Skanska slides in as the first developer to try out a new rezone in Seattle’s South Lake Union that allows taller towers than previously allotted for. And they’ll do it by breaking ground on Wednesday, Oct. 16, on the new 400 Fairview 13-story tower with 320,000 sq ft of office space and 17,000 sq ft of ground-floor retail.
Designed by Seattle’s SkB Architects, the new structure aims to create flexible, open floor plans and ample natural daylight from the side. To get Seattleites into the beautiful outdoors, even while working, outdoor decks on the fourth, 13th and 14th floors hand out views of the mountains and waters.
The ground-floor retail will feature a “Euro-styled hall” focused on small-scaled local retailers.
Along with being the first to test the waters in the rezone, which passed the Seattle City Council this spring, Skanska is also the first developer to purchase density credits under a program that will transfer the development rights for 90,000 acres of protected Snoqualmie forestlands to the 400 Fairview project. King County and Seattle enacted the Transfer of Development Rights program last month and King County will use the proceeds from the transfer to protect farmland.
Timing with the groundbreaking, Skanska announced that Seattle-based Tommy Bahama—no, they aren’t based in Hawaii—will move in as one of the feature office tenants of 400 Fairview, taking up 120,000 sq ft by the time everything opens in 2015.
With South Lake Union a growing urban district, we can expect to see more high-end office complexes, complete with some intriguing architectural designs and usage plans.
Tim Newcomb is Engineering News-Record’s Pacific Northwest contributor. He also writes for TIME, Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated and more. You can follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb or visit his website here.