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December 13, 2000

8-unit condo project will use parking lifts

Journal Staff Reporter

The 1310 East Union condominium project in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood is the first multifamily project for developer Liz Dunn, a former high-tech executive.

1310 East Union
Rendering by The Miller/Hull Partnership
The loft-style condos at 1310 E. Union will be completed in May 2001.

Dunn, 36, said she always wanted to be an architect and decided a few years ago to take some urban planning, architecture and real estate development courses to get a little closer to her dream.

She said the biggest challenges to the 1310 East Union project, which should be completed in May 2001, have been the small size of the parcel, which she owns, parking and unforeseen site conditions. She said she's learning that such problems are typical for urban infill projects, adding that she now understands why developers shy away from taking them on in the first place.

Still, she'd like to continue developing similar projects to create a "small, fine-grained landscape" in Seattle's downtown.

Dunn said her project may be the first in the city to feature European-style parking lifts, which are easier to operate than more common parking elevators.

The five-story building, located on the site of a former sex shop, will feature eight loft-style condos, ranging in size from 600-1,700 square feet. Small units are estimated to sell for about $250,000, with penthouse units selling for about $800,000 to $900,000.

The construction cost for the 17,000-square-foot building is about $160 per square foot.

Dunn said her goal is to design a transit-oriented housing project. She said the location of the condos is convenient to bus riders, and the building is within half a mile from the proposed Broadway and Madison light rail station. Also, one parking spot in the garage will be reserved for a "Flexcar," part of Seattle's shared car program.

The look and feel of the concrete and steel building, according to Dunn, will be "extremely simple and industrial, but the quality of the space will be amazing."

Dave Miller of The Miller/Hull partnership is the lead designer. Along the street front, the building features an exposed structural frame composed of steel columns and girders as well as diagonal bracing for seismic reinforcement. The exterior will include glazed overhead garage doors that will open the units to the exterior. Roof terraces and balconies will provide residents with outdoor space, and upper-level units will have views toward downtown and the Olympics.

Flexibility has been built into the project, allowing any of the two units per floor to be combined into a spacious single unit. Interiors will contain exposed steel posts and beams, scored concrete floors and corrugated metal decking at the ceilings. Other amenities include radiant slab heating, high-speed Internet connections and a building security system.

Crews from Turner Construction Co. are building the condos. Other consultants are structural engineer Swenson Say Faget, civil engineer Taylor Engineering Consultants, and Atelier Landscape Architects.

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