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June 23, 2015

Rainier Square redo will pay $7.5 M for housing

Courtesy NBBJ [enlarge]
Wright Runstad wants to build retail topped by office space and 178 apartments.

Construction could begin next March.

Wright Runstad & Co. said it will pay more than $12.3 million to the city and county to get extra density and height for the 58-story Rainier Square project in downtown Seattle.

(Editor's note: The headline of this story has been changed to clarify the amount that will go to housing.)

In a fact sheet on the project website, Wright Runstad said it will pay $7.5 million in affordable housing fees to Seattle and $4.2 million to King County to preserve rural land in exchange for greater density. Wright Runstad will pay another $500,000 for other public benefits.

Wright Runstad wants to build 71,000 square feet of retail topped by 780,000 square feet of office space and 178 apartments. A separate 12-story structure will have 180 hotel rooms.

Construction could begin next March, according to the Rainier Square website.

NBBJ is the architect, Lease Crutcher Lewis is the general contractor and Magnusson Klemencic Associates is structural engineer.

A second design review recommendation meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. tonight at City Hall, 600 Fifth Ave.

Development fees have been a hot topic lately in the real estate community. As part of a push to get more in-city affordable housing, Seattle City Council approved a resolution last year that would require developers to either build affordable housing in new projects or pay a fee.

A number of developers have opposed plans to charge what are known as linkage fees.

Development fees are one of many possibilities being considered by Mayor Ed Murray's Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee. The committee's goal is to recommend ways to reach Murray's benchmark of producing 50,000 new housing units over the next 10 years, with 20,000 of them income-restricted.

The committee's recommendations should be out in a few weeks.

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