After breaking ground in June 2014, Hunters Capital announced Tuesday that it had completed construction of Dunn Automotive Building in Capitol Hill. The eight-story project is notable for the way it combined preservation of the pre-war building already standing with the creation of an entirely-new mixed-use development.
The process, known as façade easement, is a way for developers to work with the city of Seattle to help save pre-war buildings such as Dunn in the historic Pike-Pine corridor. For keeping the façade, developers are given the opportunity to include additional floor height to offset the restoration costs. The 1925 historic building façade at 501 East Pike Street was retained for this project while six new stories designed with the same aesthetic were added around it.
“While there have been other projects in the neighborhood that have used façade easement, Dunn is the first to preserve the façade of the pre-war structure at street level, and create a new building atop that is designed in the same fashion of the period,” said Michael Malone, Hunters Capital CEO. “This delivers a product unlike any on the market today, one that—from top to bottom—celebrates Seattle’s history while providing for its future with new space for our city’s increasing urban density needs.”
Hunters Capital selected finishes and materials that replicated the sandstone of the existing façade and pattern of the classical window ornamentation. Cast stone cladding was used to blend with the base of the building and make the new structure look as seamless as possible.
The once-20,000 square foot building has now been turned into 100,000 square feet of commercial and residential space, including 9,000 square feet of new office space. Fully leased at opening, the project is already home to Ethan Stowell’s Tavolàta restaurant. Above that are 89 housing units (ranging from a 395 square-foot studio to a 1,150 square-foot 2-BR+) with residential amenities that include a roof-top terrace, fitness center, and complimentary wi-fi in common areas. There’s also underground parking for 52 vehicles and space for 30 bicycles.
Studio Meng Strazzara was the architect on the project.