Urban Visions Seattle Real Estate is proposing a 60-story office and condo project in Seattle’s downtown, which, according to a report by the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA), will cost $750 million to build. The proposed project, Tower 888, is one of the most expensive developments in the mid-2016 development pipeline and will be the second tallest building in the city.
“We’re still very early in our design process,” said Urban Visions Founder & CEO, Greg Smith. “It’s a full block site with incredible views and location. We’re strategizing on exactly what the building is going to be, and we should be coming out with that and going to the city in the near future.”
Condo prices haven’t really supported new construction, but we think that is starting to change
Located at 888 2nd Avenue, the site is bounded by Madison Street, 3rd Avenue, Marion Street and 2nd Avenue, and is in close proximity to Interstate 5. The current plan for the 888-foot tower, designed by Seattle-based architecture firm NBBJ, includes approximately 16 floors containing 160 luxury condo units over one million square feet of Class A office space in the remaining 44 floors. “There will definitely be condo units, but the project may have some apartments as well,” said Smith. “Condo prices haven’t really supported new construction, but we think that is starting to change. The market is significantly underserved. One of our ideas is to offer more condos than originally proposed and less office space, and possibly a hotel.”
Along with the residential and office spaces, there will also be around 40,000 square feet of retail space that is anchored by the well-known Metropolitan Grill on 2nd Avenue. At the center of the proposed project is a 616-foot atrium that will fill the interior offices with natural light and provide sky views to pedestrians walking beneath the tower.
One of the aspects that Urban Visions carries through all of their projects is a high level of sustainability obtained through LEED certification. “What we try to do is make decisions that, to us, make logical sense. We try to incorporate everything from energy usage to health for the employees, in respect to what provides an environment that will make them healthy. This involves materials, natural light and biophilia, which occurs when around greenery.”
Urban Visions is a privately-owned real estate development firm which finances, builds and manages its properties, focusing on urban areas. Its portfolio of projects that are planned, under construction and complete include over four million square feet of office space, over 750 residential units, along with retail and industrial properties in the Greater Seattle area. Approximately two million square feet of this office space is between this project and “S,” a million-square-foot office project in south downtown.
According to DSA’s Development Guide Mid-Year 2016 Update, downtown office development is accelerating. As of June almost six million square feet is under construction, and although this is down over one million square feet from June of last year, it is up slightly from the end of 2015. It is also the highest amount of mid-year office space DSA has noted since the organization began tracking downtown’s development in 2005, says the report.
The same report also states that the downtown residential market set a new record with the delivery of 3,600 residential units in 2015. Including the 708 units already completed so far this year, there are another 8,661 units scheduled for completion by 2017. Nearly 7,000 of these are under construction and just over 1,000 are in pre-construction stages. DSA’s report says that there are more than 20,000 units scheduled for completion after 2017, most of those in the predevelopment phase.