The Columbia Center tower could have some competition as the dominating presence in Seattle’s skyline in near future, as the University of Washington’s Board of Regents has approved plans for a 50-story office/apartment/retail/hotel complex that would share a block with the iconic Rainier Tower on the UW-owned Metropolitan Tract of land downtown, according to The Seattle Times.
UW is working with developer Wright Runstad & Co. to develop the complex, which would rise to 795 feet, making it the second tallest tower in the city behind the Columbia Center tower at 937 feet. The tower will house 30,000 square feet of street-level retail, 750,000 square feet of office space and at least 182 apartments, while a 15-story luxury hotel will sit beside it in a separate building. The unique shape of the tower, which consists of a wide base of 33,000 square feet and tapers to just 15,000 square feet at the top, was conceived so it wouldn’t block views of and from the Rainier Tower, which has occupied its precarious-looking pedestal since 1978. The complex will replace the Rainier Square retail mall.
The university has owned the 10.7-acre Metropolitan Tract, which comprises most of the blocks bordered by Union and Seneca streets and 3rd and 5th avenues (where its original campus was located before moving to its current location in 1895) for more than a century, and is hoping a new 80-year ground lease will increase its earnings from the tract to about $4 million per year, up from the $1.5 million it making from the current lease on the Rainier Square property.
While the university’s deadline for beginning construction on the complex is 2021, Wright Runstad is hoping to begin as soon as the second half of 2015. For more information on Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.