Home AEC 800 Columbia in Seattle Files for Construction Permits

800 Columbia in Seattle Files for Construction Permits

800 Columbia, Seattle, Puget Sound, Construction Permits, Columbia Street, Daniels Real Estate, Etheridge (U.S.) Real Estate Fund
Image courtesy of LMN Architects

By Michele Chandler

A construction permit application was filed on July 18 for 800 Columbia, a 30 story, mixed income, high-rise apartment building that is envisioned for the northeast corner of Eighth Avenue and Columbia Street in Seattle.

Daniels Real Estate is developing the site, which is located at 800 Columbia St. near the western edge of the city’s First Hill neighborhood.

Construction on the 295,000-square-foot project is proposed to start this year, with completion scheduled for the spring of 2020, Kevin Daniels, president of the development company, said via email.

Daniels and Carl Shumaker, the firm’s senior vice president, are listed as the site’s owners. LMN Architecture is the architect of record on the project.

According to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, the proposed tower will have 287 apartments and four levels of underground parking containing a total of 234 stalls. The residences will range from studios to one- and two-bedroom units.

Daniels said this week that the cost of the 800 Columbia project is “not something we [can] release at this point.”

A significant feature of their urban project will be the creation of a new public park, Daniels said. Nearly half of the planned development will be devoted to a two-tiered open space park to be located adjacent to the tower on the northeast corner of the development. The 9,000 square foot park will offer west-facing views of downtown and the Puget Sound.

One level of lobby and fitness space is planned for 800 Columbia, as is one level of roof deck amenities, four levels of below-grade parking and lobby bicycle storage.

The site is located two blocks north of the Harborview Medical Center Campus, two blocks southwest of the Swedish Medical Center Campus, two blocks south of the Virginia Mason Medical Center Campus and six blocks west of the Seattle University Campus, say filings made with the city in 2013.

The site is also near the eastern edge of Seattle’s downtown office core.

“Surrounded by these major employment centers, the project vision is to provide high density housing targeting those looking generally for a convenient downtown residential location as well as the employees from these nearby campuses,” the company’s filing to the city said. “This project will offer that population the opportunity to commute by walking to and from the campuses and downtown core.”

Daniels and two partners paid $14.2 million for the site in late December 2016 from Swedish pension fund Alecta, which had acquired the property for $7.9 million in 2012, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Citing public records, the journal said Delaware-registered Etheridge (U.S.) Real Estate Fund bought a 50 percent stake in the half-acre property, while UGNET LLC acquired a 29.5 percent interest, and Daniels Real Estate purchased the remainder.

Daniels is a board member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and many of his firm’s projects have involved preserving historic structures while updating them. His real estate firm is behind other developments in Seattle including the Mark, a 44-story Class A office space and luxury hotel that incorporates the former First United Methodist Church building at Fifth Avenue and Madison Street.

His team transformed the former 1912 Sears Catalogue Distribution Center into Starbucks Center, the java chain’s headquarters. Daniels’ group also renovated the historic former passenger train terminal Union Station, which has housed the headquarters for Sound Transit since 1999 and, in recent years, has served as an occasional concert hall for live performances and backdrop for music videos.

Daniels Real Estate has also redeveloped iconic local Seattle buildings including Union Station, Frye Art Museum and Merrill Place.

“I’m not against new buildings, but I think the scientific evidence clearly shows that if you can reuse any building, and it’s appropriate for the community, then that should be the preferred option,” Daniels said in a 2013 interview published in GB&D magazine.