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September 7, 2018

Paul Pong's 31-story U District tower set for first design review

Journal Staff Reporter

Rendering by Caron Architecture [enlarge]
Caron Architecture is designing the tower, with ground-floor retail, 168 hotel rooms, and 101 rental units on the upper floors. A two-level penthouse is planned on top.

After the University District upzone, developer and hotelier Paul Pong last year abandoned his earlier plan for a mid-rise building on a site he owns at 4512 11th Ave. N.E.

Pong's new high-rise plan has its first design review at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17 at Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N.

Caron Architecture is designing the mixed-use tower for the 22,016-square-foot midblock site, a few steps from U District Station, which is scheduled to open in 2021.

Caron's preferred plan is for a 320-foot tower with 6,056 square feet of ground-floor retail. Levels three through 16 would have 168 hotel rooms, and levels 17 through 27 would have 101 rental units.

The top two occupied floors, levels 28 and 29, are described as an “owner occupied unit” totaling about 5,100 square feet, with private decks.

Two mechanical levels above bring the building to 31 stories.

Four levels of underground parking for 183 vehicles would be accessed from the alley to the east. No parking is required. A bike room would have 112 stalls.

A large landscaped public plaza at grade would total about 5,700 square feet. There would be decks on the second and 26th floors, plus indoor amenity spaces.

Solar panels are planned on the 31st floor instead of a roof deck.

Total project size, including the parking, is estimated at about 488,000 square feet.

Through an LLC, Pong acquired the site in 2013 for $6 million. It's now occupied by two small vacant office buildings, which will be removed.

Pong will have some high-rise neighbors:

• Local investor group Guntower Capital is planning a 21-story tower on the Washington Federal/Qdoba property at 1200 N.E. 45th St.

• Just north of the Hotel Deca (soon to become the Graduate Seattle), Core Spaces is planning a 24-story tower with 211 units at 4515 Brooklyn Ave. N.E.

Meanwhile, Pong's Evergreen Lodging is planning 143 hotel rooms and 113 apartments on a site it owns at 601 Aurora Ave. N., near South Lake Union. The company is also currently expanding and renovating the nearby Hampton Inn Suites, at 700 Fifth Ave. N.

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