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Selig scales back, plans eight-story addition to Federal Reserve Building

Last we heard, the addition was going to rise 48 stories to the sky. Not anymore

In August of last year, Martin Selig Real Estate unveiled plans to add a 29-story tower atop the old Federal Reserve Building at 1015 Second Avenue after Selig has acquired it following public auction. In December Selig thought “why stop there” and proposed adding another 12 stories, creating a massive 664-foot curved structure with 48 total stories.

Friday, Selig met with architectural review committee of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board and unveiled their latest plans, which call for an extremely-scaled back tower that “only” add eight levels to the four-story structure.

So what happened?

Sarah Sodt, landmarks board coordinator, said the committee had felt that would overwhelm the landmark and asked the developer to come back with alternatives.

See, not everything in Downtown Seattle is destined to become a skyscraper.

The new concept would add 125,000 square feet of office space and bring the grand total to 225,000. The new structure would attach to the rear of the building, extending up and over. A two-story inset would rest right above the original structure, topped by four floors that match its proportions and then a two-story penthouse office space at the apex. The idea is to make the addition "transparent and light" while a roof terrace would be included on the fourth level.

Despite the lack of all those additional planned stories, Selig still seems upbeat about the project.

“Where else do you see somebody taking a 66-year-old building, preserving it and adding on to it,” he said. “I don't see anything like that in Seattle.”

Some on the commitee voiced concern over the Federal Reserve Building being overshadowed by the new structure but both parties seemed to be on a path to finalizing the future for this historic Seattle space.