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February 8, 2016

Daly Partners’ Eastlake project offers art and a path to the lake

Journal Staff Reporter

Courtesy Bushnaq Studio [enlarge]
Public art will be featured in the public plaza at East Howe Steps.

A pedestrian path and public plaza will run through East Howe Steps, and create a direct path to Lake Union.

Daly Partners is using public art and a pedestrian path to Lake Union to make its latest apartment project in Eastlake stand out.

East Howe Steps involves constructing two buildings — at 1823 Eastlake Ave. E. and 1903 Yale Pl. E. — with a total of 97 housing units. It is one of several projects the Seattle-based firm has under construction now.

Drew Daly of Daly Partners said the site is close to Queen Anne, Capitol Hill and downtown but the developer hopes that East Howe Steps will help make the Eastlake area more of a destination.

Cutting through the large site will be a pedestrian path and public plaza that will make it more convenient to walk from Eastlake to Lake Union. The plaza will have seating, trees, lighting, native landscaping and a large steel sculpture called “Reunion” by Seattle artist Mike Phifer.

The ground floor of both buildings will have retail space — including for a restaurant — and five live/work spaces designed to encourage activity around East Howe Steps.

The project team also will refurbish an existing work called “Cornerstones,” which is embedded in the sidewalk and depicts 32 organisms found in and around Lake Union.

Daly said these touches may not lead to a big rent premium, but they will help East Howe Steps stand out from all the competition.

“It's not something that we try and monetize exactly,” Daly said. “It's something we want to use to create something more than just a building.”

The complex was designed by Bushnaq Studio, and W.G. Clark Construction Co. is the general contractor. Opening is set for December.

East Howe Steps will have 94 underground parking spots and storage for 45 bikes.

Daly Partners started in 2009. Daly said people on the staff are locals, and many have lived here all their lives. Because of that, they want to build structures that will last but also fit with today's technological boom. Units in all Daly's buildings are equipped with fiber Internet, which could be a benefit for tech employees who want to work from home on occasion.

Daly has three other projects under construction near Lake Union, on Queen Anne and in the University District. All are expected to open this year, Daly said.

Its website said Daly is doing preliminary design for a 150- to 175-unit housing project at Rainier Avenue South and South Dearborn Street.

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