July 6, 2017

Westbank pays $11.4M for site near the Frye for two tall towers

Journal staff reporter

Renderings by Perkins + Will [enlarge]
The towers will have a skybridge connecting them on the 31st floor.

Westbank just bought more land at 707 Terry Ave. where it plans to build two large apartment towers, and is close to getting permits for the project.

The Frye Art Museum's parking lots, on the west side of Terry, sold for $11.4 million, according to King County records. The buyer was Project Terry LLC, which is an entity of Vancouver, B.C.-based Westbank Projects Corp.

Michael Chaplin of Westbank confirmed the sale, and said, “We're in the final permits now.”

Work is expected to start next January on what will be a three-year construction project, he said.

The Frye parking lots measure about 21,600 square feet, so the deal was worth about $528 per square foot. Brokers weren't announced.

Last summer, Westbank paid $3.2 million, or $444 per square foot, for the smaller Bloodworks parking lot on the north end of the site. The combined half-block property, between Columbia and Cherry streets, now measures 28,800 square feet.

Westbank is proposing two 33-story towers with 488 units above a three-story podium. Underground parking for 316 vehicles on six levels will be accessed from the alley to the west. About 6,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space is planned.

The two towers will lean slightly away from each other, with 30 feet of separation at the podium level and 40 feet of separation at the top. A skybridge will connect the north and south towers on the 31st floor.

Last September, Westbank requested phased permitting from the city. Excavation and shoring permits have already been issued, said Chaplin. Also in September, the design review board voted to approve the project after the second design review meeting.

Westbank has already filed for a master use permit, and Chaplin said it hopes to get the remaining permits in the next few weeks.

Perkins + Will is designing 707 Terry.

(Editor's note: This story has been changed to clarify the design team.)

In documents filed with the city, Westbank said the 707 Terry facade will be “composed of a series of shoji screens, representing a canvas and woven together to create a framework. The initial pattern of the screens represents the layout of certain art work on the walls of the Frye, and as the screens are shifted, new patterns begin to emerge, creating an artful representation of urban living.”

707 Terry will not take part in the city's HALA program, meaning all units will be market-rate. The design team is targeting the LEED gold standard.

The 32nd floor will have a solarium, pool, deck, barbecue station, lounge and other amenities. The pool and deck face west, toward downtown and Elliott Bay.

Werk is the provisional name for the complex and appears in some project renderings, but Chaplin said it's just a placeholder name.

Renderings by Perkins + Will [enlarge]
Westbank is proposing two 33-story towers with 488 units above a three-story podium. Restaurant, retail and gallery space is planned.

Other amenities will include storage for 110 bicycles, decks and dog runs above the podium level, and a conference room. No fitness room or gym is mentioned at this time.

Westbank estimates the project cost at $109 million. Total size will be about 609,000 square feet, including parking.

The Frye now has 95 free parking spaces, and museum visitors will be able to use the garage in the new complex. Whether the parking continues to be free is up to Westbank, said the Frye's Ingrid Langston. “The plan is to have visitor parking, but we haven't been apprised of the details,” she said. “It's up to them.”

Chaplin said, “There will be spaces allocated for the Frye's patrons,” likely about 50. Pricing hasn't been determined.

Westbank's design proposal states, “The lobby and gallery space will be open to the public during the normal hours the Frye Art Museum is open. Access to the Frye Museum parking has been designed to circulate through the lobby and gallery space.”

That 4,000-square-foot, double-height gallery space is purely Westbank's, not an expansion of the museum, said Langston. Renderings show a large wooden sculpture of the sort that local artist John Grade might create.

Chaplin said that the space will be curated “in collaboration with the Frye.” Further details are pending.

Westbank's 707 Terry team also includes KPFF, civil engineer; PFS Studio, landscape architect; Glotman Simpson, structural engineer; Integral Group, mechanical engineer; Nemetz & Associates, Electrical Engineer; Jensen Hughes, Code Consultant; RDH, envelope consultant; and ECNW, pool consultant.

Public records also list Ontario-based Timbercreek Mortgage Servicing as providing an $11 million loan. Chaplin declined to name any financial partners on the project.

Next, said Chaplin, “We will be looking for a general contractor.”

Westbank has other local projects in the pipeline, including two 41-story residential towers at 1200 Stewart St. Chaplin said Westbank is following a phased permit process for this project, and the MUP “is in its final stages.”

Also in the works is a 46-story residential tower at 2000 Third Ave., which will have a geodesic dome on top.

“I wouldn't say it's our last,” said Chaplin.


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