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Adaptive reuse of former funeral home breaks ground in Fremont

Bleitz Funeral Home is getting a new life as new office space springs up around it

A white, older building is connected to a dark-gray-and-black modern building via skybridge.
The connection between the two buildings.
Courtesy of Pastakia + Associates

Construction is underway for a new project that includes the historic Bleitz Funeral Home, developer Pastakia + Associates announced Tuesday. Last year, the firm shared plans for a four-story office complex that wraps around the original building—technically in West Queen Anne, but just across the bridge from the commercial center of Fremont.

The building, which Pastakia is calling Fremont Crossing, will include more than 58,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor commercial office space, including 51,000 square feet from four-story new construction and 7,800 square feet from the three-story original structure. The project is being designed by SKB Architects.

Bleitz Funeral Home was founded by Jacob J. Bleitz in 1904 in the Green Lake neighborhood. The operation moved into this Tudor and Spanish Revival-influenced concrete building in 1921. A 5,000-square-foot addition was added in 1989, but will be demolished as part of the new project. Pastakia also plans to remove changes made in renovations to the original building to get as close as possible to the original 1920s design.

A large, modern, black-and-gray office building with large windows connects to a vintage stucco building.
The whole project, viewed from Florentia Street.
Courtesy of Pastakia + Associates

The new construction has a familiar, modern design with metal siding and floor-to-ceiling windows. It’ll wrap around the original structure to the north and east, positioned for Lake Union and canal views—and for maintaining street frontage for the historic facade.

The buildings will connect through a courtyard on the project’s north side, with a two-story, glass-enclosed bridge between the two. While the new construction will be a story higher than the original building, they’re around the same height at the connection point.

The developer bought the property from Warm Springs Investors on November 15 for $8 million, public records show. Uniservice Corp, a company that operates funeral homes and bought the property from Bleitz in 1990, sold it just two years ago for $4.2 million.

The building declared a designated Seattle landmark in 2017 after a nomination requested by Warm Springs.