On Monday, the new owner of the prominent Fat City garage property, located near the Space Needle at 508 W Denny Way, announced plans to develop a hotel on the site. Da Li Properties LLC purchased the approximately one-third acre parcel of land for $9.1 million, and while the purchase was not unexpected, the change in plans from a life science office building to a hotel came as a surprise to some.
Da Li’s Vice President of Development, Kevin Hsieh, explained that the decision was influenced by the existing life science construction in the neighborhood and the property’s proximity to Seattle Center, according to a report in the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Hsieh mentioned that the property’s size would restrict the floor plates for a life science and office building. Instead, the hotel is envisioned to be 125 feet tall, offering rooftop views of Seattle Center, which houses the Space Needle, sports and entertainment venues, including the new Climate Pledge Arena, and over 40 acres of open space. Hsieh emphasized the need for further research and planning, expressing the desire to create something remarkable for the highly visible and bustling corner of Denny Way and Fifth Avenue North. He suggested that a boutique hotel would be well-suited for the location.
Da Li has partnered with Seattle-based architecture firm Weber Thompson to develop initial concepts for the hotel. According to CBRE, the life science vacancy rate in the Puget Sound region was just under 9 percent at the end of last year, indicating a growing demand for such spaces. However, the tourism industry is thriving, especially now, with the Seattle metro area leading all U.S. markets in mid-June with a hotel occupancy rate of nearly 87 percent. Downtown hotels during the same period achieved record-breaking one-day revenue, surpassing $5 million, with an occupancy rate of almost 97 percent.
Public records show that Allgreen Holding Limited LLC sold the Fat City property to Da Li. XingMing Chen is listed as the governor of the company, which acquired the property six years ago for $8.1 million.