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Originally published Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 7:54 PM

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Vulcan considers another South Lake Union office project

12-story tower on Ninth North would require rezone

Seattle Times business reporter

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If Vulcan has a real solution to fix Mercer and create another access point to SLU, I... MORE
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Paul Allen’s Vulcan Real Estate has approached Seattle planners about building yet another office project in South Lake Union, city records reveal.

This one, on the west side of Ninth Avenue North between Thomas and Harrison streets, would rise 12 stories, with about 290,000 square feet of office space and underground parking for more than 400 cars.

The proposal anticipates City Council approval of Mayor Mike McGinn’s proposed South Lake Union rezone, which would raise the height limit on the one-acre, half-block site to 160 feet.

A 12-story building would exceed the current limit of 85 feet.

City permit records also indicate Vulcan is considering redesigning a previously proposed six-story office and lab building on the east side of Ninth between Harrison and Republican streets to take advantage of the increased density the proposed rezone would permit.

Vulcan is “teeing up” both projects for the next wave of South Lake Union development, spokeswoman Lori Mason Curran said Thursday, but “it’s all very early.”

Neither project would be built without a signed tenant, she said. No permit applications have been filed for the 12-story building, and no design-review meeting has been scheduled.

That’s because there’s no design yet, Mason Curran said.

The site now is occupied by parking lots and two older single-story office buildings — one vacant, the other housing tenants that include the South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce.

Vulcan has led the transformation of South Lake Union over the past decade from a neglected light-industrial neighborhood to one of the hottest real-estate markets in the country.

The company recently completed an 11-building headquarters campus for Amazon.com, then sold the complex to the online retailer for $1.15 billion.

Vulcan plans to break ground this year on two more South Lake Union buildings for Amazon, as well as a new headquarters for the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

Other developers have proposed at least 1.5 million square feet of new office projects in the area, and thousands of apartments are under construction or in the permitting pipeline.

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

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