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JiminyCricket II May 8, 2014 9:08 PM

SEATTLE | Rainier Square Redevelopment | 846 FT | 59 FLOORS

Wright Runstad & Co. would build a 50-story tower and smaller hotel building on downtown Seattle's Rainier Square site if a deal with the University of Washington is approved.

The UW Board of Regents' Finance and Asset Management Committee is scheduled to vote on the proposal Thursday morning. The deal includes two 80-year ground leases and a pre-development agreement.

According to the committee's agenda packet, Wright Runstad's project will total 1.15 million square feet in the taller tower and a separate-but-connected 15-story hotel. The taller building will include approximately 750,000 square feet of office, 182 apartments and 30,000 square feet of retail. The luxury hotel will have 198 rooms, and the project would have a 1,200-stall parking garage.

The project schedule calls for design and entitlement to occur in 2015-16, with early construction targeted for 2017 and completion three years later. Also listed in the agenda is a late construction start date of 2021, with completion in 2024.

The 1.4-acre project site occupies the block between Fourth and Fifth avenues and Union and University streets, except the 40-story Rainier Tower at the southeast corner of the block. The redevelopment site is made up of low-slung buildings occupied by shops and restaurants. It's part of the larger, UW-owned Metropolitan Tract.

The new development by Seattle-based Wright Runstad "will be an asset for the university and for the city as a whole," the committee agenda item states. "It will bring vibrant density with at-street destination retail activity, highly desirable residential and hotel units and world-class office space." The agenda goes on to call the project an "iconic development" that "will enhance and sustain the value of the Metropolitan Tract..."

JiminyCricket II May 8, 2014 9:10 PM

Rainier Square right next to it is ~520ft, iirc. So this thing is looking closer to 700ft. No official height announced yet.

TallBob May 8, 2014 9:54 PM

This development is very similar to "Tellus Sky" in Calgary!

kingkirbythe.... May 8, 2014 10:31 PM

What a beautiful building.

tyleraf May 8, 2014 11:17 PM

Very nice. It will look great with the rest of the skyline.

chris08876 May 8, 2014 11:54 PM

SEATTLE | Rainier Square Redevelopment | 795 FT | 50 FLOORS


On Thursday, the UW Board of Regents Finance and Asset Management Committee took up two 80-year ground leases and a pre-development agreement with Wright Runstad & Co. to erect a new 1.15-million-square-foot mixed-use project on the Rainier Square block, around the existing Rainier Tower, which would remain.

"The completed development will be an asset for the University and for the city as a whole," according to a UW staff memo. "It will bring vibrant density with at-street destination retail activity, highly desirable residential and hotel units, and world-class office space. Located at the heart of the city and supported by multiple transportation options, this iconic development will enhance and sustain the value of the Metropolitan Tract as well as the surrounding center of the downtown commercial core."

The proposed project consists of a 50-story (795-foot) tower containing 750,000 square feet of offices, 182 apartments and 30,000 square feet of retail space; a connected 15-story, 198-room, luxury hotel; and a 1,200-space parking garage.

JiminyCricket II May 9, 2014 12:24 AM

^Thank you Chris for finding the height. Can a mod update the title to include 242M / 795FT please?

shakman May 9, 2014 1:28 AM

If approved and built, this will Seattle's second tallest. Great stuff.

Zapatan May 9, 2014 3:53 AM

Nice! love the design

colemonkee May 9, 2014 2:15 PM

Great design. Build it. Now.

JiminyCricket II May 10, 2014 12:43 AM

More renderings
Interesting base for sure:

This is a 15 story hotel that is also part of the development:

chris08876 May 10, 2014 12:52 AM

I was wondering on how a spire could be incorporated in such a project and if it would work. Just hypothetically. I dont think it would work in this case though looking at the design. Killer base design wise. A 2nd tallest for Seattle is always nice. Now, if only we could get that potential super tall going for the city.

chris08876 May 15, 2014 2:49 AM

Height change in the thread title mods?

Another source to confirm the height: A lot more information in the pdf relating to the project info, construction details, review/approval status, ect.. :)




Rainier Square - Approve Ground Leases and Development Agreement and
Delegate Execution of Documents (continued p. 2)

Avenue to the west, and 5th Avenue to the east. The Rainier Square Development
site totals 66,040 square feet of land and includes everything north and west of
Rainier Tower, and specifically does not include Rainier Tower. The subject site
will be leased as an air-rights condominium unit that sits within the
Redevelopment Parcel. (Attachment 1)


The proposed project is a mixed-use development totaling approximately
1,150,000 square feet situated in a 50-story (795’) tower (Tower) and a separate
but connected 15-story hotel (Hotel). The elements will include: approximately
750,000 square feet of office; 170,000 square feet (182 units) of high rise
residential apartments; 30,000 square feet of street level retail; a 200,000 square
foot (198 room) luxury hotel; and a 1,200 car parking garage.
(Attachment 2)


shakman May 15, 2014 1:04 PM

I would not be surprised if this tower is referred to as the "Boot Building".

colemonkee May 15, 2014 2:37 PM

It totally looks like a platform-heeled knee high boot. Delightfully tacky, but I love it.

AtlantaMustang May 15, 2014 3:15 PM

I absolutely love the play between the carved out portions of this and the base of Rainier Tower. Great design.

JiminyCricket II Jun 3, 2014 7:59 PM

Good news x2 - design review is coming up, and they increased the floor count to 54.


June 3, 2014

Rainier Square redevelopment up for design review June 17

Wright Runstad & Co. is wasting no time getting ready for the Rainier Square makeover.

The first early design meeting for the office, housing, retail and hotel complex is set for 7 p.m. June 17 in City Hall, at 600 Fifth Ave.

The developer wants to build two towers: one with 54 stories containing 750,000 square feet of office space topped by 220 residential units; and a 15-story hotel with 200 rooms.

There also will be 32,000 square feet of retail and a parking garage with space for about 1,200 vehicles.

The iconic Rainier Tower will remain on the block, which is bounded by Union and University streets, and Fourth and Fifth avenues.

NBBJ is designing the project and Magnusson Klemencic Associates is the structural engineer. Wright Runstad is interviewing several finalists for the general contractor.

The University of Washington picked Wright Runstad to redevelop the block, which is part of the 11-acre Metropolitan Tract, which the university owns downtown.

Documents from the university show the goal is to start construction in 2017 and finish in 2020. The latest work could start is 2021, which would push back completion to 2024.

But Wright Runstad wants to start before 2017. Wright Runstad President Greg Johnson told the DJC last month he hopes to get a master-use permit this year and start construction in 2015, with new space opening by late 2017.

Johnson said construction won't begin without an office tenant.

Documents prepared for the design review meeting call the site “the very heart of Seattle,” in a pedestrian-friendly area that is near some of Seattle's top cultural attractions.

The goal is to design a project that matches the importance of the site. The proposed office/housing tower would have a wide base that narrows as it rises, to complement Rainier Tower's thin base that widens as it rises.

The project documents say: “When Rainier Tower was constructed in 1977, it was a bold vision: one of the tallest towers in the city at the time, a distinctive, unique form in the city, a design that was as much about the experience at the grand plane as about a striking modern profile against the sky.”

“Today we propose another tower — one that is both as bold and as thoughtfully sensitive as its neighbor.”

When the project is done, the project team says, the new Rainier Square will fundamentally change downtown:

“While the current ‘center of gravity' of commercial activity is several blocks north of the site, this development is poised to shift that center south to the heart of the Metropolitan Tract.”

Zapatan Jun 3, 2014 8:15 PM

hmmm wonder if that means the height went up slightly or if the first was just an estimate.

This and the other new building will be great additions to the city, not really sure where that supertall stands or if it's a real proposal but that would be awesome too of course.

chris08876 Jun 3, 2014 9:09 PM


Originally Posted by Zapatan (Post 6603843)
hmmm wonder if that means the height went up slightly or if the first was just an estimate.

This and the other new building will be great additions to the city, not really sure where that supertall stands or if it's a real proposal but that would be awesome too of course.

Its 795 feet. IDK the mods don't seem to update titles. Well, some do at least. Props to Urbannizer and NyGuy. They are on top of stuff. :) I've been requesting title changes for a lot of projects (Miami and NYC) along with other members with respectable sources confirming heights/floors, also construction status so that it gets moved from proposals to UC section, but no luck as I can't edit titles or move stuff. :???:

Look at post #7, and #17. A height confirmation, and a updated floor count from 50 to 54, but no title change. :uhh: The thread title should at least be changed to what is based on sources (Multiple ones in this case). If things change, a title update occurs. :tup:

Also, this project has two parts. One 54 floors, the other 15 floors. (Post #11)

mSeattle Jun 27, 2014 1:07 AM

Hmmm, things are getting even more interesting.
This was posted by LCIII on SSC pointing to results of the recent and first design review meeting:


Originally Posted by LCIII
Some of this guidance is quite exciting:

A1 Respond to the Physical Environment: Develop an architectural concept and compose the building’s massing in response to geographic conditions and patterns of urban form found nearby or beyond the immediate context of the building site.
The composition of the three major massing elements (the Rainier Tower and the proposed structures) ought to appear as if communicating with one another. The additions to the block should be designed in a manner that would possess a strong relationship or “attitude” toward the tower’s base. Consider a design of the new insertions into the block that would 1) express a clear spatial organization shaped by the base and the two new buildings and 2) provide sightlines to the tower’s base from the north on Fifth Ave and from the west along University St. The Board noted the third scheme’s reliance upon the horizontal datum line at 139 feet established by the top of the curved base in determining the beginning of the upward curve of the tower and the height of the hotel. The Board questioned the need for strictly adhering to it. The tiers of the proposed residential / office tower could commence just above the retail plinth allowing pedestrians to experience the tower’s dramatic shape and opening views to Rainier Tower’s curved podium.
In order to achieve the guidance provided in A1 above, the Board suggested that the applicant consider building higher and consider other departures, similar to the façade modulation (request # 1 in the booklet), which may enable the lower realms of the complex to have a clearer spatial organization.
The upper reaches of the proposed tower have proportions roughly similar to Rainier Tower, square in plan, with a blunt or flat roof. While the architect conveyed the intention of relating the two towers by this similarity of form, the Board members indicated an interest in a more dramatic shape or expression on the skyline. Seattle towers over 40 floors all possess sculpted shafts and/or interestingly shaped tops.
The desire for a coherent spatial arrangement of the masses at the lower levels or pedestrian realm of the complex corresponds to a second Board interest---that open space, whether private, public or a mix, has an outward presence at or near the streetscape. The applicant
A2 Enhance the Skyline: Design the upper portion of the building to promote visual interest and variety in the downtown skyline. Respect existing landmarks while responding to the skyline’s present and planned profile.


B1 Respond to the neighborhood context: Develop an architectural concept and compose the major building elements to reinforce desirable urban features existing in the surrounding neighborhood.
The desire for a coherent spatial arrangement of the masses at the lower levels or pedestrian realm of the complex corresponds to a second Board interest---that open space, whether private, public or a mix, has an outward presence at or near the streetscape. The applicant could consider the placement of open space at street level as an entry plaza(s) or above the plinth to exert itself in more compelling ways upon the pedestrian experience than the green swaths illustrated (p. 45) in the EDG booklet. Interstitial or negative space introduced by Rainier Tower’s idiosyncratic base ought to be complemented by the massing of the new structures.
The insertion of new volumes can serve to expand and shape this space into a definable open area. By giving the podium of the Rainier Tower breathing room, the development can celebrate a significant Seattle structure, supplements its visual dynamism and creates a meaningful space that defines the lower realm where the three major buildings meet.
The concavity of Rainier Tower’s base provides the design motif for the proposed tower’s form. The architect’s inversion of the form, a broad base tapering upward to the shaft, creates a visual reference. At the next meeting, the Board would benefit from a clearer understanding of the compelling reasons for the tiered or stepped building mass. Consider beginning the steps or tiers closer to the pedestrian level. The Board noted that this mid-section of the building has little or no engagement with the form that influenced it.
The Board observed that the hotel’s massing and placement appears separate or detached from the rest of the complex. Further consideration should occur about 1) its location and its effect on view blockage of the base from the west and 2) the lack of visual synergy with Rainier Tower. The Board raised the prospects of a taller, narrower hotel structure or one embedded in the proposed tower similar in intention to the manner in which the residential volume expresses itself in Alternative # 2 as a singular form but within the larger building mass.
B3 Reinforce the Positive Urban Form & Architectural Attributes of the Immediate Area.: Consider the predominant attributes of the immediate neighborhood and reinforce desirable siting patterns, massing arrangements, and streetscape characteristics of nearby development.
B4 Design a Well-Proportioned & Unified Building: Compose the massing and organize the interior and exterior spaces to create a well-proportioned building that exhibits a coherent architectural concept. Design the architectural elements and finish details to create a unified building, so that all components appear integral to the whole.

The board seems to be "kicking the 'boot'" idea. They seem to be suggesting for a much thicker tower at same height (~800') or a similarly proportioned tower beyond 800', and a more open area at street level.
Full document:

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