Home AEC Bosa Development’s 423-Unit Tower in Downtown Seattle Approved at Second Design Review Meeting

Bosa Development’s 423-Unit Tower in Downtown Seattle Approved at Second Design Review Meeting

Seattle, Bosa Development, Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, Pioneer Square, Mountlake Partners, Eastside
Rendering courtesy of James K.M. Cheng Architects

By Jack Stubbs

Burnaby, British Columbia-based condo developer Bosa Development recently received positive news about its plans for a 423-unit mixed-use development slated for downtown Seattle, which was earlier this week unanimously approved to move forward in the city’s Design Review process. 

On June 18th, the team for the project located at 601 4th Avenue—which includes design architect James K.M. Cheng Architects, landscape architect PFS Studio and Joseph Wong Design Associates—presented updated project plans to the board as part of a process that has been ongoing for just under two years now. In November 2017, Bosa’s project was denied approval to advance at an initial Early Design Guidance (EDG) meeting, but was subsequently advanced at a second EDG meeting held in January 2018. 

Most recently, on April 8th, Bosa’s planned development was denied by the Downtown Review Board, which rejected the applicant team’s proposal at a Recommendation Meeting due to a number of design-related issues—though the most recent approval in mid-June reflects that progress continues to be made, now that the green light has been granted at the second time of asking. 

The “3rd and Cherry” project will ultimately comprise 58 stories, and along with 423 residential units will also include 28,300 square feet of commercial space (including a 25,000 square foot public plaza) and just under 13,000 square feet of interior residential amenity space, according to the applicant team’s submitted project proposal. 

The applicant team’s updated plans—which focused on revised street edges and further streetscape activation along Cherry Streets and 4th Ave.; improved integration of the proposed open space into the rest of the development through the addition of way-finding elements; and further consideration of the tower’s location and materiality in relation to the pedestrian experience at street-level, according to the submitted proposal—were well-received by the board, according to Wendy Shark, public relations specialist with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI): “All six downtown Design Review Board members recommended the project to move forward as presented at the meeting with some minor changes,” Shark wrote in an email. 

Given the prominent location of the project—sitting in the heart of the Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood and right across the street from City Hall—it’s perhaps little surprise that so much emphasis would be put on creating a project that fit into the existing neighborhood context. The proposed tower is located within the city’s civic and heritage precincts and across the street from historic buildings like the Arctic Building, constructed in 1916, and the Lyon Building, constructed in 1910. 

According to the applicant’s submitted project plans, the project will look to provide much-needed housing in a key area of downtown, and will look to complement the existing neighborhood by fostering a positive pedestrian experience at street-level; engaging the public realm through the 25,000 square foot public plaza; and enhancing the iconic Seattle skyline and the area around Pioneer Square. 

Along with its most recent approval for the 3rd and Cherry development, Bosa has in-the-works plans for other endeavors across Lake Washington on the Eastside as well. 

In third quarter 2018, Bosa acquired a half-acre property—located at 205 105th Ave. NE in downtown Bellevue, between the Park Row Shopping Center and the  company’s existing One88 condo development—where the company has plans for a 21-story tower with 77 residential units. 

In early February 2019, the company spent $36 million for the one-acre Park Row Shopping Center property located at 201 Bellevue Way NE in the city’s Central Business District. It is not entirely clear what plans Bosa Development has for the recently-acquired property. However, 

according to a property listing written by Montlake Partners Commercial Real Estate, the location of the property—proximate to Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square—is one of its main assets. “Potential retailers will profit from strong demographics, high traffic counts, professionally maintained frontage on Bellevue Way and an upscale image. Park Row is within walking distance to many downtown amenities, offering significant foot traffic as well.”