Out of the Box

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.

Calling All Pirates to the “Shipwrecked Pirate Party!”

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Come out and experience the “Shipwrecked Pirate Party” this Saturday! Epiphany Events is hosting this event in South Lake Union. Now 21+ Seattleites have a way to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day! (Sat Sept 19th). The Islander is moored on Lake Union along Fairview Ave. Address: 1611 Fairview Ave E Seattle, Washington 98102

One ticket includes a 3-hour Boat Cruise, Pirate Booty and One Drink Ticket (spirits, beer or wine)!  Among the festivities, be prepared to sing sea shanties, hunt for buried treasure and indulge in many other pirate shenanigans. Wear your best pirate costume and dance the night away to DJ EPop as you cruise!

Disclaimer: Anyone who buys a ticket and shows up dressed as a landlubber will not be granted access to our ship. YOU MUST BE DRESSED AS A PIRATE!

Purchase tickets online HERE!

The ship will start boarding at 7:00pm. The cruise departs at 8 PM SHARP and returns at 11 PM. Please be aware that you will not receive a refund if you miss the boat. There is very little free parking in the area, but you might think about arriving via taxi, Uber or Lyft.

Please bring a photo ID (must be 21+). Credit card or cash to buy drinks at the No Host Bar (and to tip your awesome bartenders). Limited food menu (bar food) also available for purchase.


South Lake Union Real Estate News & Updates

There has been some recent activity of note in South Lake Union real estate, so we wanted to fill you in…

Vulcan Sold Life Sciences Building in SLU for $106 Million
Last Thursday, March 13th, Vulcan Real Estate sold one of its buildings in South Lake Union to Kilroy Realty, which is located out of Los Angeles. The building is located at 401 Terry Avenue North and was built in 2003. It is a life sciences and office building with 145,923 square feet of rentable space. It’s already full leased to the Institute for Systems Biology, which does biomedical research as a non-profit organization. Last year, Kilroy Realty bought a 319,000 square foot building from Vulcan for $170 million. Click here to learn the full story from the Seattle Times.

Office Development Proceeds After 7 Years of Stagnation
The Westlake Steps have been in the works since 2007, including 825,000 square feet of office space, retail and residences. However, since that year the project has not moved forward… until now. Holland Partner Group plans to begin construction of the six-story building at 1101 Westlake Avenue North this summer. That building will be comprised of 150,000 square feet of space for offices, a hotel and 570 apartment units. Click here to read the full news brief on the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Vancouver, B.C. Based Developer to Build 1,945 Residences in SLU
The Puget Sound Business Journal reported yesterday that the Onni Group (a Canadian developer) has updated its plans to build two huge residential buildings in the South Lake Union neighborhood. The plans consist of two towers with 40 stories and 1,085 residential units. These buildings will be constructed on the block alongside Denny Way, John Street, and Fairview and Boren Avenues North. In addition, the plans include another two-tower development across the street with 24 stories and a total of 860 residential units. There will be 44,000 square feet of retail space and 1,700 parking stalls between the two developments. Onni bought the two blocks of land from the Seattle Times last year for $62.5 million. Click here for more details.

Featured photo from BizJournals.com, a MulvannyG2 Architecture rendering.

Connecting with the Community in South Lake Union

Creating a sense of community in a neighborhood driven primarily by commercial properties can be a challenge. However, there are many residents in South Lake Union who value the flavor, diversity, and fabulous options of activities available. Sometimes finding opportunities to connect can be a challenge, however, getting involved in our South Lake Union neighborhood is a great way to connect and be an agent for positive change.  Here are just a few events to put on your calendars in February and March, as well as places to connect.

Attend a weekly service at a neighborhood church:

Denny Park Lutheran Church
766 John St.

St. Spiridon Orthodox Cathedral
400 Yale Ave N
Seattle, WA ‎
(206) 624-5341 ‎

Union Church
415 Westlake Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
206.524.7301 x204

Participate in community services:

Immanuel Community Services offers many opportunities to help and connect in SLU from a community lunch preparers and servers, food bank workers, hygiene center, and support for the recovery program.  Contact the ICS Director icsdirector@immanuelseattle.org for details and ways you can help.
1215 Thomas Street
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 622 1930

Join and/or participate in your neighborhood Chamber of Commerce events:

SLU Chamber February Lunch
February 19, 2014, from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM. Register Online. Join them February 19 from 11:30am – 1pm for food, networking, and fun at the monthly Chamber lunch.  The host for this networking lunch is Seattle Children’s Research Institute where guests will be treated to a delicious catered lunch. A dynamic speaker will be presenting on the Chamber’s theme for February, “Medical Research.” If you have never been a part of one of our much-anticipate networking events, we encourage you to get involved.  Consider this your invitation! $25 for members, $35 for non-members.
Children’s Research Institute
1900 9th Ave,
Seattle, WA 98109

 SLU Chamber Evening Networking Event

Wednesday, February 26, from 5pm – 7pm. Join Chamber members and guests at our February evening networking event at Cuoco. We’re excited to offer you this great opportunity to connect with chamber members and other members of our community. Fees/Admission: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Register Online.
310 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

Attend a NW Swedish Club Swedish Pancake Breakfast:

March 2, 2014, from 8:00 AM – 1:30 PM. Enjoy music and dancing, plus authentic Swedish pancakes, lingonberries, ham, and all the right fixins. Music by Metro Gnomes, Sprida Ut, and Smilin’ Scandinavians. Stay afterward for genealogy help on the lobby floor. Contact: Eva Larson 206-283-1090. Cost: $9 Guests, $7 Club members, $5 Children 5-12.
The Swedish Club
1920 Dexter Avenue N.
Seattle, WA 98109

Featured photo from Wikipedia Commons, labeled for commercial reuse.



Mark Your Calendar for a Family Fun Night Next Friday!

Join with other parents and families to help make Downtown Seattle a better place to live, learn and play. The organization Downtown Seattle Families has teamed with PlayDate SEA to host a Family Fun Night next Friday, November 22nd.

Mark your calendars!

Next Friday, PlayDate SEA will offer half-off admission to their new indoor playspace in South Lake Union. The half-off deal is good all day, so you can play with your kids in the morning, and then head back for the meeting with other downtown families at 6 p.m. From 6 – 8 p.m. on the 22nd, downtown families will have a chance to meet and connect with other households in the downtown and South Lake Union areas.

There will be a free puppet show, courtesy of The Dragon Theater Puppets, to keep your kids entertained. Or, they can play on the brand new indoor playspace and make new friends.

According to their website, “PlayDate™ is an 8,500 sq. ft. indoor play space in downtown Seattle that is tailored to create a safe and energetic environment that stimulates the imagination and gives your children space to roam…at the same time giving parents a comfortable and soothing environment to relax and enjoy a warm cup of Stumptown coffee.”

The Downtown Seattle Families organization is a new group that is working to make the downtown and urban area more kid-friendly. Their mission is “to advocate for family-friendly projects, events, programs and investments in the heart of Seattle and build a strong community of families in the core of the city.”

Meet and connect with other families in the downtown area at this Family Fun Night next week! This will be a recurring event.

When: Friday, November 22nd from 6 – 8 p.m.
Where: PlayDate SEA, 1245 Mercer Street, Seattle 98109 (entrance off of Yale Avenue)
Cost: Admission is free for adults, $5 – 10 (half off for Family Fun Night) per child

Featured photo from Downtown Seattle Families’ Facebook page.