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May 29, 2007

Slender tower for tiny site

Image by Weber + Thompson [enlarge]

Developer Levin Menzies & Associates is setting its sights on a tiny triangular lot four blocks from the Seattle Center to build a 29-story condo tower called Icon. The quarter-acre lot is bounded Denny Way, Sixth Avenue and Wall Street.

The city has approved a master-use permit for the slender tower and construction is scheduled to begin in May of 2008. It all goes smoothly, it should be finished in November of 2010.

Icon will have 224 units varying from 570 to 1,400 square feet. The average size is 900 square feet. Prices will start in the high $200,000s and reach $1.4 million for the penthouses. Most units will be priced between $350,000 and $650,000.

The site is oddly sized and too small for a conventional shear-core structural system, so the designers decided to use an outrigger structural system, which provides lateral resistance while avoiding a perimeter moment frame.

Parking will be provided in 10 levels below grade and two above. Some stalls will have mechanical systems so that two cars can be stacked in one space. There will be one stall of parking for every bedroom in the building.

The tower will have punched decks between various juxtaposed forms. Precast concrete architectural frame features will break up each façade. The top will have a garden deck and a “halo element” that glows at night.

Citibank made a proposal to finance Icon and an agreement is being finalized with a general contractor, according to Paul Menzies of Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Levin Menzies.

Seattle's Weber + Thompson is the architect and interior designer, and Vancouver, B.C.-based Glotman Simpson is the structural engineer. Dan Foltz is Weber + Thompson's lead designer on the project.

Levin Menzies is also developing a 331-unit condo tower at Eighth and Seneca, east of Freeway Park. Construction on that is expected to start in March 2008 and finish in May 2010. It will cost about $85 million to build and is being financed by Lehman Brothers of New York.

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