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May 10, 2016

Sellen, Olson Kundig break ground today on SLU office/retail building

Courtesy Olson Kundig [enlarge]
Each floor will have a different design and some floors will cantilever over others.

The 12,000 square feet of retail will surround space designed to be a “community living room.”

The Redman family has owned land at Ninth Avenue North and Thomas Street in South Lake Union for more than 70 years, well before Paul Allen and Amazon.com turned it into a bustling tech hub. Now the Redmans are set to develop their piece of the neighborhood.

Crews will break ground today on a 12-story, 165,000-square-foot office building at 234 Ninth Ave. N. It will have about 153,000 square feet of office space and 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail surrounding what a press release decribes as a “community living room.”

Scott Redman, president of Sellen Construction and grandson of its founder, John Sellen, is managing partner of the LLC developing the property.

Sellen is the design-build contractor and Olson Kundig is the architect. Other team members include Costigan Integrated, development management; Heartland LLC, financing and asset management; Urbis Partners, office broker; and Gibraltar, retail broker.

Completion is set for the end of 2017. No tenants have signed leases so far.

Multi-Employer Property Trust will help finance the project through a shared-appreciation mortgage, in which the lender is repaid in part as the property appreciates in value.

Redman said in the release that this financing arrangement will benefit local trade unions for construction workers whose pensions are invested with MEPT, a real estate equity fund advised by Bentall Kennedy.

Equity will come from several local families. Redman would not give the total project cost.

Sellen Construction was located on the site from its founding in 1944 until 1999 when the firm moved nearby to Westlake Avenue North.

The project team is aiming for LEED gold certification, with chilled beams, heat recovery systems, operable windows and an outdoor ventilation system.

Each floor will have a different design. Some floors will cantilever over others, and there are a variety of outdoor spaces. Floorplates will range from 13,000 to 20,000 square feet.

A rooftop deck will be shared by the tenants.

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