Paul Allen’s real estate group, Vulcan Inc., and architect Ankrom Moisan are hoping to bring their plans for a 44-story tower to Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, adding an additional 450-500 residential units to the growing neighborhood.
The 19,434 square foot mixed-use development sits at 5th and Lenora, directly adjacent to one of Vulcan’s other highrise projects, The Martin. The site is currently divided into three sections, an existing gravel lot, a one-story brick building and a surface parking lot.
While the project is in the early design guidance phase with the Seattle Design Review Board, the preferred plan for the proposed 44-story tower includes up to 500 residential units and anywhere between 2,000 and 5,000 square feet of street level retail space. While the zoning doesn’t require parking, plans include six levels of below-grade parking with room for up to 345 stalls. Part of the success of the tower is in the hands of the Seattle City Council. The current code has a maximum height of 400 feet, and plans for the proposed building call for a height of 440 feet. The upzone is currently under city council review.
Plans for the tower draw inspiration from the visual cues surrounding the Puget Sound region. “The primary design concept as proposed is ‘Cascade,’ drawing on the unique landscape of the Pacific Northwest as well as the experience of falling water,” according to the plans. “Our goal is to create a building design and spatial environment that is energizing yet calming, has moments of high drama and serenity, is layered and mysterious while exciting, and contains a wide variety of experimental scales from the smallest details to the whole composition,” the plans state.
With the preferred concept, the tower will be separated vertically into two primary elements. The northeastern portion contains the ‘Cascade’ massing while the southwestern facades incorporate an abstraction of cliff face and forest from which the Cascade emerges, according to the plans. The preferred concept, Cascade, would maximize natural light at the street level, provide multiple outdoor terrace opportunities and create a strong presence at the corner.
Plans call for a large, multilevel lobby entrance that will be fully transparent. The ground floor of the tower includes the lobby and amenity area as well as the retail and commercial space. The retail space is on Lenora and wraps around the corner onto 5th Ave. As you go up the floors, many levels feature small to large outdoor terraces with access on levels 4-15. Levels 6 and 7 include the larger outdoor terraces as well as amenity spaces.
To create a more involved pedestrian experience, plans call for specialty paving, outdoor seating attached to the retail space, art opportunities and greenery. The project also aims to incorporate a water feature along Lenora to add visual interest to the streetscape. Additionally, it also hopes to meet Seattle’s 2030 District challenge and goals by targeting 70 percent reduction in energy use versus the national median baseline and 50 percent less water consumption versus the local average.