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Property in middle of Pioneer Square preservation spat sold to new developer

The developer behind the embattled site has sold the property to Greg Smith's Urban Visions

You might remember the property at 316 Alaskan Way S. from the preservation battle that has surrounded it ever since it was approved. Last August, Seattle's Director of the Department of Neighborhoods Kathy Nyland gave the go-ahead to Gerding Elden's 12-story, 200-unit apartment building proposal despite the fact that the Pioneer Square Preservation Board had just voted 7-1 against the project, citing that the design was unpleasant and out of scale. The design had been referred to as "Miami Beach on Elliott Bay” by one resident.

The whole issue went before Seattle’s deputy hearing examiner and was overturned, citing an incompatibility with the neighborhood.

Gerding Elden could either fight the decision in court, try to come back with a design that appeased residents, or just sell the project off for someone else to deal with.

In the end, they went with the third option and have sold the property to a company associated with Greg Smith's Urban Visions. The parking garage on the site sold for $13 million last Friday.

This doesn’t, however, mean that the legal wranglings are over. Included in the sale are the ongoing legal proceedings on file with King County Superior Court. That means that, for the time being, the court battle is ongoing. Urban Visions can still decide not to proceed with the ongoing plans, however, and start fresh. They didn’t comment on their plans for the project yet.