South Lake Union seems to get most of the press, but Belltown is undergoing a construction renaissance of its own, the latest of many in its long and checkered past.
A new 14-story, 161-unit residential and retail project will soon cast its shadow over the Chief Seattle statue at Tilikum Place on the north end of Belltown. What has for years been the KOMO News parking lot is now a large hole intended for the project's four-level underground parking structure, with parking for 114 vehicles.
Plans prepared by Seattle architecture firm Hewitt refer to the project simply by its address: 2720 Fourth Avenue. They show a modern, modulated and multi-colored building envelope that is reminiscent of the new Via6 at Sixth and Lenora -a GGLO-designed project - but much smaller and less monolithic. The project is designed to have a "strong and appropriate architectural expression" facing the corner of Fourth and Denny, according to the plans.
At just under a third of an acre, the parking lot was easy to miss and did not scream out for a high-rise. However, the recent sales of the nearby Archstone Belltown apartments for $94 million and the Alto Apartments for $62.3 million suggest residential properties in the neighborhood are benefiting from demand from both tenants and investors. With Archstone Belltown comprised of 320 pre-World's-Fair units and Alto Apartments advertising 184 brand-new residences within its music-themed walls, 2720 Fourth Avenue would be the smallest of the three.
If proximity and height are any guide, 2720 Fourth Avenue will offer the city's best residential views of the Space Needle, at least for those units that can see over or around Fisher Plaza, located across Denny. The project will be slightly taller than the nearby Mosler Lofts, but based on its location should not interfere with Mosler's views of the Needle. View impacts are inevitable from some locations, but substituting new homes and street-level retail for surface parking near a major landmark is a clear victory for urbanist values.
Also under construction and only a couple of blocks away is the new mixed-use and residential building at Third Avenue and Cedar Street. That tower will reach 27-stories and will cause significant view problems for residents in the adjoining Seattle Heights building, according to Seattlepi.com.
HB Capital was behind the preliminary proposals for 2720 Fourth Avenue, the Third Avenue and Cedar Street project and the project now known as 206 Bell, according to a 2011 Seattle Times article. A company called HB 4th & Denny, LLC acquired the 2720 Fourth Avenue property from Fisher Broadcasting - Seattle TV, LLC in May of 2011 for $3,900,000. HB 4th & Denny, LLC then transferred it to 4th and Denny, LLC, in April of this year, just weeks after the City's issuance of the excavation permit. 4th and Denny, LLC lists local investment firm Columbia Pacific Advisors, LLC as a member.
Archstone Belltown Apartment Complex Sold For $94M [Curbed Seattle]
· Harbor Urban Has Sold 17-Story Alto Apartments For $62.3M [Curbed Seattle]
· New 27-story apartment building coming to Belltown [Seattlepi.com]
· Apartment project planned near Seattle Center [Seattle Times]