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Seattle Evaluating a 14-Story, Mixed-Use Building in Financial District

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By Alice Yin

Hotel Concepts is in the process of designing a 14-story mixed-use building in Seattle’s International District.

The project aims to add 168 hotel rooms for its Spring Hill Suites by Marriott brand along with 100 apartments and 30 condominium style units. Partner Faruq Ramzanalli of the Seattle-based Hotel Concepts confirmed the development could reach as high as 150 feet and span about 254,000 square feet.

The finished building will sit on the corner of Eighth Avenue South and South Lane Street, Ramzanalli confirmed. He estimated one lobby floor, five levels of apartments, two of condominiums and the rest being hotel rooms. The development is also planning an underground, three-level parking structure, which should occupy about 59,000 square feet, or almost 180 parking spaces.

He added that the project has not met final approval yet, since it is still in its design phase. The Bethesda, MD –based Marriott International, however has agreed to franchise the hotel about a month ago. Hopefully, the building will be complete in 2019, Ramzanalli assessed.

“It’s too early to talk about specifics, because the market is moving very fast, but it is sizable project,” he said.

Hotel Concepts purchased the site for about $4.5 million in January 2014. It currently has its gears in motion with Studio19 Architects as the lead designers on the project and KPFF Consulting Engineers as the civil engineers.

While the firm typically builds standalone hotels, Hotel Concepts is branching into its first mixed-use project with this endeavor. “This area is a growing market, and obviously Seattle is getting its share of new hotels,” Ramzanalli said.

Construction for the building will take 18 to 20 months, he estimated. Elsewhere in the city, Ramzanalli said Hotel Concepts has developed 14 hotels, recently wrapping up the 130-room Staybridge Suites in Seattle.

Overall, the city is experiencing a steady entrance of hotels. Four have opened in Seattle this year, with five more on the way, according to a second quarter 2015 report by Kidder Mathews. Room occupancy for upscale hotels in the Seattle central business district has remained relatively flat year-over-year, although it still the highest in the region at 82 percent. That figure is a little lower for midscale hotels at 78 percent, and it has gone down 2.9 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to the same report.

RevPAR, or revenue per available room, a commonly used measure of demand in the industry has been steadily growing. In the upscale side of the industry it had grown by 10.7 percent to $175 in the Seattle CBD, while nearly 5 percent in the midscale segment to $131. In both cases, the Seattle CBD leads the region, Kidder Mathews states.

“This is the first time the region has reached this level in two decades,” said PKF Consulting managing director Chris Kraus, confirming that hotel industry’s uptick in the region.

In the next three years, 22 hotels are planned to deliver over 5,200 rooms to the greater Puget Sound region, including the Hedreen Convention Hotel, which alone is planned to add 1,260 rooms in 2018 when it is completed, according to Kidder Mathews.

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