By Jack Stubbs
With all of the development activity occurring throughout downtown Seattle, it’s little surprise that another project is on the way. McKenzie, a new 40-story luxury residential tower in the Denny Triangle neighborhood, is slated to open for move-in in July 2018.
On Tuesday, February 13th, a hard-hat tour was held to showcase the development, which offered a look at the external construction occurring on the building’s top floor and a look at resident amenity spaces and units.
Clise Properties is the developer and has teamed up with local design firm Graphite, general contractor Hoffman and property management company Greystar Properties on the project. Clise Properties is also partnering with Wild Ginger, a local Asian restaurant that will open a new ground-floor restaurant at McKenzie.
Located at 2202 8th Ave., the luxury residential tower will offer residents a variety of features. Some of these include a 360-degree wrap-around deck on the 40th floor that offers panoramic views of Lake Union and the Cascade Mountains; outdoor living rooms with fireplace seating; private dining room and work spaces; and a private spa area that offers views of the Space Needle. The property will also include a 24-hour concierge service, bike parking and 13 below-ground private garages for residents.
The development consists of a mix of studios (38 in total), one-bedroom units (326); two-bedroom units (67) and penthouse homes. The studios are 420 square feet with rents ranging from $1,970 to $2,020, while the one-bedroom units range from 572 to 977 square feet and rent for between $2,277 and $3,888. The two-bedroom units range from between 1,046 and 1,321 square feet and rent for between $3,676 and $4,982. The penthouse bedrooms total between 1,439 and 2,584 square feet, with rents between $6,572 and $11,050, according to the project description.
Some of the in-unit amenities available to residents of McKenzie will include smart-lock technology, walk-in closets, natural gas fireplaces and Bosch appliances.
The soon-to-open McKenzie building has been a long time in the works and represents the latest chapter for Clise Properties—founded in 1889—and the Clise family, who have been active in the Denny Regrade district for a number of years, according to Al Clise, chairman and CEO of Clise Properties. “We’ve been in business for a long time in this part of the city. My great grandfather arrived here 129 years ago and stayed here. This part of town and this property took all those years to assemble,” said Clise.
McKenzie also occupies a prominent location proximate to Amazon: the development is just two blocks from The Spheres. Additionally, the project also sits close to another project in the works, which Clise was quick to highlight. “And as you know, some of that property now belongs to Amazon, where their new high-rise corporate campus, which, when it’s done, will be the largest corporate campus in America in an urban setting,” he said.
Clise was referring to the 58-story 722,000 square foot Rainier Square Tower being developed by Wright Runstad that will be the second tallest building in Seattle. The project, set for completion and occupancy in summer 2020, will include 200 luxury apartments and almost 80,000 square feet of retail space above a seven-level underground parking garage. All of the office space is being leased to Amazon; and the building will allow the tech giant to expand its already massive footprint in downtown Seattle, providing room for 3,500 employees.
According to Clise, the iminent opening of McKenzie represents a landmark for the developer in the area in terms of product type. “This building is very important to us; it’s really our first residential high-rise project that we’ve done over the last few years,” he said. The last residential project that the developer undertook was the Shorewood Heights Apartments, which the company developed in 1949.
Some of the company’s other established projects in Denny Regrade include 1700 Seventh Ave., a 24-story 500,000 square foot high-rise office tower; Sixth & Lenora, an 11-story office building that comprises 156,737 square feet; and the Denny Building, a 166,000 square foot project constructed in 1968.
Due to the fact that the McKenzie building represents uncharted territory for the developer, the project team and programming of the space played a key role in the undertaking. “This [project] was new for us, and so it was very important to get the right team together to do it,” he said. “We designed it for a restaurant, originally, and I always felt that Wild Ginger was the right component to occupy the space,” he added.
Likewise for Wild Ginger, its decision to open a new restaurant in Denny Regrade was about taking the long-term view.
“It’s so thrilling to be part of such a wonderful organization in a great part of town and an emerging neighborhood. We’re really on the ground floor of what’s going on here,” said Rick Yoder, co-founder and co-owner of Wild Ginger. “We’re also thrilled to be able to take our brand and do another version of our restaurant here, but keeping the fundamentals[the same].”
Formed through a partnership of two already-established companies in the area, hopes are high for McKenzie—no stone will be left unturned in the process going forward, according to Clise. “We’ve been working hard on this building; we’re trying to make it the best building on the West Coast.”