By Meghan Hall
Just a 20 minutes’ drive from downtown Seattle, Redmond is one of the region’s fastest growing suburbs; a community that was largely agricultural in nature has seen rapid development over the past decade as major companies such as Microsoft, Nintendo and even Facebook have made Redmond their home. Downtown Redmond is also growing and changing, and a new 300-unit multifamily development—located at 8709 161st Ave. NE. and designed by Tiscareno Associates on behalf of Mill Creek Residential Trust—is using the town’s evolution into an urban setting as inspiration for its design. The 387,000 square foot project, called Modera Redmond, topped off at the end of November and is slated to open to tenants in 2019.
“This part of downtown Redmond has been going through an amazing amount of transformation from low-scale commercial to mid-rise residential like Modera,” explained Scott Glazebrook, a project manager from Tiscareno Associates who worked to manage the development process. “In the early 1970s, this was still really ranch land; this area has transitioned so significantly over such a short period of time.”
The exterior of the building, while modern, is meant to pay homage to that history. The development’s roofline was inspired by typical barn and farmhouse structures, while the cream, grey and brown color palette is intended to be reflective of the rustic materials found in the region. The massing of the building resembles a “Y” form in order to maximize rentable square footage, light, air and residential amenities. The units have large windows and the orientation of the units, as well as the rooftop deck, are all meant to capture the surrounding views.
“You get a strong connection to the views; you can see Mt. Rainier, which has quite a presence up here,” said Bob Tiscareno, founder of Tiscareno Associates and the architect for the project. “If you had to think about an important landmark in our region, that would be it. It really orients that; it’s an interesting location, and we used that in influencing the design.”
The rooftop deck also features an indoor lounge, outdoor barbecue and landscaped gathering areas. Including the two courtyards, the development has roughly 8,000 square feet of outdoor space. A fitness center, second-story clubhouse with a demonstration kitchen, a coffee bar, conference room and a theater and game room make up an additional 3,000 square feet of indoor amenity space. The large, split-level, open concept lobby was also designed to enhance the tenants’ experiences, according to Glazebrook. Two levels of vehicular parking are also part of the development plans.
Tiscareno centered the amenities vertically around the development’s elevators for ease of access and tenant convenience.
“It has an extensive amenity program; you have the works there,” said Tiscareno. “It’s a really logical organization, and it brings out the potential variety of experience.”
The units themselves—composed of a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom residences—are equipped with hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, tall ceilings and quartz countertops.
The development’s location is also an amenity in and of itself; Redmond Modera backs up to the Bella Bottega Shopping Center, anchored by QFC Pharmacy, while a Regal Cinemas and numerous restaurants from Coho Café to MOD Pizza are just across 161st Ave. The project site is close to jobs—Facebook has been expanding its presence just up the street from the development, while Microsoft and Nintendo are also based in the city. The development is also close to Route 520 and is just several blocks away from the Redmond Transit Center, where tenants can catch a bus or train into downtown Seattle. The development has a walk score of 82, meaning that the it is “very walkable” and every day needs can be met without the use of a car.
According to Tiscareno and Glazebrook, the design and amenities are partially geared toward the ever-increasing presence of tech tenants in the area.
“All of these amenities are steps away, which sets the stage for why this site was attractive for development into a dense, multi-family project,” said Glazebrook. “There are a lot of people supporting the tech industry out here, and the program [at Modera Redmond] really appeals to that market.”
Tiscareno and Mill Creek Residential are wrapping up the completion of the development, which will open at the end of 2019. The project team believes the building to become a staple landmark in downtown Redmond as it continues to grow.
“I think the project will have a strong identity,” said Tiscareno. “We think that many years from now this project will remain fresh.”