, now love our new chef.” The restaurant hasn’t released any other details.

The embattled venture was originally born as Gastropod, a tiny yet adventurous kitchen in Sodo, alongside the off-beat nanobrewery Epic Ales. Brewer Cody Morris and chef Travis Kukull relocated to bigger digs in South Lake Union and rebranded as Mollusk in October 2015.

It’s been a tough road since for Mollusk, which has struggled to get customers in the door despite a largely positive critical reception for both the inventive initial food menu and the exciting beer program. Early in 2016, the restaurant dropped its lunch service and cut staff, saying the neighborhood wasn’t dense enough to support the midday meal program. A few months later, the business went to a standard tipping model, doing away with an automatic service charge. Then in summer 2016, Kukull departed the kitchen, and Morris oversaw an overhaul of the menu that took it from avant garde to comfort food. Dexter Brewhouse was born this past July. Meanwhile, Kukull has quietly resurfaced and is cooking at White Swan Public House.

The one obvious through-line in the sordid saga is the creative beer produced by Morris under the Mollusk label, which remains top-notch, but the restaurant is clearly struggling. Will this latest iteration finally be the one that sticks?

Syndicated from Seattle Eater.

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 Chris Daniels

If you’ve looked around the Lake Union Park in recent years, you’ve noticed quite a few birds.  There’s the geese, the cranes, and one lame duck.

But that duck is about to move again or at least move people.  The city began this week its long delayed work,on a relatively new pedestrian bridge.  The span, just 108-feet long, opened in 2007 and was part of the major renovation that produced the park in 2010.

But just four years later, the bridge was closed.  The city acknowledged later a major mistake was made in the engineering of the east abutment.  The soil settlement was greater than expected, causing the span to move several inches;  however, the city said it didn’t have the money to make the proper repairs.

That was until this past year after the Seattle City Council allocated the money needed.  It will cost $4.3 million to make the fix.

Rachel Schulkin, a spokesperson for the Seattle Parks and Recreation department, says engineers will use a geo-foam to stabilize the soil and reduce further settlement.  She says the plan is for the bridge to be open by 2017.

David Erskine, a volunteer at the Center for Wooden Boats, says he’s looking forward to the reconnection.

“(The Center) are looking for our neighbors to come us, larger populations, and look for respite,“ he said. “We hope to see in a few months that much improved and being a lovely way.”

Syndicated from KING 5 News.