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Seattle’s Civic Square project may finally, actually be happening

Nine years later, it sounds like the mixed-use project in Downtown Seattle might finally come to fruition

Okay, quick Civic Square development project recap.

Nine years ago, Triad Development proposed a 43-story tower on a block along Fourth and James in Downtown Seattle that the city wanted to sell. The plan called for approximately 125 condos, 600,000 sf. of office space and 40,000 sf. of retail space. After an eight-year hiatus due to financial issues, the deal seemed to be back on in 2015 until a shakedown scandal by a Triad employee caused the city to lose faith in them. A few months later in early 2016 there was word that the project would be transferred to Seattle developer Touchstone but a lack of financial interest seemed to officially kill Civic Square once and for all. Then in July the Mayor said that the city was in fact still trying to figure out how to make it happen as the city and Triad remained locked in legal limbo.

That brings us to this past Friday when Seattle mayor Ed Murray announced the city will negotiate sale of the project to Bosa Development. The eventual deal is expected to net Seattle $22 million for equitable development and affordable housing.

According to a press release, $16 million in proceeds will go to the Equitable Development Fund for affordable housing while Bosa will make a $5.7 million contribution as well.

“Seattle is growing, and we are working to ensure that it happens in a way that is equitable, benefitting everyone who lives and works here,” said Mayor Murray. “The sale of the Civic Square property allows us to leverage our resources to invest in communities most at-risk for displacement and to make a major investment in affordable housing. While we continue to revitalize our downtown core, we are strategically investing around the city to strengthen our communities for the future.”

Per the agreement, the plans still call for a residential tower, retail space and a public plaza. The city maintains the rights to approve the final design of the project. No word yet on the specifics but we’ll hope to hear about that next. Fingers crossed this long-gestating project has finally found it’s way forward.

Seattle City Hall

700 5th Ave, Seattle, WA