By Meghan Hall
With an eye on the future, investors are moving forward with deals in Seattle, and an entitled site ready for redevelopment office building at the heart of downtown has changed hands. In a transaction that closed on September 11th, Seattle-based Martin Smith Inc. sold a half-block site located at 801 Third Ave. for $127,721,839.39. The buyer was The Net Seattle LLC, a joint venture between Urban Visions and Mitsui Fudosan America, Inc.
The property includes half of a block between Columbia and Marion Streets. Parcel data indicates that the site is developed with a 1979 office building that totals 36,131 square feet. The other half of the block is owned by another entity of which Urban Visions is a partner.
Designed by NBBJ, the project has been dubbed “The Net,” and will rise 500 feet. The building will be 807,000 square feet, with delivery expected during the fourth quarter of 2023, although this is uncertain at this point in time, since construction will not begin until a major portion of the project is pre-leased, according to Greg Smith, CEO Urban Visions. The development team does not need financing, and the construction can begin once a pre-lease has been confirmed.
The project will also include 11,937 square feet of retail and features such as a three-tiered outdoor roof terrace and smart technology. Six levels of underground parking are also incorporated into the plans.
The project, once completed, will anchor major changes in the neighborhood due to its location adjacent to the former Highway 99 viaduct and City-led initiatives to reconnect Seattle to the waterfront. The project is also blocks from Pike Place, several LINK Light Rail Stations and major bus lines. The Colman Dock, Seattle Exchange Building and Safeco Plaza are within walking distance as well.
The project team received design approval for the project back in the spring of 2019. The building’s design is guided by a striking decision to showcase the structure’s exoskeleton, visible through the façade and building skin. Facades will also be modulated through the use of vertical fins, which provide texture while also enhancing solar control. The corners of the structure will be lifted to reveal the lower floors and an elevator system encased in glass—designed to highlight the views of the building in use.
“This building is based on the concept of human health, which encompasses not only being green but also focusing on how do we design a building that really focuses on occupant health, making occupants want to move, [and experience] natural light,” said Greg Smith, the founder and CEO of Seattle-based Urban Visions at the time of the project’s design approval. “There’s no building that is a high-rise that has done what we’re proposing to do downtown.”
The core of the structure will be shifted to the side, allowing for more floor exposure and clear views across floor plates, a system designed to maximize circulation and connectivity.
The project team received its permits to begin construction in August of this year and subsequently moved forward with its plans to purchase the property. The Net is not Urban Visions’ first within Pioneer Square. In February, the firm broke ground on The Jack: a 145,000 square foot “modern heritage office building” designed by Olson Kundig. Urban Visions is also working to develop the S Campus, a 1.2 million square foot project in the International District.
According to a March statement from the company, Urban Visions had a total of 2.2 million square feet of projects underway in Seattle, and the projects had a total construction value of $2 billion.
As of this writing, Urban Visions had not yet returned The Registry’s request for updated comment.