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March 15, 2019

Bosa's 3rd & Cherry condo tower faces third design review

Journal Staff Reporter

Renderings by James K.M. Cheng Architects [enlarge]

A fountain with jets has been added on Fourth, in front of the residential entry.

Bosa Development is planning to buy and develop the full block at 601 Fourth Ave., now owned by the city, with a new 58-story condominium tower and public plaza.

The project, called 3rd & Cherry, will have its third and possibly final design review at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2 at City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave., Room L2-80.

James K.M. Cheng Architects of Vancouver, B.C. is the design architect. Joseph Wong Design Associates of San Diego is the architect of record. Bosa, also based near Vancouver, typically acts as its own general contractor.

The block is bounded by Third and Fourth avenues and Cherry and James streets.

The tower has increased by one story since the last design review just over a year ago. Its height is unchanged. The unit count has gone down from 500 to 423 condos, likely meaning larger layouts.

Parking has been reduced from 640 to 586 stalls on eight levels (six underground, two partly at grade). Some stalls may be double stacked using car lifts. Bicycle parking isn't specified, but there will be a bike room (or rooms).

Total project size, including the parking, is about 976,000 square feet. As before, the approximately 28,000 square feet of retail is concentrated along Cherry, on three levels. The roughly 27,000-square-foot public plaza, with a cascading water feature, is concentrated along James down to Third. It's divided into three zones: upper plaza, terraced gardens and lower plaza.

Minor but notable design changes include:

• The tower has been slightly rotated and shifted farther northeast, as compared to last year (when it was pushed farther east than the initial 2017 proposal).

• Consolidated parking and loading access to the arrival plaza on Cherry, with a smaller curb cut.

• The residential lobby is now on Fourth, facing City Hall.

• The retail has been slightly reconfigured along Cherry.

• The water feature has been lowered and stepped. A fountain with jets has been added on Fourth, in front of the residential entry. The water now runs in a more “linear channel” downhill. (The stream connects to the one running through City Hall.)

• A public elevator has been added, to connect Third and Fourth for plaza users who can't manage the steps on the sloping site.

• Balconies have been tweaked for more variation and gradation.

• A screen now encloses the rooftop mechanical areas.

Most units will run from one- to three-bedrooms with between 700 and 1,700 square feet. The 55th floor will have four large penthouse units with up to 2,600 square feet. (The 56th and 58th floors are only for mechanical uses.)

Residential amenities will include a gym overlooking the lower plaza on Third. The 57th floor will be entirely amenities, totaling about 8,978 square feet, with a lap pool, sauna, steam room, kiddie pool, private lounges, deck, garden lounge, community lounge and kitchen for events.

There's an entrance to Pioneer Square Station on the south side of the block, on Third. Bosa had previously discussed making cosmetic design changes to it. Now it reports that Sound Transit is planning to expand and revamp the transit tunnel entrance—and possibly others. The station entrance is left unchanged for now.

The team also includes PFS Studio (Vancouver), landscape architect; Glotman Simpson (Vancouver), structural engineer; Rushing, MEP engineer; KPFF, civil; Ground Support, shoring; Bush Roed & Hitchings, surveyor; and Hart Crowser, geotechnical.

No start date has been announced. Bosa is now building the One88 condominium in Bellevue, where it has three other downtown sites to develop.

In a deal that was announced two years ago by then Mayor Ed Murray, Bosa will pay the city of Seattle about $21.7 million for the 1.3-acre 3rd & Cherry site. That includes a $5.7 million contribution to the city's affordable housing fund.

A separate Mandatory Housing Affordability payment, based on the overall project size, hasn't been calculated yet. That earns a 30 percent increase in height over the existing 440-foot zoning. Including mechanical and rooftop levels, the tower will rise about 629 feet above Third.

Sometimes still called Civic Square, the block has been a vacant pit, now with a substantial tree growing inside, since the old Public Safety Building was demolished in 2005.


Brian Miller can be reached by email at brian.miller@djc.com or by phone at (206) 219-6517.

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