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October 12, 2011
A Seattle-based tech company called Substantial recently held a grand opening in its new office space in the Pike/Pine corridor. It occupies nearly 6,000-square-feet in the 900 East Pine Building, which is owned by Hunters Capital.
Substantial develops Web and iPhone applications, and does information architecture and branding.
A $1 million renovation of the 27,000-square-foot two-story building was completed in May. Work on the ground floor retail began in 2009 and work on the second-story office space began in 2010. The structure was built between 1925 and 1926 for a car dealership.
Hunters Capital worked with W.G. Clark. Shed Architecture & Design designed the Substantial space. SkB Architects designed the Pensar Development space.
(Editor's note: This story has been changed to clarify the architects for Substantial and Pensar.)
Blick Art Materials is the ground floor master tenant with 9,000 square feet of space. Other ground-floor tenants are SugarPill, an apothecary on Pine Street, and Rock Box, a bar with private karaoke rooms on the corner of Pine Street and Nagle Place. SugarPill has about 500 square feet of space and Rock Box has about 3,500 square feet.
Upstairs tenants are the industrial design company Pensar Development in 8,500 square feet, and Substantial.
Paul Rush, founder and CEO of Substantial, said the building's historic character was the main draw. He said new buildings feel soul-less and are “practically unusable,” but it is easy to create great spaces in an old building like 900 East Pine.
Substantial's offices have views of Cal Anderson Park and a rooftop deck.
As part of the renovation, the team re-worked the exterior by patching terra-cotta, adding moulding and replacing window panes. Jill Cronauer, director of property management for Hunters, said the team removed suspended ceilings, rewired and sand blasted the ceilings to reveal wood columns underneath. The team also took off sheetrock to bring the space “back to its bare bones.”
This is the second major renovation of this building by Hunters Capital. CEO Michael Malone bought the building in 1988 to house AEI Music Services and did an initial renovation.
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