Urban Visions’ plan to redevelop the old parking garage property at 74 S. Jackson St. is taking final form. Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig is designing the seven-story building, which is now being reviewed by the Pioneer Square Preservation Board.
Urban Visions bought the 20,766-square-foot corner site from Gerding Edlen late last year for $13 million. Gerding Edlen had proposed an 11-story, 120-foot residential tower, but failed to gain approval for that project, which used the address of 316 Alaskan Way S.
The new plan is for a seven-story, 100-foot-tall office building. The office space on levels two through seven will total just over 121,000 square feet, with floor plates averaging about 19,000 square feet. The entrance will be on Jackson. The project will target LEED Platinum certification, with operable windows like Urban Visions’ award-winning 200 Occidental, where Weyerhaeuser moved its headquarters last year. Mithun designed 200 Occidental.
Kundig’s design shows about 11,000 square feet of retail or restaurant space at grade. Four bays would face both Jackson and Alaskan Way South, where, of course, the viaduct demolition is supposed to begin in 2019. After the viaduct is gone, much of the building will have unobstructed views of Elliott Bay, the Olympics and Pier 48.
On the roof, a deck, gardens and 5,000-square-foot enclosed amenity space are planned. The penthouse would add about 15 feet to the structure’s overall height.
Parking for 42 vehicles, on one underground level, will be accessed from the alley to the east. The basement will also include a bike room for 62 bicycles, plus showers for bike commuters.
Plans also indicate there will be a pass-through connection to the basement of the C&H Building to the north, at 304 Alaskan. Owned by Anne Michelson, the proprietor of Crescent Down Works, that 1890 building has been partly renovated by Olson Kundig. Peter Miller Books recently became a tenant there, too.
Total project size, including the parking and roof areas, would be about 171,000 square feet. The city values the project at $27 million. Kundig previously told the preservation board that his design inspirations came from the surrounding context of Pioneer Square, where his firm has been located for decades. In particular, he cited the nearby Seattle Quilt Building (aka the Walker Building) at 316 First Ave. S., with its two even bays of unornamented warehouse windows.
Windows on the south side of the 74 S. Jackson building would be initially smaller and similar in scale to those of its neighbor across the alley to the east: the five-story 80 S. Jackson condominium. Most of the residents of those condos were vehemently opposed to Gerding Edlen’s proposal, arguing that it was too tall and discordant with the surrounding architecture.
Kundig’s window pattern would shift to a larger, more loft-like scale on the building’s southwest corner, which has the most exposure and light from Alaskan Way, this may urge any people using the rooms that have these windows installed on one side to look for large window coverings like Plantation Shutters for when the light exposure becomes too much, however that will probably be personal preference and depends on what the rooms in question will be used for. Then, moving north along the west facade, the building would revert back to the smaller, more traditional punched-window pattern, where it abuts the C&H Building to the north.
The effect is like a slightly more modern building inset in the southwest corner of a structure that is otherwise seeking to harmonize with its turn-of-the-century neighbors.
Urban Visions’ Greg Smith previously told the DJC he hopes to begin construction in 2019, after signing a tenant or tenants. A construction project of this scale will need the correct tools to make sure that everything is done correctly and in the best way possible. For example, construction site workers will be required to use prefabricated buildings for shelter throughout the duration of the project. You can learn more about the importance of fabric structures in the construction industry by heading to the Norseman Structures website.
There are other measures that will need to be taken into consideration too. For example, Smith can always see if there is a table saw like a Planer Delta for sale to use when the work starts. Smith will need all of the help he can get when the construction begins including having as many workers and equipment he requires. Not forgetting that this type of project could conjure a lot of mess and may need to have a look at getting a self-dumping hopper from somewhere like Platforms and Ladders to maintain all of his waste management so that it is safely contained.
The team also includes Coughlin Porter Lundeen, structural engineer; Navix Engineering, civil; and JTM Construction, pre-construction services. Olson Kundig is also a landscape architect.