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December 5, 2017

Rainier Square shops come down to make way for Rainier Square tower

OxBlue webcam photo [enlarge]

Rhine Demolition is using four excavators to tear up the old retail spaces in Rainier Square, below the pedestal-based Rainier Tower at 1301 Fifth Ave.

The shops will be replaced by a 58-story building — also called Rainier Square — that will become the centerpiece of Wright Runstad & Co.'s full-block redevelopment.

The iconic 41-story Rainier Tower won't be altered.

The new tower will have 722,000 square feet of office space for Amazon on the lower floors. Floors 41-58 will have 200 luxury apartments, including penthouses on the top two floors.

A sky lobby on the 40th floor will separate the offices and apartments.

The first two levels of Rainier Square will have 79,000 square feet of retail/amenity/fitness space, including an Equinox gym and a 20,000-square-foot organic food market. Parking for 1,000 cars will be on six levels below grade.

A second phase will add a 163-room hotel in a separate 12-story building adjacent to the towers. It will be developed by Wright Runstad and New York-based Related Cos.

The Rainier Square project website shows hotel construction starting in late 2018 and finishing in summer 2020.

Rainier Square tower is expected to be finished in summer 2020.

Wright Runstad's financial partner is an unnamed pension fund client of J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Full Scale, a division of The Schuster Group, is the development advisor for the apartments.

The project team is led by architect NBBJ, general contractor Lease Crutcher Lewis, and structural engineer Magnusson Klemencic Associates.

Wright Runstad has an 80-year ground lease with the UW for the property, which is part of the school's 10-acre Metropolitan Tract.

When the project is done, the block will have a total of 1.7 million square feet, including the 540,000-square-foot Rainier Tower, which opened in 1977.

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