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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.

Central atrium inside Allen Institute.  Photo: Anthony Bolante/Puget Sound Business Journal

Science, art, and efficiency integrate seamlessly, not unlike our own left and right brains, in the architecture and structure of The Allen Institute building, located near the southwest bank of Lake Union. The large, LED-driven installation on the exterior façade, which is based upon neural brain activity and perception, transitions between colors and layered images. And among other unique building features is the engineering marvel of corralling existing mineral springs so a building could reliably stand on the site. The Allen Institute at 615 Westlake Ave. N. encompasses three entities: the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Allen Institute for Cell Science and Paul G. Allen Frontiers.

Allen Institute exterior. Photo: Lara Swimmer Photography

According to Puget Sound Business Journal, philanthropist Paul Allen’s 270,000 square foot, 7-story building has now won two awards from Engineering News-Record: ENR Northwest’s “Project of the Year” and Best “Higher Education/Research” project. Only 20 real estate developments were given commendations this year for any “Best of the Best” category. The two awards mentioned were given to the Allen Institute, in ENR’s words, “for achieving the promise of a collaborative concept, overcoming dewatering and structural challenges, and preserving a historical site.”

Dewatering? Structural challenges? What historical site? Well, “dewatering” refers to the mineral springs mentioned earlier; they bubbled up during initial excavation, which had to be addressed so the structure of the building wouldn’t buckle. Especially since the P4 parking garage is 34 feet below water level. Through a series of dewatering wells built during construction and careful monitoring over time of water pressure on shoring walls (more than 100 of them), the team was able to determine that the structure would hold. Because of a clever treatment system that filters the ground water so efficiently that it is released into Lake Union cleaner than the actual lake water, the WA Department of Ecology approved it.

Looking east toward Lake Union.

The integrity of the former Ford and Pacific McKay car showrooms on-site, designated as a historic landmark, needed to be considered. Pioneer Masonry catalogued, disassembled, and stored any protected components from the buildings, especially the terra-cotta façade which was later reassembled using a virtual 3D model made previously. The new building was built to wrap around the older ones.

The new Allen Institute building wraps around historic car showrooms.

The interior of the facility has interesting features as well. Studio SC built the external public artwork called “Pathways” that adorns the exterior, but also provided wayfinding graphics/ signage within the building. The central atrium of the building is built to promote easy access between labs and offices, between co-workers in different departments. The excess heat produced by the data center, which stores a huge amount of information, is effectively re-routed to provide heating and cooling for the building. Besides the data center, the institute also has wet and dry labs, an electron microscopy area, auditorium, and a center for education.

Studio SC’s public art installation “Pathways”, exterior.  Photo: Lara Swimmer Photography

Paul Allen, who initially made his fortune as co-founder of Microsoft, began this non-profit in 2003 to study the workings of the brain in an “open science” model (greatly simplified, meaning easier access to scientific knowledge and research). An interesting link to explore, the Allen Brain Atlas, gives a peek into the depth of what is studied here.

 

Owner/Developer: Vulcan Inc.
General Contractor: GLY
Lead Design/Architect Firm: Perkins+Will
Subcontractors: BOLA Architecture + Planning; Candela; Sparling; Coughlin Porter Lundeen; McKinstry; Affiliated Engineers NW; Valley Electric; GeoEngineers; Pioneer Masonry

Daniels Broiler, situated on the shores of Lake Union, has been a Seattle landmark of fine dining for what seems like forever. With its sweeping views of Lake Union, Queen Anne and Gasworks Park in addition to its incredible menu of USDA prime steaks and chops, all prepared impeccably, Daniel’s has always been the go-to venue for holiday and celebratory meals, fine craft cocktails and some of the best steaks you’ll ever enjoy.

Recently, people have been up in arms as rumors swirled regarding the possible closing of Daniel’s Lake Union location, due to Vulcan Real Estate’s plans to redevelop the pier on which it sits. Those fears were somewhat put to rest this week when the Seattle Times reported that Daniel’s on Lake Union will not close, but will merely move to a nearby location, still along the shores of South Lake Union. It seems fabulous steaks and sweeping Lake Union vistas will remain on Daniel’s menu for years to come, and we’ll drink to that!

Over the years, Daniel’s Broiler has become a local fine dining legend in the Seattle area, synonymous with delicious, high-end meals, superb craft cocktails, incredible views and live music, outstanding service and a seemingly never ending parade of Seattle’s most interesting and beautiful people to be found on any given night, enjoying a bite or a sip. However, many of us who have grown up in the Seattle area, (particularly those of us under a certain age) know very little of the famed steakhouse’s origins.

Daniel’s has been owned and operated by The Schwartz Brothers Restaurant group since 1981, and has changed very little since its beginnings at the Leschi Marina in 1980, but it’s true roots go much deeper than that. Daniel’s Broiler was started by a man named, well, Daniel, believe it or not. Daniel Jack Sandal, to be specific.

Daniel Sandal, a born and bred Seattleite, grew up in The Emerald City’s Wallingford neighborhood, graduated from the now closed Lincoln High School, and got his start in the food industry at the World-Famous Pike Place Market. Daniel’s Grandfather, Dan Zido, founded “Dan’s Better Meats” in Pike Place Market in 1910, and it was there, (in a space at the market that is now known as the home of Italian favorite, Il Bistro) that Daniel began his love affair with meat, as a third-generation butcher.

Eventually the butcher shop moved upstairs in the market, to where you will now find “Don and Joe’s Meats” (unsurprisingly, Don and Joe are related to Dan, and have kept the family tradition of quality cuts alive in Pike Place). Dan took over the family business when his father retired and decided to expand their wholesale business drastically, with their meats soon being featured at Seattle’s finest restaurant, including Canlis, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, The Space Needle and plenty more. He also started a daily-delivered, fresh-ground meat patty service for local favorite burger joint, Dick’s Drive-In, helping to make those burgers we all know and love so darn scrumptious.

In the Early 1970’s, Dan began his foray into the restaurant world as a restaurateur himself, co-founding Benjamin’s with partner Arnold Shain. The success of Benjamin’s fueled Dan and Arnold to continue on in the restaurant game, with the opening of The Gasworks Restaurant, but eventually, they parted ways as partners.

In 1980, at the ripe, young age of 40, Daniel decided it was time to start his own place, a place for steaks and chops so terrific, people would fall in love, and that they did. The vision for the original Daniels Broiler was to be Dan’s own take on the fine dining he had grown up with in Seattle, drawing heavy inspiration from places like Canlis, but staying true to the steakhouse theme with top quality steaks and chops consistently available and prepared perfectly.

Daniel’s was a sort of experiment for Dan, as he had only ever opened and operated restaurants with partners prior to Daniel’s Broiler. He was once quoted as saying “I wanted to see if I could do it, I did it on my own so I didn’t have to deal with other’s dreams and problems and wouldn’t be at anyone else’s mercy.” And do it, he did. Daniel’s Broiler became a success from the very beginning, in its original home, located on the glistening shores of Lake Washington in the Leschi Marina.  At the time, this was a convenient location for Mercer Island and Bellevue residents, until they closed the I-90 entrance and exit on the east side of the tunnels when the second bridge was built.  Today, the original Daniel’s location serves the Mount Baker, Leschi, Madrona, Washington Park, Madison Park and Denny Blaine neighborhoods and a slew of long-time customers. 

Since being purchased by the Schwartz Brothers in late 1981, they have made very few changes to Dan Sandal’s original concept for the restaurant. The Schwartz Brothers did expand the Daniel’s brand to include locations in Bellevue (opening in 1989) and the location we all know and love, on the shores of Lake Union (since 1999), where Dan and Arnold’s first venture, Benjamin’s, once lived.

Dan Sandal passed away in 2012, but left behind a much loved and delicious legacy in Daniel’s Broiler. While many people find success in the Seattle restaurant scene, few reach the iconic status of Daniel’s Broiler, nor do they stand the test of time, untarnished and as beloved as ever the way Daniel’s has.

Daniel’s Broiler has been a Seattle staple for over 35 years, in 3 different locations, and it doesn’t appear that that will be changing anytime soon. While the Lake Union location may be moved slightly to make way for the inevitable growth and changes of a bustling city, it’s good to know it won’t be going far.

Washington State Ferries announced today the sale of its smallest retired ferry, Hiyu, to Menagerie Inc. The 50-year-old ferry officially changes hands Wednesday, Feb. 8, when it will be towed from the Eagle Harbor maintenance yard. The new owner plans to repurpose the vessel as a floating entertainment venue.

 

The Hiyu is about 162 feet long and can carry about 34 vehicles. It began ferrying passengers across Puget Sound in 1967, but it was put in storage back in the ’90s. WSDOT has been using the ferry as a relief vessel in recent years.

“We make every effort to keep our retired ferries operational, instead of being sold for scrap,” said WSF Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa. “I’m pleased the Hiyu will continue to serve Washingtonians on the water in her second life as a floating entertainment locale.”

New life for Hiyu

Hiyu sold for $150,000 to Menagerie Inc. The company got a deal. That’s half of the original auction price of $300,000.

WSDOT expects to turn over the keys to the new owner on Feb. 8. But locals need not miss the classic ferry boat too soon. It will be towed across Puget Sound from Eagle Harbor at Bainbridge Island, pass through the Ballard Locks, and to Lake Union in Seattle.

That’s right. Hiyu’s new home will be on Lake Union where it will become a floating entertainment venue. The idea is not too far-fetched. There is already one ferry on Lake Union that was converted into a venue — the M/V Skansonia.

If you’re kicking yourself for missing out on the Hiyu, don’t worry. WSDOT is auctioning off one other ferry boat — the M/V Evergreen. It’s a bit bigger, and the auction deadline has come and gone. WSDOT reports that it is negotiating with parties to sell the boat, but no official deals have been made.

Syndicated from MyNorthwest.com

An office building that Amazon currently occupies in South Lake Union was just sold for $268.9 million – one of the priciest sales in the region according to the Seattle Times. It was previously owned by Schnitzer West, and has now been dealt to TriStar Capital and RFR Holding.

Photo source: Schnitzer West / Michael Walmsley Photography

The recently sold building, at 501 Fairview Ave N, is called Urban Union. It has 12 stories and a distinctive cube-like door, with a total of 290,000 square feet. Urban Union opened last year, which was followed with a $10.5 million alteration for a 12th-floor rooftop, fitness center and more.

Although it is one of the most expensive sales this region has ever seen, at approximately $925 per square foot, our recent history indicates that this isn’t unusual. KOMO Plaza sold last month for $276 million (and that’s an older building, albeit a different kind), and other office buildings in the Lake Union and Downtown areas have sold for more total money.

Current Biosphere Construction. Photo by Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times

The three, new glass biospheres, which are part of Amazon’s new campus covering three blocks in the South Lake Union area, continue taking shape. Their 36-story adjoining square tower opened for business on November 7th, 2016, with the announcement “Hello World” in the window. This is the 2nd new building site move-in for Amazon in recent months.

Biospheres under construction, April 2016. Photo by Kevin Lisota/GeekWire.

The round, 5-story spheres are located at Lenora Street and 6th Avenue on the north end of downtown Seattle, and are designed to promote out-of-the-box thinking for 800 employees while serving as a nature conservatory. The idea is to promote creative thought in a relaxed, inviting work environment and provide a memorable iconic structure for the downtown core. They will include waterfalls, extension bridges, a river, and thousands of plants (U.S. and international), so employees and guests can connect with nature while at work. Retail spaces will also be opened within the spheres as well. Employees will have a cafeteria available on-site or always have the option of eating their lunch amid the climate-controlled gardens (set at a pleasant, not humid, temperature for humans during the day).

Photo by Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times

According to The Seattle Times, the Amazon company has hired a seasoned, full-time horticulturist, Ron Gagliardo, formerly of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, to manage these spaces. Principal architect at NBBJ, Dale Alberda, initially proposed a round, rather than square structure, which the committee responded well to. So now this out-of-the box structure is becoming a reality, and will fully open in late 2017 or early 2018.

By Megan Hill, for Seattle Eater

South Lake Union’s restaurant scene continues to go bananas, and the Central District’s Vietnamese favorite, Ba Bar, has recently joined the fray.

Photo credit: Seattle Eater

The new Ba Bar opened earlier this month as the headquarters for the restaurant’s popular pastry program. Now, you can grab macarons, kouign amanns, croissants, doughnuts, and more starting at 7 a.m. on weekdays in SLU.

Much of the rest of the menu is the same as the Central District location, but expect chef/owner Eric Banh to start introducing additional options soon, like mi quang, a bright yellow turmeric-infused rice crepe with a thick stock served with items like pork spare ribs, prawns, chicken, and squid. Banh also promises upcoming family-style meals on weeknights.

Eater paid Ba Bar a visit to scope out the space, which feels reminiscent of its original counterpart, with modern flourishes and edgy graphic art. A major departure from the first location is the central bar, though, which ties together a much larger space. Check it out for yourself.

500 Terry Ave N, (206) 623-2711, website. Open Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

 

The South Lake Union streetcar came first, and was followed by the First Hill streetcar a few years later. Now, work will begin this month on the First Avenue streetcar, also known as the Center City Connector, which will connect the two existing lines.

Test drilling is the first step in the project, with the intent to confirm where underground utilities are located (some have been there for approximately 100 years!). In the summer, major construction on the site will begin.

As part of this project, since the Center City Connector runs along 1st Avenue from Westlake Center through Pioneer Square to Occidental Avenue, streetcar-exclusive lanes will be added to ensure traffic won’t slow transit trips during peak hours. To do this, 194 parking spaces on 1st Avenue will be removed, which is an acceptable loss since these spaces are primarily used in off-peak hours.

This has already been done for the SLU streetcar, which has benefitted from having transit-only lanes added to Westlake Avenue North. Ridership on that line has increased over the past couple of years from 2,500 daily riders to about 3,600. Meanwhile, the First Hill line which was completed last year has an average of 3,300 daily riders (its near-term goals).

However, this project does mean significant stress on traffic in the Downtown and Pioneer Square areas throughout construction. There will be additional traffic, temporary parking restrictions, and sidewalk detours from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on weekdays and until 5 p.m. on weekends, for a start. Look for the most intense construction phase in 2018.

The First Avenue streetcar is a $135 million project, which is projected for completion in 2020.

32891314-c24f-11e6-bef8-9f9aca15af67-1020x683ZymoGenetics, a biotechnology company that manufactures therapeutic proteins, has been based in South Lake Union for many years, but that will change over the next three years.

On Tuesday, December 13th, ZymoGenetics’ parent company, Bristol-Myers Squibb said that they will not be renewing their lease when it expires in 2019. The company has been located in the iconic old Seattle City Light Steam Plant building on the southeast shore of the lake.

Bristol-Myers Squibb purchased the biotechnology company for approximately $885 million in 2010. In 2015, they moved dozens of jobs from Seattle to San Francisco.

Currently, approximately 80 people work at the plant in South Lake Union, and the parent company has more plans to move additional jobs to other locations around the U.S. They are also closing their locations in Hopewell, New Jersey and Wallingford, Connecticut. Bristol-Myers Squibb is opening a research facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts as well as building a new facility in Lawrenceville, New Jersey for research and development.

While the SLU location was ZymoGenetics’ “microbial center of excellence,” according to spokeswoman Laura Hortas, “Based on changes in R&D, we now have a limited number of microbial assets under development … As a result, we intend to exit the Lake Union plant in 2019.”

ZymoGenetics other Washington location, a Bothell manufacturing site with 70 employees, will remain open.

Vulcan Real Estate announced on Friday, December 2nd that Facebook is set to lease two more buildings that are in planned development for South Lake Union. This means that the social media company’s presence in Seattle will more than double in the coming years.

The announcement comes a little more than 6 months after Facebook moved into their 335,000 square-foot office at Dexter Station. That office has capacity for 2,000 employees.

courtesy-vulcan-real-estate

The planned development that Facebook has pre-leased is called the Arbor Blocks, and consists of two six-story buildings on either side of 8th Avenue N between Thomas and Harrison Streets. Arbor Blocks will have 384,000 square feet of office space and 4,100 square feet of retail space on the street level. That’s enough office space to house another 2,000 employees for a total of 4,000 Facebook employees in Seattle alone.

Arbor Blocks is a $246 million project, designed by Graphite Design Group and will be built by Lease Crutcher Lewis.

According to Ada M. Healey, Vice President of Real Estate at Vulcan, the Arbor Blocks project is designed with technology tenants in mind. “We’re excited to work with Facebook to help them expand their footprint in South Lake Union,” Healey said in a statement. “We designed the Arbor Blocks with technology tenants in mind and Facebook is an ideal tenant to kick-off the project.”

Construction on Arbor Blocks will begin by the end of the month, and Facebook could move in as early as the third quarter of 2018.

The street running between the two Arbor Blocks buildings, 8th Avenue N, will be transformed into a ‘woonerf’, which is a Dutch word that describes a park-like street where bicyclists and pedestrians have priority over cars, and all motor vehicles must drive slowly. Seattle has another woonerf nearby, on Bell Street in Belltown between 1st and 5th Avenues. It will be constructed with patterned paving and wide sidewalks, as well as being fitted with seating, artwork and plantings after it’s complete.