Home AEC Touchstone, Portman Holdings Break Ground on 240,000 SQFT Office Building in Seattle’s...

Touchstone, Portman Holdings Break Ground on 240,000 SQFT Office Building in Seattle’s University District

Seattle, Touchstone, Portman Holdings, University District, Chapter Building I, Chapter Building II, Bank OZK

Seattle, Wash. – Seattle-based commercial real estate firm Touchstone and Atlanta-based real estate development company Portman Holdings today announced full capitalization of the new “Chapter Buildings” mixed-use commercial project in Seattle’s University District through a joint-venture partnership with Lionstone  Investments. Bank OZK is the lender.

Touchstone and Portman Holdings also announced they recently broke ground on Chapter Building I and Chapter Building II’s groundbreaking is soon to follow. Located at 4530 12th Ave NE, ‘Chapter Building I’ features 12 stories and 240,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art Class-A office space and 9,000 sq. ft. of ground-level retail. Chapter Building I includes a mid-block pedestrian connection and public open space called the ‘Brooklyn Cut’.

‘Chapter Building II,’ (154,000 sq. ft.) features 10-stories of Class-A life science, R&D and office space and 4,000 sq. ft. of ground-level retail. The new development is located within one block of Sound Transit’s future Link Light Rail Station, which opened in fall 2021. Both buildings are expected to deliver in early 2024.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Lionstone on this transformative project in the University District, Seattle’s fastest growing neighborhood. Lionstone is a great fit for this project because of their extensive experience with life science assets, and because of their proven track record on large-scale, mixed-use development,” said Touchstone CEO Pat Callahan.

“Seattle is a dynamic market and we are grateful for the support and partnership with land owner UDPA, Touchstone, Lionstone and Bank OZK in creating another integrated transit-oriented creative office and life science complex” said Portman CEO Ambrish Baisiwala. 

A Pivotal Project for an Evolving Neighborhood

With a focus on cultivating community and stimulating innovation, the workspaces at the ‘Chapter Buildings’ are designed to be connective, comfortable, and promote health and wellness. 

“Developing significant office and life science assets in the University District will add to the mix of uses in the neighborhood, and those uses will be well served by transit with the new University District light rail station now open. We have always believed in transit-oriented development, and this is just one of multiple TOD’s that URG and Touchstone has developed,” said Joe Polito, VP of Development for Touchstone.

Both buildings will be built to U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold and Fitwel Certification standards. Composed of a masonry and glass exterior, both buildings feature lobbies with collaborative workspaces and lounge areas featuring hospitality-like designs, on-site exercise facilities, bicycle storage, service centers, and club-like showers and lockers. Offering expansive views, the buildings’ significant outdoor spaces offer tenants many unique areas for meetings, contemplation or relaxation.

The ‘Brooklyn Cut’ will feature 8,000 sq. ft. of privately-developed, publicly-accessible neighborhood open space that includes a mid-block connection between 12th Ave and Brooklyn Ave NE fronted by the building’s lobby and retail.  The Brooklyn Cut is a neighborhood open space intended for everyday use by building occupants and the neighborhood.  The one-of-a-kind, activated open space will carry traditional park hours and include inviting seating installations and catenary lighting.

The Post-COVID Workspace: Promoting Health, Safety & Wellness 

As the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt across the world, the ‘Chapter Buildings’ have been designed with a new level of health, safety and wellness in mind.

Featuring large, open floorplans of up to 30,000 sq. ft., with superior access to natural light, operable windows, rooftop decks and minimal columns, The Chapter Buildings provide highly-efficient, functional and clean workspaces where tenants can control the climate, air quality and humidity of their spaces.  Specific highlights include Sensible Cooling units and Dedicated Outdoor Air System, or DOAS, which continuously circulates 100% fresh outside air via the HVAC system.

Experienced Project Team

Project team members 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 CBRE’s Greg Inglin, David Abbott and Laura Ford (leasing), DCI (structural engineer), CPL (civil engineer), MacDonald Miller (mechanical engineer), Stantec (electrical engineer) and Fuzzco (branding).

In addition to these projects, Touchstone and its parent company, Urban Renaissance Group, currently have several active projects that include: An office redevelopment on Blake Street in Denver, as well as the Press Blocks residential tower (337 units) in Portland. Other new development completed in this cycle include: Canvas at Press Blocks office project (150,000 sq. ft.), Troy Block (810,000 sq. ft.), Hill7 (285,000 sq. ft.), NorthEdge (210,000 sq. ft.), Tilt49 (290,000 sq. ft.) as well as hospitality projects Hilton Garden Inn (222 keys), Everett Courtyard by Marriott (156 keys), Issaquah SpringHill Suites by Marriott (145 keys), Thompson Seattle (148 keys), and Sage Lodge (50 keys).

Portman’s current projects include the Spring Quarter in Midtown Atlanta (which includes 370 apartments, 530,000 sq. ft. office, and a 250,000 sq. ft. life science building), CODA Tech Square, the collaborative office building anchored by Georgia Tech, the built-to-suit Anthem Technology Center, the Line in Charlotte, 11 North mixed-use deal and the Moore in Nashville.  Both are located in Midtown Atlanta. Other active projects include a new 700-key Hyatt Regency hotel in Salt Lake City, 2151 Hawkins in Charlotte (275,000 sq. ft.), 1020 Spring St in Atlanta (375 units of residential and 575,000 sq. ft. of office space) and Union Tower West in Denver (200,000 sq. ft.), as well as several others.