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April 13, 2018
The proposed TeamRise Bell Tower has its third and probably final design review next week.
The site is at 2302 Fourth Ave. in Belltown, and the project has to preserve the landmarked Franklin Apartments next door.
The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17 at City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave., Room L2-80.
The vacant three-story Franklin is on the northeast corner of Fourth and Bell Street. Immediately to its north, Chinese developer TeamRise is proposing a 25-story tower — up from 24 stories — with 285 units.
Five levels of underground parking for 179 vehicles will be accessed from the alley to the east. There will be 6,750 square feet of retail. The parking and retail have shrunk somewhat from the last design review in April 2017.
Total project size is estimated at 331,311 square feet, including the parking.
The team includes Studio19 Architects and CallisonRTKL, architects; Weisman Design Group, landscape architect; DCI Engineers, structural; Coffman Engineers, mechanical and electrical; and AHBL, civil. No general contractor is listed.
Last year, the design review board endorsed the idea of separating the old and new buildings with a large atrium that would extend from Fourth to the alley. That concept has now been refined, with tweaks to the tower's two-story podium windows and facade materials.
Above the podium, the tower would have a distinctive stair-stepping “lift” effect, with notches extending to the roofline to break up the mass.
The century-old Franklin will be gutted and reconfigured with fewer apartments than the original 36. Its roof will become a deck, and the main tower will have a roof deck and amenity space, too.
TeamRise International acquired the 19,440-square-foot site in 2014 for about $20 million. Two condo towers were initially planned, until the Franklin was landmarked. A TeamRise investment flyer says it plans to invest $100 million in the project.
The Pasadena-based company is the U.S. affiliate of Wuhan-based TeamRise Group, which has interests in real estate and other industries. Though not translated into English, the company website prominently lists the Seattle project among its overseas developments.
The only other U.S. project listed is a 181,000-square-foot, five-building business park that TeamRise acquired two years ago in El Monte, east of Los Angeles. The park was built in 1974 and has an assessed value of about $24 million. The company calls it “the third largest project completed by TeamRise after going onto the world stage since 2014.”
TeamRise Group was founded in 2008 by Hua Zhang. The investment flyer says the company name is a transliteration of “Ting Rui”—roughly meaning household peace and good fortune.
The company says it hopes to do projects in Cambodia, the Philippines, Laos, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea as part of China's foreign infrastructure initiative called “belt and road.”