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Holland pays $24.4M for Boren tower site

As expected, Holland Partner Group has acquired land in the Denny Triangle for its planned residential high rise at 2019 Boren Ave. N.

Holland and Cornish College announced the project last fall. The new tower will go on the northeast corner of the block, where Lenora Street meets Denny Way.

King County recorded the three deals on Thursday. All parties used LLCs.

Cornish sold its parking lot at 2031 Boren to Holland for $8.3 million. Cornish acquired the 7,200-square-foot property in 2008 as part of a larger deal worth $2.6 million.

Bellwether Housing sold its parking lot at 2025 Boren to Holland for $8.3 million. It had owned the 7,200-square-foot property since 1994, when it paid $325,000.

Both deals were worth $1,152 per square foot.

The third lot to the south, at 2019 Boren, was sold by Recovery Cafe to Holland for $7.8 million. It had acquired the property in 2009 as part of a larger deal worth $5.3 million. The latest deal was worth about $1,083 per square foot.

Weber Thompson is designing 2019 Boren, which is projected to have 44 stories, 426 units, 5,200 square feet of ground-floor performance space, 2,300 square feet of classroom space for Cornish, and 53,000 square feet of offices for Cornish and possibly other tenants.

Holland and Weber Thompson are also planning a second high rise on the southwest corner of the same block, at 1000 Virginia St. It will have 46 stories, 435 apartments and underground parking for 285 vehicles. Holland will buy that site from Cornish, and demolish an existing two-story warehouse structure, aka the Centennial Lab, which the college uses for educational purposes. That sale is expected to close next year. The first design review is in September.

By: Brian Miller

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$900M stadium in Tampa will have translucent roof

Check out more images of the proposed stadium at

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday unveiled an elaborate plan for a new domed stadium that would take them across Tampa Bay to the Ybor City section of Tampa at a cost of nearly $900 million.

The 30,842-seat stadium would be the smallest in Major League Baseball and would be covered by a fully enclosed and translucent roof, not a retractable dome.

Stuart Sternberg, principal owner of the Rays since 2005, called the plan “a dramatic break from the past” and explained the blueprint as the franchise’s latest attempt to make a long-term commitment to the region.

“That has the best opportunity to happen here in Tampa, at the center of the Tampa Bay region,” Sternberg said. “We believe that baseball cannot only survive but thrive here in Tampa, and Tampa Bay, and all the growth that comes ahead of us.”

The Rays have consistently ranked near the bottom in attendance at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, about 20 miles away from the proposed new site. The Ybor City site is bordered by Channelside Drive on the west, 15th Street on the east, 4th Avenue on the north and Adamo Drive on the south.

No plans were revealed about stadium financing. The Rays, now in their 21st season in the American League, made the presentation partly to solicit corporate support.

“The test is when people see this,” explained Matt Silverman, the club’s president. “If people are getting behind this vision for how our ballpark can look and see how it can feed into Ybor City, if we’re on the same page there, we have a better shot at figuring out the plans.”

Melanie Lenz, the Rays’ chief development officer, calculated the “total project cost” as $892,429,823, 30 percent of which applies to the roof.

Sternberg has said he expects to play at Tropicana Field for at least four or five more years, and a best-case scenario for the opening of the new ballpark would be 2023.

“I think you’re looking at a four-to-five-year buildup, 36 months on the construction side,” Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn said. “Will we live or die based on whether we have this stadium? No. We’re going to be fine with or without it, but I would love to have it.”

Associated Press

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$6.6M to protect Peninsula forest

400 acres of forest land on the Olympic Peninsula will be permanently protected from development, thanks to a $6.63 million conservation easement.

The announcement comes from the Trust for Public Land, Green Diamond Resource Co., and the state Department of Natural Resources.

Funding is from the U.S. Forest Service.

The land is owned by Green Diamond Resource Co., which will continue to manage the property. The land, located between Hood Canal and Case Inlet, will remain in active timber production.

This is the second phase of a three-phase effort to protect more than 20,000 acres from development.

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Trupanion to pay $65M for its Georgetown HQ

Pet insurer Trupanion announced that it will sell $60 million in stock to acquire its headquarters building in Georgetown from current landlord Benaroya Co.

The deal is expected to close in August. The company said about 1.8 million shares will be sold, priced at $33 per share.

Proceeds will be used to buy the Benaroya 6100 building at 6100 Fourth Ave. S.

The building has five stories and 227,200 square feet. It was developed in 1975 as a speculative office project by Benaroya, on a little over 2 acres. Benaroya converted it to a warehouse mart and sold it in 1984, then bought it back in 2005 for $26.3 million. After that, the space went back to offices.

Trupanion signed a 10-year lease in 2016, and now occupies about 108,000 square feet. It moved from smaller offices in Ballard. Other tenants include Sur la Table and Aerotec.

Trupanion says it doesn’t plan to rename the building.

The company was founded in 2000 by current CEO Darryl Rawlings, and relocated from Vancouver, B.C. to Seattle in 2007. Howard Schultz’s venture capital firm, Maveron, was an early investor.

The company went public in 2014, and now has about 500 employees. Its current market capitalization is about $1.2 billion.

By: Brian Miller

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Ohio unveils the ‘Smart City’ system Paul Allen helped fund

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s capital city unveiled an operating system on Thursday that will gather data for its pioneering smart city transportation project.

Columbus beat out six other mid-sized cities in 2016 to win the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge, a contest aimed at encouraging innovative ideas for moving people and goods more quickly, cheaply and efficiently.

The effort is supported by a $40 million federal grant and $10 million from Paul G. Allen Philanthropies. It has the potential to reduce collisions, speed first responder response times, curb freeway delays and get products to consumers faster.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said launching the Smart Columbus Operating System is a major milestone on Columbus’ smart city journey, allowing officials to better analyze, interpret and share data that will help solve critical challenges and inspire innovation.

But the Democrat said the ultimate goal is to make life better.

“Fundamental to ‘becoming smart’ as a city is discovering how to use data to improve city services and quality of life for residents,” he said. “When we apply data to the challenges we experience as a city, we can transform outcomes in education, employment, healthcare and even access to healthy food.”

The city’s Smart Columbus team will manage and distribute 1,100 data feeds through the new operating platform to government offices and private companies.

The information that’s collected will help Columbus integrate self-driving cars, connected vehicles, smart sensors and other developing transportation technologies into the life of the city.

The city won its spot as the testing ground over San Francisco; Pittsburgh; Denver; Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; and Kansas City, Missouri.

Thursday’s operating system launch comes amid efforts by Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich to advance smart transportation technology statewide.

Kasich signed an executive order last week authorizing autonomous vehicle research to take place on all public roads across the state. The order laid out safety parameters for such projects and creates a voluntary pilot program linking local governments to participating companies.

The order extended Kasich’s efforts to make Ohio a hub of smart vehicle research and development.

The Associated Press

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Space Needle wrap is coming down

SEATTLE — The $100 million Space Needle renovation has been under wraps since last September — literally.

But the colorful, 400-by-20-foot weatherproof screen around the Needle’s construction platform is coming down. The removal was scheduled to begin last night and could take up to 48 hours to complete.

The 100-ton construction platform, suspended underneath the restaurant level, will take three to four weeks to lower to the ground.

The Needle’s observation deck remains open during construction. By mid-June, both levels — including the world’s first rotating glass floor — will be fully open.

The opening will conclude the first phase of a multi-year effort. The next phases include repainting the structure, which will begin this summer, and updating the elevators, which will happen over the next few years.

Hoffman Construction is the general contractor.

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Sound Transit breaks ground on $449M Bellevue light rail base

There will be 14 service bays and one wash bay in the operations and maintenance building.

A future transit-oriented development of 1.1 million square feet is planned.
Sound Transit broke ground this week on the $449.2 million Operations and Maintenance Facility East, along 120th Avenue Northeast in Bellevue’s Spring District.

The 28-acre site will be the base for maintaining and storing 96 light rail vehicles for regional Link expansions to Northgate, Lynnwood, Federal Way and Redmond.

There will be 14 service bays, a wash bay, shops, locker rooms and offices in a 131,200-square-foot building. A separate 34,000-square-foot building will be used by trackway and station maintenance staff.

About 250 full-time employees will work in both buildings.

Sound Transit has set aside 6.5 acres of the site for 1.1 million square feet of future mixed-use transit-oriented development after the operations facility is finished in December 2020. The agency plans to issue a request for proposals for a master developer by year end.

As part of the design-build contract for the facility, Hensel Phelps will deliver a temporary bike and pedestrian trail connection and identify portions of the construction staging area that can be developed for transit-oriented uses.

Last fall Hensel Phelps awarded a $28 million design-build subcontract to Granite Construction for demolition, grading, utility installation, pedestrian trail construction and asphalt paving. Granite began that work in December.

VIA Architecture is the designer.

The Eastside facility will supplement Sound Transit’s existing operations and maintenance base across Airport Way South from the old Rainier Brewery in Seattle. That base is expected to reach its capacity of 104 vehicles in 2020.

Sound Transit says Link light rail will expand from 20 miles today to 58 miles by 2024, with longer and more frequent trains. The fleet of light rail vehicles will expand from 62 to 214 during that time.


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Gonzaga’s $48M science building gets OK for site on lake in Spokane

SPOKANE — Gonzaga University has gotten permission from the city to build a $48 million science and engineering building near the campus’ Arthur Lake, but the university is still raising the funds to pay for construction.

Brian McGinn, the city’s hearing examiner, approved the project, allowing the three-story building to be constructed within 200 feet of the lakeshore.

The project required his permission under the city’s shorelines law. A final determination regarding the shoreline rules will be made by the state Department of Ecology.

The 80,000-square-foot building, called the Integrated Science and Engineering Center, is part of a building boom on campus. The university recently constructed the $24 million Volkar Center for Athletic Achievement and the $13 million Della Strada Jesuit Community residential building. Work on the $30 million, 57,000-square-foot Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center is anticipated to be complete next year.

Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh said the university hoped to raise half of the nearly $50 million needed for the new science center. The other half will come from the university’s cash reserves and restructuring debt.

“We are actively in the process of fundraising for the center,” he said. “We’re still working towards it.”

In November, the university said it surpassed its two-year fundraising goal by bringing in $286 million. McCulloh said the work to raise more money for construction and scholarships will continue through April or May.

The new science building will be an interdisciplinary space that brings together faculty from the university’s College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. A range of subjects will be taught, and ongoing student research projects will be on display.

McCulloh said the idea was to develop programs beyond the “bedrock” disciplines currently offered at Gonzaga. In addition to mechanical and electrical engineering, students would be able to study bioinfomatics and materials science.

“We’re seeing information that is critical to research in biosciences that really is derived from large, large amounts of data,” he said, referring to bioinfomatics, which collects and analyzes complex biological data such as genetic codes. “We are looking at ways in which a discipline like biology can interface with engineering to look at micro-technologies, especially in the health sciences.”

The building will have four types of learning spaces: general classrooms, project areas, teaching labs and research spaces, according to Portland’s SRG Partnership, which helped design the project.

It will have a central gathering space on the ground level. McCulloh called it a “hub of innovation” and a “dedicated space for the incubation of ideas.”

The science center isn’t directly linked with the growth in the nearby University District, but is related programmatically, McCulloh said.

Earlier this month, Eastern Washington University announced plans to move three degree programs and around 1,000 students from its Cheney campus to a building along East Sprague Avenue on the south side of the University District that it said allows for growth in its science and engineering departments.

“We obviously do what we’re doing in close relationship not only with Avista but with our colleagues at WSU and other institutions, developing things with an intention to be a partner with what is being developed and offered,” McCulloh said.

Gonzaga’s new building will connect to the existing Paccar building to the east and, via skywalk, to Hughes Hall to the north.

The land is zoned for high density residential. McGinn, the hearing examiner, said Gonzaga’s plans for the science center are “allowed outright,” and required no rezoning.

As part of the decision, Gonzaga will have to restore or enhance the shoreline, and update the Habitat Management Plan for Arthur Lake. McGinn noted that information Gonzaga provided as part of the State Environmental Policy Act showed that the “project will not have significant impacts on the environment or the surrounding properties.”

McGinn also noted that public access to the lake won’t be affected, since the paved trail on its southern front won’t be changed. The lake is wholly owned by the university.

Lake Arthur wasn’t always a lake. For many years, it was an inlet of the Spokane River used to store logs for the McGoldrick Lumber Co., which bought a mill on the site in 1906.

After a fire in 1945 destroyed the plant, Gonzaga purchased the land and closed off the inlet with a dam made of rocks, creating the lake.

The Spokesman-Review

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Motif hotel sells for $132M

An entity associated with Junson Capital of Hong Kong bought the Motif Seattle hotel, at 1415 Fifth Ave., for $132 million, according to King County records.

The seller was an LLC related to Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors, which acquired the property in 2014 for $127 million. Cornerstone is a subsidiary of MassMutual Financial Group.

The 19-story building was constructed as an office tower in 1973. It was later converted to a Red Lion Hotel. It has 319 rooms and 10 suites. Prior to the 2014 sale, it received a $25 million renovation by Destination Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises Investors. It then became the Motif in 2014, when Cornerstone assumed ownership.

The 29,640-square-foot property extends through the block bounded by Fourth and Fifth avenues and Union and Pike Streets. It has underground parking for 127 vehicles. Elephant & Castle operates in the partly below-grade restaurant space facing Fifth.


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Port of Seattle to pay $15.7 million to buy another marina in the Puget Sound region

The Port of Seattle is spending $15.7 million to add another marina to its property holdings in the Puget Sound region.

The port says it is buying Salmon Bay Marina to protect maritime industrial land in the region and support the redevelopment of its own adjacent Fishermen’s Terminal complex, which also includes a marina.

The port describes the acquisition as “a generational opportunity.” The purchase comes with rights for the port to immediately build a new 60,000-square-foot light industrial building on the site.

The Salmon Bay Marina is a five-acre property located on the Lake Washington Ship Canal and it sits directly beside the port-owned Fishermen’s Terminal complex at the southwest end of the Ballard bridge.

Port commissioners approved the purchase at a meeting this month, but the deal won’t close until some time in 2018, port spokesman Peter McGrawsaid.

The sellers are members of Seattle’s Draper family, who own it through Draper Machine Works.

Early pioneers in the Northwest, the Drapers purchased the Salmon Bay property in 1945 and developed it into Salmon Bay Marina, opening in 1961.

A broker representing Draper Machine Works originally contacted the port in March 2016, offering to sell for $18.4 million. The port appraised the property at $17.1 million.

However, about $1.2 million was deducted from the final price to cover estimated costs for the port to clean up contamination on the property, a port staff report said.

Four generations of Drapers have served as stewards of the marina, the port said in a news release, adding the family is happy its maritime heritage will continue.

By: By   –  Staff Writer, Puget Sound Business Journal