By Kate Snyder
A proposal for a nine-story office building with laboratory and retail in Seattle’s Uptown neighborhood is one step closer to realization. During a recommendation meeting on Wednesday, the West Design Review Board unanimously voted in favor of moving the project forward to master use permitting.
The project developer is a partnership between Lincoln Property Company and Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation, which purchased the project site last year. Compton Design and HKS are the lead architects for the proposal.
During the meeting, Alex Aigner, senior vice president at Lincoln Property Company, highlighted the firm’s goals regarding the project. When completed, it is slated to be a 200,000 square foot life science building with 6,226 square feet of retail space and 89 stalls for vehicle parking.
“We believe it will be an iconic building in Seattle’s historic uptown neighborhood and contribute to the area’s rich history of art and science,” Aigner said.
Located at 112 to 130 5th Ave. N, the development team’s intention is for the project to act as a transition between the city’s Uptown district and downtown, according to project plans. As a result, designers considered bulk and scale in relationship to the proposed building’s residential neighbors. As a commercial building, it would add to the body of commercial development
that exists to the west while taking into account how to provide amenities for its residential neighbors to the south and east.
Additionally, a number of public transit stops within two blocks of the site highlight the need for an active and inviting pedestrian experience to and from those areas, plans show. Because that length of 5th Avenue is currently devoid of pedestrian amenities, the project has an opportunity to enhance the pedestrian experience along that stretch of road with retail and other active frontages.
The general massing of the building includes two inflection points along 5th Avenue and John Street responding to the Monorail movement and to the preserved tree and the corner plaza, respectively. Since the previous early design guidance meeting, the design team further developed depth variations around the facade and a modular “shifting frame” system that further enhances a sense of dynamic movement around the building, project plans show.
In the most recent meeting, Kay Compton, partner at Compton Design, presented details about the project to the board. She pointed out aspects of the design and noted in particular certain elements of the site that contribute to the overall proposal.
“The site itself has a few remarkable characteristics,” she said. “[The Seattle Monorail] is running the north-south side of the site. We have a significant tree located in the northwest corner, an alley condition on our east side and the lovely John Street to our north as well as a property line adjacent on our south side.”
The board overall was pleased with the project’s design. Specifically, board members appreciated that the retail area wrapped around on John Street and anchored the plaza. They liked the development of the plaza with pathways leading in and directing people toward the building. However, there was also some concern that the main entryway would get lost, but board members acknowledged that the design team could use the building’s canopy and setback to accentuate the entry. In the future, the development team could use different pavement, landscaping or lighting to accentuate the building’s entry further. The board also appreciated the materiality and colors used, as well as the way the lighting highlights the facade.
Lincoln Property Company manages and leases more than 400 million square feet of office, industrial and retail projects as well as more than 212,000 multifamily units. In the last 15 years, Lincoln has executed $15 billion of acquisitions and development. In the Pacific Northwest, LPC West currently owns and operates approximately six million square feet. Last year, LPC West and Intercontinental purchased the project site from Da Li Development for $42 million.