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Vulcan to Develop 12-Story Building as Part of Google’s Expanding Campus in Seattle’s South Lake Union Neighborhood

Seattle, Vulcan Inc, Google, NBBJ, GLY Construction, Lakefront Steps, South Lake Union, mixed-use, Design Review board, project
Rendering courtesy of NBBJ

By Jack Stubbs

Vulcan Inc. on Tuesday announced that Google would occupy the developer’s planned 12-story office building that is across the street from the underway four-building, 638,000 square foot mixed-use campus in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

Vulcan is planning to re-develop Block 36—a 12-story project located at 520 Westlake Ave. N. in the heart of South Lake Union—as the fifth building for Google’s larger campus. The development, for which a design proposal was most recently submitted in fall of 2014, comprises 322,000 square feet of office space. In addition to office space for Google, the development will also include 330 parking stalls across four levels of below-grade parking and 23,000 square feet of street-level retail. The new project’s last proposal indicated that it would target LEED Gold certification and Salmon-Safe certification.

NBBJ is designing the project and GLY Construction would be the general contractor.

The existing buildings on the project site will be demolished prior to construction as part of Vulcan’s project plans. Tenants in the buildings, including the Guitar Center, have been informed of the redevelopment project and are working with the developer to determine plans for relocation.

Vulcan represented itself in the lease negotiations and Google was represented by Flinn Ferguson and CBRE.

Construction on the project—which is bounded by Mercer Street, Westlake Avenue North and Republican Street—is scheduled to begin in fourth quarter of 2019, with shell and core of the structure scheduled to be complete in July 2021, according to Lori Mason Curran, director of real estate investment strategy at Vulcan

The development is one block away and across Mercer Street from the under-construction Lakefront Blocks—located at 625-630 Boren Ave. North—which is a four-building, mixed-use office campus developed for Google. When complete in 2019, the project will ultimately include 638,000 square feet of office space, 11,500 square feet of retail and 149 market-rate units. Graphite Design Group and Runberg Architecture Group are also on the team for Lakefront Blocks.

Vulcan’s plans for Block 36 mark the latest chapter in the development of the Google campus, and are coming at the right time for all involved, according to Ada M. Healey, vice president of real estate at Vulcan Inc. “Google’s expansion within South Lake Union is very exciting. We’ve developed a great partnership over the past several years and look forward to helping Google continue to grow its business in our region,” Healey said in a statement released by Vulcan.

It is likely that Block 36—as the most recent addition to the four-building campus for Google—will continue to take place over the coming months, and the EDG proposal submitted in 2014 is generally consistent with what Vulcan will ultimately build, according to Curran.

As for the campus across the street, Lakefront Blocks will start delivering in first quarter 2019, according to Curran, and in the meantime the team for the project will go through the city’s design review process for the fifth structure. “Now that we are moving forward with a project we will need to go to the Design Review Board for approvals,” Curran said.