Thornton Place
Photo: SkyPix

Thornton Place is an $80 million mixed-use development of 727,000 sq with housing, public space, commercial space and a garage. It includes eight separate residential buildings: two six-story apartments with 279 apartment units over the 900-car parking garage and six separate three-story buildings with 109 condos. Over 50,000 sq ft of retail space is included at ground level. The project also includes a 14-screen movie theater built by a separate contractor.

Various public entities had a stake in what the project needed to accomplish. Seattle Public Utilities needed to provide a water treatment channel at the head waters of Thornton Creek to protect the health and vitality of one of the few salmon breeding grounds left in the city; Metro King County had a need to provide additional parking for the adjacent Park and Ride while providing a connecting street financed with Federal grant money; the neighborhood council wanted to restore pedestrian walkways through the site and provide a park; the City wanted to remove an under-utilized parking lot that was prohibiting further growth.

In addition to all of the public concerns, the developer needed to provide viable retail and housing that would mesh with all of the public concerns.

In order to satisfy all of the various stakeholders, the design incorporated public pedestrian pathways throughout the site that linked the neighborhood through the site to the Park and Ride, while maintaining the security and privacy of residents. The greatest challenge in the design was to provide a full spectrum of spaces linking public to private. Throughout the site, a hierarchy is created of public spaces and pathways that lead to semi-public apartment entries, semi-private outdoor patios and finally to private units. The interaction of the public spaces in the plaza and channel to the semi-private mews was carefully designed to provide visual and pedestrian connections while maintaining security and privacy for the units.

Key Players

Developer/Owner: Lorig Associates and Stellar Holdings
General Contractor: Walsh Construction Co./Washington
Design Firm: Mithun
Structural Engineer: KPFF, Seattle
Subcontractors: Ward Masonry, Everett; Total Framing, Bellevue; Sunrise Plumbing, Lynnwood, MacDonald Miller Facility Solutions, Seattle