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Originally published Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 12:03 PM

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Hotel proposed across from Amazon campus

The 15- or 16-story tower would be surrounded by Amazon.com’s South Lake Union headquarters complex.

Seattle Times business reporter

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A California hotel developer has filed preliminary paperwork with city planners to build a 15- or 16-story hotel in the middle of Amazon.com’s new South Lake Union headquarters campus.

Stanford Hotels’ project would be at Terry Avenue North and Thomas Street. The 0.3-acre property is owned by California life-sciences supplier Bio-Rad Laboratories, whose 58-year-old lab building would be demolished, according to city permit records.

Amazon occupies, and soon will own, office buildings immediately to the north, south and east of the property. Group Health and Microsoft are anchor tenants in the Westlake/Terry Building, across Terry Avenue to the west.

There’s a South Lake Union streetcar stop right across the street.

One permit application says the proposed hotel would have 190 rooms. Another says there would be 240.

“I’ve been anticipating that somebody would put new lodging in that neighborhood for some time,” said John Gordon, a senior vice president and hotel appraiser with brokerage Kidder Mathews.

Most hotels rely on business travelers, he said, and “if you put a hotel down in the middle of all those companies, there’s no reason to think they would ignore it.”

A representative of San Francisco-based Stanford did not respond to a request for more information on the project, and a spokeswoman for Bio-Rad, the property owner, declined to comment.

According to its website, Stanford owns 13 hotels in seven states that operate under the Sheraton, Hilton and Marriott flags. Six of them are in California.

The city’s advisory West Design Review Board is tentatively scheduled to consider the project Jan. 30.

In contrast to surrounding blocks in South Lake Union, where approval of taller buildings hinges on a proposed rezone, city rules already permit a 16-story tower on Stanford’s site if certain conditions are met.

It’s been nearly three years since the last new hotel opened in or around downtown Seattle. But developers have 10 in the pipeline now.

Room rates are up, Gordon said, and so is occupancy: “There’s a perception that a new hotel would be able to support itself now.”

Eric Pryne: epryne@seattletimes.com or 206-464-2231

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