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January 2, 2018

Bosa to show new design for Civic Square plaza and condo tower

Journal Staff Reporter

Rendering by James K.M. Cheng Architects [enlarge]
Bosa is proposing a 57-story tower with about 500 condominium units, underground parking spaces, restaurants and retail, and a public plaza.

Bosa Development will show its slightly modified design tonight for the Civic Square plaza and condominium tower at 601 Fourth Ave. Its second design review is set for 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 600 Fifth Ave., Room L2-80.

The program is essentially unchanged from the last design review in October. For what it calls 3rd & Cherry, Bosa is proposing a 57-story tower with about 500 condominium units, 640 underground parking spaces, 24,500 square feet of restaurants and retail, and a 27,000-square-foot public plaza.

The design is by James K.M. Cheng Architects, which is also based in Vancouver, B.C., like Bosa. The project will fill the full block between Third and Fourth avenues and Cherry and James streets, which has been a vacant pit since the Public Safety Building was demolished in 2005.

Civic Square is the block. 3rd & Cherry is the building, which will rise about 629 feet above Third. Bosa hasn't specified the overall building size yet.

Here are the notable changes to the design:

• Tower width, as viewed from City Hall looking west, has been reduced by 21 percent, from 197 to 155 feet. Its crescent-shaped “radial geometry” design is essentially the same.

• The tower footprint has also been moved toward the northwest corner of the block, where Cherry meets Third.

• As a result, more open space is opened to the south, along James, with a more prominent water feature (which connects to that of City Hall on the block above).

• Changes to the public plaza encourage users to pause in more distinct zones. There's now more open space on Fourth, about 7,000 square feet; and the lower plaza on Third also totals about 7,000 square feet.

• The tenant, garage and truck loading entrances have been consolidated and moved to Cherry from James, where a sunken entry court had been previously envisioned. This creates more public space along James, now totaling about 13,000 square feet, divided into terraces.

• Retail/restaurant space has been shifted and added to face Cherry. The massing includes terracing and kiosks. Cheng writes, “Cherry Street will be lined by a street wall of animated retail spaces, while the proposed plazas are also defined by various restaurants, patios, cafes and landscaping.”

• Of the transit tunnel entrances on Third, which date to 1990, Cheng says, “It is our intention to cosmetically enhance the transit entrances without altering any structure or circulation below.”

The team also includes landscape architect PFS Studio, of Vancouver. Bosa typically acts as its own general contractor, as on the One88 condominiums currently underway in Bellevue. It also built the Insignia condominiums in Belltown.

Bosa will pay the city about $21.7 million for the site. Under the terms of an agreement signed in August, it will build and maintain the plaza for public use.

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