By Meghan Hall
The highest topographic site in Seattle is set to be the location of one of the City’s largest projects to-date. On Tuesday, July 23rd, developer Pacific Eagle, along with renowned architect Kengo Kuma, Ankrom Moisan Architects and Berger Partnership, presented its design plans for a new, a 42-story tower at 1932 2nd Ave. in downtown Seattle. The project was received well by the downtown Design Review Board and was permitted to move forward to a final Design Recommendation Meeting in the coming months.
The project is set to include a mix of hotel, residential and commercial space. Project documents indicate that the development will have four levels of coworking space, 6,700 square feet of retail, a ten-level hotel with 240 keys and 26 levels of residential that will include 200 condominiums. Five levels of below-grade parking, or about 175 vehicle spaces, are also denoted in the plans.
Pacific Eagle, which specializes in the investment and development of luxury hotels, versatile office buildings and condominiums, purchased the site in an off-market transaction from a local family in December of 2016 for $18 million. The acquisition included five contiguous parcels totaling 19,440 square feet. At the time, the property was entitled for a 17-story hotel.
The property is currently home to the Terminal Sales Annex building, a designated Seattle landmark and whose façade and structure will be incorporated into the new development. The tower will rise upward from the Terminal Sales Annex in a series of steps, creating a telescoping massing. Three of the four sides will include the stepping scheme, with the fourth — the North façade — remaining unmodulated. Each tier of the telescoping form will wrap around the building, while the final and tallest tiers will be located to the north.
“We have been working closely with the landmarks preservation board for this project and to incorporate into this landmark structure,” explained Ankrom Moisan’s Jennifer Sobieraj Sanin. “One thing that is really important is she volumetric expression of the Terminal Sales Annex all the way through the site.”
Active programs along the 2nd Ave. façade will include multiple entry points to the building, while two plazas on either side of the tower will enhance the project’s streetscape. An additional mid-block plaza will be designed for flexible uses and strive to connect the building’s interior with the outside, pedestrian realm.
In its discussions of the project, the Board asked several clarifying questions, and requested that the materiality and massing be defined in relation to the adjacent properties at the next Design Review Meeting. The Board appreciated the overall revisions to the tower massing based on previous feedback, as well as the updated building articulation. The Board also commended the project team on updating the development’s central open space, which it believes is more in-line with pedestrian programming. The double height space to the north was also well-proportioned, stated the Board, and it related well to the original landmark building on the site. At the end of the meeting, the Board voted unanimously to move the project forward to a Master Use Permit application.
Over the past several years, Pacific Eagle has been active throughout the Puget Sound region, with the proposed development at 1932 2nd Ave. just one of several of its properties in the area. In January of this year, Pacific Eagle sold off the Dexter Horton Building, one of Seattle’s most iconic landmarks, for $151 million, or $450 per square foot. The buyer was Los Angeles-based CIM Group. Pacific Eagle had originally purchased the 336,000 square foot building in 2016 for $124.4 million, shortly before it purchased the 1932 2nd Ave. site.