Home AEC University District Parking Associates Selects Touchstone and Portman Holdings for Two Seattle...

University District Parking Associates Selects Touchstone and Portman Holdings for Two Seattle Development Projects

University District Parking Associates, Seattle, Touchstone, Portman Holdings, U-District, University of Washington, Urban Renaissance Group, Georgia Tech, Trinity Real Estate

Office and Retail Developments Planned for Two Parking Lots One Block from Future Link Light Rail Station

Seattle, Wash., (June 4, 2019) – University District Parking Associates, Inc. (UDPA) today announced it has selected a development team comprised of highly respected Seattle-based developer Touchstone and internationally-recognized Atlanta based developer Portman Holdings as its long-term ground lease partner for two parking lots in the U-District neighborhood. UDPA’s properties are within one block of the new light rail station that will open in 2021.

Formed in 1944 by local U-District businesses, UDPA’s purpose has been to provide affordable parking in support of the local business community as well as its customers and employees. “UDPA conducted a global search to find the most qualified development team to bring vitality and positive economic impact to the U-District. The combination of Touchstone, one of the most qualified and experienced local developers in concert with Portman’s global strength and accomplishments, created the optimum partner to improve our community,” said UDPA President Don Schulze.

Located on two separate lots within one block of Seattle’s future Link Light Rail University District Station, the sites currently serve as parking lots at 4530 12th Avenue NE (Lot A) and 4536 Brooklyn Avenue NE (Lot B).

“The addition of light rail next to the University of Washington and in the center of the U-District neighborhood is a once-in- a-generation transformational opportunity. This creates the perfect time to reimagine these lots in a way that is consistent with UDPA’s mission and vision,” said Touchstone CEO Pat Callahan. “We look forward to engagement with the U-District neighborhood and with innovative office users. I am confident that we will create a great office environment with a compelling sense of place at these locations,” he added.

“Portman is delighted to partner with UDPA and Touchstone to create another transformational, mixed-use destination with creative work spaces that speak to the trend of the co-location of office in proximity of educational, research, residential, retail, and transit amenities that are further connected and enhanced by high Walk and Bike scores,” said Portman Holdings CEO Ambrish Baisiwala.

Touchstone and Portman plan to start the entitlement process on the University District sites in Summer 2019 with project completion slated for 2023. 

Office and Retail Uses Planned for Parking Lot Sites

With more than 14,000 residents and hundreds of independent businesses, Seattle’s University District neighborhood is a cultural and economic hub and home to one of Seattle’s largest employers, the University of Washington. Recently, the U- District was up-zoned in anticipation of Sound Transit’s new light rail station, which will open in the heart of the neighborhood in 2021.

At its newly-leased sites, zoned for both mid and high-rise buildings, Touchstone and Portman are planning a diverse mix of commercial office and retail to help ensure that the University District neighborhood contains uses beyond new student housing. Current plans include a 190,000 SF commercial office building on Lot A and a 155,000 SF commercial office building on Lot B; both buildings will include ground floor retail and below-grade parking. These sites are just a few steps from one another and could therefore easily accommodate a 345,000 SF user.In addition to these two developments in the University District, Touchstone and its parent company, Urban Renaissance Group, currently have several active projects including an office redevelopment on Blake Street in Denver as well as the Canvas at Press Blocks office project (150,000 SF) and Press Blocks residential tower (337 units) in Portland. Other new development completed in this cycle include office projects Troy Block (810,000 SF), Hill7 (285,000 SF), NorthEdge (210,000 SF), Tilt49 (290,000 SF) as well as hospitality projects Hilton Garden Inn (222 keys), Everett Courtyard by Marriott (156 keys) and Issaquah SpringHill Suites by Marriott (145 keys). 

Portman’s current projects include CODA Tech Square, the collaborative office building anchored by Georgia Tech, and the built-to-suit Anthem Technology Center. Both are located in Midtown Atlanta. Recently completed developments include 230 Peachtree Street in Atlanta, the 615 S. College office in Charlotte, Union Tower West in Denver, the 800-key BRIC hotel complex on Broadway in San Diego, and about 5,000 residential condominium units in India. 

Trinity Real Estate advised UDPA in this transaction.

About Touchstone

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. Learn more at www.urbanrengroup.com and www.touchstonenw.com. 

About Portman Holdings

Portman is a vertically integrated real estate development company with over sixty years of experience, an extensive global network, and a proven track record with leading financial institutions. Since Portman’s founding in 1953, we have achieved success by delivering distinctive urban real estate developments that produce strong financial returns. Globally, we have developed more than 70 million square feet of office, hotel, trade mart, residential and mixed-use real estate across three continents, having raised and deployed in excess of $7 billion in actual costs of construction unadjusted for time or current values. Learn more at www.portmanholdings.com.

About University District Parking Associates.

University District Parking Associates, Inc. (UDPA) was formed in 1944 by ten local business and property owners who wanted to help the U District business community prosper. They believed creating more customer parking would do that. Over time, UDPA bought and sold properties to assemble larger parcels for parking.Today, UPDA has over fifty shareholders, many multi-generational, and all with current or former ties to the U District. UDPA currently owns three large parking lots and six retail buildings on “The Ave,” the U District’s main commercial street. In light of evolving business and shopping trends, the continuing growth of Seattle and the University of Washington, and the opening of a light rail station, UDPA decided developing their parking lots with a world class team would be the best course for the company and the U District business community. Learn more at www.udpa.org. 

About Trinity Real Estate.

Trinity Real Estate (TRE) provides comprehensive, personalized commercial real estate services and investment strategies to West Coast family offices and institutional investors. TRE’s services are focused on creating, enhancing, and preserving real estate assets, so they reach their maximum potential and produce strong, long-term returns for its clients. TRE’s hands-on, high touch, and full-service approach has led to the management, development, and repositioning of more than $9 billion in assets since its founding in 2001. These assets span all sectors of the real estate market including office, industrial, multifamily, hospitality and mixed-use. Learn more at www.trinityre.com.