After making changes to the previously approved 30-story residential tower, local developer Daniels Real Estate LLC received a unanimous approval on Wednesday from Seattle’s design board to move forward with its first project in the city’s First Hill neighborhood.
Located at 800 Columbia Street, the residential project was originally proposed by Swedish-owned Alecta and received a master use permit in December 2013. However, Daniels Real Estate chose to make changes to the approved design, which required the new design team to begin the approval process over again. Once the master use permit is reissued, the sale on the property will become official. Kevin Daniels, the president of Daniels Real Estate, anticipates this will happen towards the end of the year.
The park is the success of this project
After Daniels Real Estate hired Seattle-based LMN Architects, minor changes were made to the tower’s facade and rooftop. The 300-foot residential tower will contain 287 units, with one level of lobby and fitness space, one level of roof deck amenities and four levels of underground parking. The vision of the project is to provide high-density housing within walking distance to nearby institutions and downtown core. “We wait for a great opportunity. We saw this, and it seems to fit with what we wanted to do. Plus it can give us something that makes our team excited, and that is doing something no one has ever seen in Seattle,” said Daniels.
One of the biggest appeals to the project is the 9,000 square foot two-tiered open space park, which was one of the draws for Daniels Real Estate as well. “We’ve always loved this neighborhood, we’re up there all the time, but it’s never seemed to have that center focus that draws everybody’s attention,” said Daniels. “The park gives us that ability, and we have a lot of plans to work with the neighborhood to make it not only safe and secure, but a place that people outside of the neighborhood will want to see. We always do something about preservation, this is our first project with no preservation at all. So this one is all about the arts.”
Members of the public also attended Wednesday’s meeting in order to show their support of the new proposed project. Some of them were residents of neighboring retirement community Skyline at First Hill and another represented Frye Art Museum. “This whole neighborhood is in a state of flux with a lot of new development,” said David Buck, a member of Frye’s board of trustees. “This is a very good concept for our neighborhood, and we applaud it.”
Board members agreed with the public’s approval of the new design. “I certainly think that they keep the spirit of the project that we already passed, and have massaged it a little to make it a bit more specific,” said board member Natalie Gualy. “But as a whole it reaches above its capability. The park is the success of this project.”
According to Daniels, the proposed project will be the developer’s first and last in First Hill. “The neighborhood is becoming much more dense, so this needs to be done right,” Daniels added. “We don’t want to end up with high-rises without souls. We need these opportunities to be a catalyst in doing something exceptional.”
Other projects by Daniels Real Estate include The Mark, a 48-story mixed-used tower containing Class A office space and a hotel and spa, opening in April 2017. Gridiron is an 11-story residential tower in Pioneer Square with 107 condominiums that began selling in fall 2015. The Mirador is a combination residential project of 162 rental apartments and 120 for-sale condominiums located in downtown Bellevue. Another project is the SLS Hotel Seattle, located at 5th and Columbia, a 184-room luxury hotel designed by world-renowned Philippe Starck that is scheduled to open June 2017.