By Jack Stubbs
2018 was a record year for downtown Seattle’s Hospitality sector, with 6,414 new hotel rooms currently in various stages of development—and a number of underway projects in the city are set increase hotel inventory in downtown Seattle by more than 40 percent in the coming years, according to a recent report by the Downtown Seattle Association.
Merrillville, IN-based White/Peterman Properties Inc., a national developer of hotel and apartment properties, has plans in the works for an 11-story, 200-room hotel located in the Cascade neighborhood of South Lake Union. On August 25th, the company, through an entity called WPPI Seattle AC, acquired a 11,975 square foot retail property at the site of the development for $8.4 million, King County records show. The sellers of the property were Reidl Properties LLC and John and Lynn Ahlers based in Seattle.
Ross Klinger of Kidder Mathews represented the buyer, and Arie Salomon and Rich Mermelstein of NAI Puget Sound Properties represented the seller in the transaction.
The subject property, located at 117 Yale Ave. N., is a two-story retail building constructed in 1927 which sits on roughly half an acre, according to public documents. The recent sale of the retail property, which was recorded on August 27th, marks the latest chapter for the development.
In October 2018, owner and developer White/Peterman Properties and architecture firm Johnson Braund, Inc. were granted initial design approval—with conditions—for the development, which is located within blocks of Amazon’s headquarters, the expanding Washington State Convention Center and the rapidly-growing Denny Triangle neighborhood.
The project will include basement meeting spaces, a ground level lobby, a restaurant and bar and an indoor sports and recreation center. No parking is planned on the site’s 9,569 square foot lot—instead, the design team plans to incorporate valet parking to an off-site location into the hotel’s daily operations.
Per the applicant team’s design proposal, the hotel will be geared toward business travelers staying downtown, and would incorporate Marriott International’s brand of AC Hotels, which includes elements of European and Spanish design. The development plans also incorporate an interior courtyard to increase pedestrian access from Yale Avenue to an adjacent alley, and the project team is seeking LEED Gold certification for the project.
At the October 2018 Design Review meeting, most of the board’s feedback focused on the overall massing, articulation and design of the project, how the prominent signs on the top of the building would be suitable for the structure, and how the exterior facade compliment the existing neighborhood fabric as it evolves.
The proposed project is less than a mile from Westlake Center and Pacific Place, shopping centers with major tenants such as Macy’s and Nordstrom. The hotel would also provide easy freeway access, as it would be less than a block from Interstate-5.