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December 9, 2016

Belltown hotel/apartment tower doubles in size, but not in height

Journal staff reporter

When plans were last seen in March for a 17-story hotel/condo tower in Belltown, the dimensions were tight.

The site at 2121 Fifth Ave. was about 6,480 square feet. The plan was for 68 residential units over 88 hotel rooms, plus ground-floor retail, but no parking.

The project owner is 2121 Seattle LLC, associated with a Bellevue investor who asked the DJC not to be named.

The owner now has a new and bigger plan that will be shown at a Jan. 3 design review meeting. The latest proposal is for 129 apartments over 168 hotel rooms, with 3,900 square feet of retail and 120 parking spaces below grade.

How did the project so large? In June, 2121 Seattle LLC spent $4.1 million to buy a second, equal-sized parcel just to the south, at 2115 Fifth Ave., so now the site has expanded to about 13,000 square feet.

Caron Architecture is designing the tower. In March, Charles Wallace of Caron told the DJC that the owner was interested in acquiring the property at 2115 Fifth Ave. The 24-story Martin apartment building, developed by Vulcan Real Estate, is also on the block, at the corner of Fifth and Lenora.

2121 Seattle LLC bought the first parcel in October of 2015, also for $4.1 million.

This week, Caron founder and CEO Radim Blazej said, “The program has remained the same, but (the project) doubled in size.”

The hotel management and branding have not been determined.

Apartment dwellers and hotel guests may or may not have separate entrances, he said. The four levels of underground parking would be accessed from the alley.

There's no schedule yet for starting construction. “If the stars are aligned and everything is peachy keen,” said Blazej, “maybe the fourth quarter of 2017.”

Construction would take about 24 months. The project will be submitted under pending HALA zoning, he said.

Caron's new design is more substantial, with frontage on the west side of Fifth that extends about 116 feet.

The unnamed project would look down at the monorail and east toward Amazonland. To the west across an 18-foot-wide alley is the site where the former Potala Tower, a previously stalled 41-story hotel/apartment project is now proceeding under new ownership.

A rendering of 2121 Fifth on Caron's website shows a roof deck and penthouse structure, a mostly glass facade and a few balconies.

Because of such close proximity to The Martin and the ex-Potala Tower, Wallace said in March that the structure won't be more than 160 feet in height because of city rules about how close taller structures can be.

Caron will present the new design at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3 at City Hall, 600 Fifth Ave., Room L2-80.


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

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