Transformative Project Includes 12-Story ‘Chapter Building I’ Featuring 243K SF of Class-A Office Space and 9K SF Retail Space and 10-Story ‘Chapter Building II’ Featuring 149K SF of Class-A Life Science, R&D and Office Space and 4K+ SF of Ground-Floor Retail
Seattle, Wash., November 15, 2023 – Seattle-based commercial real estate firm Touchstone and Atlanta-based real estate development company Portman Holdings, with joint-venture partner Lionstone Investments, today announced the official topping-off of both mixed-use buildings within the transformative new ‘Chapter Buildings’ commercial project.
Located in the heart of Seattle’s U-District and one of the nation’s growing innovation districts the ‘Chapter Buildings’ include ‘Chapter Building I,’ a 12-story, 252,000 sq. ft. building located at 4530 12th Ave NE, and ‘Chapter Building II,’ a 10- story, 153,000 sq. ft. project located at 4536 Brooklyn Ave NE. The project also includes an 8,000 sq. ft. public open space called the ‘Brooklyn Cut’ that will serve as a conduit between the two buildings and create much needed connectivity through the neighborhood.
“The topping out of the Chapter Buildings is a milestone nearly 5 years in the making and represents the hard work of so many. We are grateful for our development, equity and lending partners. This milestone is a celebration of the people that have physically built this structure to this point. These buildings rise within this never-before imagined innovation district anchored by the University of Washington. This is the beginning of the opportunities that lie ahead,” said Touchstone and URG CEO Pat Callahan.
“Companies continue to want locations that support their focus on recruiting and retaining the best talent. The Chapter Buildings offers direct access to the University of Washington ecosystem and the ability to tap into that talent pool,” said Portman’s Managing Director of Office Travis Garland. “Innovation districts like the U-District have the unique potential to the create truly sustainable economic development by leveraging the close proximity between private industry and educational institutions surrounded by neighborhood amenities that employees want when coming into the office. It’s about creating as many opportunities as possible for smart people to connect. For the Chapter Buildings, we understood that comes down to design and programming. That’s the difference between what an innovation district can offer companies versus a traditional office park.”
Chapter Buildings: Transformative New Project in Seattle’s Fastest Growing Neighborhood
With a focus on increasing connectivity and diversity within the greater U-District neighborhood, the Chapter Buildings represent the evolution of the neighborhood. Located just blocks from the University of Washington, steps from the Link Light Rail U-District Station, and within 10 minutes of South Lake Union and Downtown by car or train, the U-District is positioned to become one of Seattle’s premier office and life science neighborhoods. The innovation district combines the vibrancy of the thriving U-District with never-before-available Class A life-science and workspaces adjacent to one of the nation’s premier research, engineering, and computer-science universities.
“Walkabilty, transit, neighborhood amenities, and public spaces are part of the fabric of what makes these innovation ecosystems successful in accelerating economic growth. The Chapter Buildings are at the center of that network in terms of location and give tenants new, amenitized workspace both inside and out of the physical office space,” said Garland.
Featuring 243,000 sq. ft. of office space and 8,500 sq. ft. of retail space, Chapter Building I includes 13-foot floor-to-floor heights with 31,000 sq. ft. average floor sizes on floors two through seven and 11,000 sq. ft. average floor sizes on floors eight through twelve. The building also includes a 7,800 sq. ft. 8th floor outdoor amenity deck featuring a pickleball court, as well as 205 parking stalls in an underground garage accessed via 12th Ave NE.
Chapter Building II features 149,000 sq. ft. of life science, research and development, and office space and 3,800 sq. ft. of retail space, including 13’ 8” floor-to-floor heights with 18,500 sq. ft. average floor sizes on floors two through nine. The building also includes a 2,500 sq. ft. 10th floor outdoor amenity deck adjacent to a 1,700 sq. ft. interior lounge. The building has 85 underground parking stalls accessed through the alley.
Connecting the Chapter Buildings between 12th and Brooklyn Avenues, the ‘Brooklyn Cut’ features a continuous pedestrian mid-block connection with an 8,000 sq. ft. publicly accessible open space intended for everyday use by both building occupants and the greater neighborhood. Fronted by the building lobbies and retail spaces, the Brooklyn Cut includes wood-clad walls and ceiling, inviting seating, and catenary lighting set amongst lush plantings.
Focused on providing highly efficient, functional, and healthy workspaces that encourage wellbeing, the Chapter Buildings also feature an upscale fitness center, spa-like showers and locker rooms, touchless fixtures, bike storage and servicing, amenity rich outdoor spaces, and rooftop decks with territorial and skyline views. Composed of a brick and glass exterior, including operable windows in Chapter Building I, both buildings are built to U.S. Green Building LEED Gold and Fitwel certification standards.
Experienced Project Team
Project team members on the Chapter Buildings include Touchstone and Portman Holdings (developers), Urban Renaissance Group (property manager), Portman Architects (design architect), CollinsWoerman (local architect/interior designer), GGLO (landscape architect), Lease Crutcher Lewis (general contractors for Chapter Building I), and BNB (general contractors for Chapter Building II). Additional team members include DCI (structural engineer), CPL (civil engineer), MacDonald Miller (mechanical engineer), Stantec (electrical engineer). CBRE’s Greg Inglin, David Abbott and Laura Ford are leasing the office and life science space. Gibraltar’s Tracy Cornell, Laura Miller, and Brett Frank-Looney are handling the retail leasing.
Construction on the buildings began in Spring 2022 and completion of the project is anticipated in Q2 2024.
Touchstone is a subsidiary of Urban Renaissance Group LLC, a Seattle-based full-service commercial real estate company, engaged in acquisitions, development, asset management, leasing, property management and ownership in Seattle, Bellevue, Denver and Portland. Urban Renaissance Group’s (URG) mission is to create places that inspire and connect. With a dedication to placemaking and fostering community, URG helps spark change in transforming neighborhoods by reinventing land and buildings to better serve people and the community at large.
About Portman Holdings.
Portman is a real estate development company with a rich history of developing premier projects that span five decades and three continents. The company was founded by famed architect and developer John C. Portman Jr. who originally pioneered the concept of the architect as a developer and created a global legacy of large-scale mixed-use developments. The company is now led by Chairman and CEO Ambrish Baisiwala and President John Portman IV. Today, Portman Holdings’ multi-faceted expertise sets the standard of excellence for developing office, residential, industrial, hospitality, and retail mixed-use complexes and stand-alone developments nationally across the USA. Each line of business is led by a Managing Director and supported by a corporate structure.
About Lionstone Investments.
Lionstone Investments uses proprietary research and advanced analytics to identify durable growth and resilient income in U.S. real estate. For over 20 years, Lionstone has refined a data-centric approach, which augments real world experience with sophisticated technology, yielding understanding of the properties and demographics that drive long-term real estate value. It’s what we call the Power of RE: — research, relationships, and resources. Lionstone is a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC. Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the global brand name of the Columbia and Threadneedle group of companies.