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Seattle’s First Modular Hotel Receives Green Light from Design Review Board

citizenM, Seattle, Puget Sound, South Lake Union, Mortenson Construction,
Photo Courtesy of Gensler

Amsterdam-based hotel group citizenM will proceed with its planned 264-room project in South Lake Union, the brand’s third U.S. location

SEATTLE – Dutch hotel owner-operator citizenM has received approval from the city’s Design Review Board to proceed with its proposed seven-story, 264-room hotel in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood – the city’s first modular hotel.

citizenM has selected Mortenson Construction as its general contractor, with construction slated to begin before the end of the year. Situated at 201 Westlake Avenue, the hotel is expected to open in Q1 2019. citizenM will manage the hotel when it debuts.

“Seattle has long been on our radar as a global city perfectly suited for the citizenM brand – smart, sophisticated and on the cutting edge,” said citizenM North America project director Menno Hilberts. “We look forward to introducing business travelers and adventurers alike to a truly differentiated place to sleep, work and play.”

All 264 guestrooms will be prefabricated offsite in a European manufacturing facility before setting sail aboard a single private vessel. The hotel modules will then be offloaded at the Port of Seattle and transported to the construction site, where Mortenson will stack them atop the conventionally-built concrete podium.

Although modular construction is not always the right fit for the delivery of one of citizenM’s hotels it’s an important facet of citizenM’s focus on sustainability and high-performance buildings. citizenM’s modular experience has shown that the duration of construction is typically reduced by three months compared to traditional building methods, significantly reducing pollution associated with construction. Prefabricating guestrooms in a controlled factory environment also improves the quality of the buildout, while reducing construction waste by 60 percent.

“We’re thrilled to partner with citizenM on a hospitality project that embodies the innovative nature of the South Lake Union neighborhood,” said Phil Greany, a construction executive with Mortenson Construction. “As a construction company, we’ve long prided ourselves on unique means and methods, and look forward to commemorating another ‘first’ in the months ahead.”

The hotel brand’s expansion into Seattle is part of a wider rollout in the U.S. and Europe aimed at growing citizenM’s portfolio to 50 properties in development by the year 2020. Current U.S. cities with existing or planned citizenM hotels include Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City (Times Square and SoHo).

citizenM is the brainchild of former fashion executive Rattan Chadha, who founded the company to provide an affordable luxury experience without the usual frustrations, like lengthy trips to the front desk (self check-ins and check-outs are a standard at every hotel). The hotel brand caters to mobile citizens, hence the name citizenM.

In addition to a lobby that doubles as a living room for guests, the project will include a gym, restaurant, bar and meeting space on the first level.

Guestrooms are designed to be compact and to provide just what travelers need – a king-size bed, shower and a fast Wi-Fi connections. In-room iPads enable guests to control everything, from heating and air conditioning, TV and movies (all movies are free) to customizable LED mood lighting around the restroom/shower pod. Additionally, the tablets allow guests to track the hotel’s real-time sustainability performance, which will get a boost from green features like a chilled-beam HVAC system.

The project team is targeting LEED Gold certification.

A large-scale mural will wrap around the southwest corner of the building at the intersection of Westlake Avenue North and John Street, providing a visual focal point.

The citizenM project team includes:

  • Gensler: architect
  • Arup: structural and MEP engineer
  • Mortenson Construction: general contractor
  • CPL: civil engineer
  • Site Workshop: landscape architect

About Mortenson
Since 1982, Mortenson Construction has provided diversified construction services offering customer-centric general contracting, construction management, design-build, program management, project development and “turn-key” development in Seattle. Mortenson has built over 250 projects valued at more than $4 billion in the Pacific Northwest. Clients include: Touchstone Development, Stonebridge Development, AMLI Residential, Alaska Airlines, Boeing, City of Seattle, City of Tacoma, Group Health, Microsoft, Providence Hospital, Snohomish County, Tulalip Tribes, the University of Washington, among others. For more information, please visit www.mortenson.com/seattle.