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May 26, 2017

Tenant improvement
Under $5 million

Photo courtesy of W.G. Clark Construction
Salvaged wood and heavy timber were reused in a tenant improvement for The Nature Conservancy.

Skyway Luggage building/ The Nature Conservancy

Location: Seattle

General contractor: W.G. Clark Construction

Owner/developer: Western and Wall LLC

Primary designers: SABArchitects, SHED Architecture & Design

The Skyway Luggage building was originally constructed in 1910 as a fish-processing plant. It later became a coffee-roasting plant, and from 1940 until the 1990s it was the world headquarters for Skyway Luggage.

The new owners wanted to renovate the building to make it ready for leasing as Class A office space. The Nature Conservancy toured the building and liked the exposed heavy timber construction, convenient location with under-building parking, and the ability to add a rooftop deck for events, which made this a great location for their new headquarters.

Repurposing the salvaged wood and heavy timber materials for reuse in the tenant improvement was in tune with The Nature Conservancy’s philosophy and sustainability goals.

The project began as a shell-and-core renovation of the three-story building, an early 1900s “form board” concrete shell with heavy timber decks and roof structures. The shell-and-core work included structural upgrades with new concrete/steel shear walls and reinforcement to bring the building up to current seismic codes.

W.G. Clark’s first big challenge occurred about midway through the shell-and-core work when the client secured The Nature Conservancy as a tenant for the building. W.G. Clark immediately began working with the tenant’s design team to establish the budget/scope, entering into an agreement with the tenant to integrate the tenant-improvement build out into the shell-and-core work. This allowed W.G. Clark to reduce the construction duration and get The Nature Conservancy into the new space before the lease in their existing office space expired.

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