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August 23, 2018
The Jacobi family has announced that it will partner with Martin Selig Real Estate to redevelop the Commuter Building block, at 815 Western Ave. on the downtown waterfront.
The DJC first reported the plan last summer, but it was not clear until yesterday if Selig would buy the property or not.
Selig and Perkins + Will are planning a mixed-use tower with offices, retail and apartments. It will now be called the Windermere Building.
John Jacobi, who founded Windermere Real Estate in 1972, said in a statement, “It has long been a dream of mine to develop an iconic building on what is one of the best, if not the best, sites along the Seattle waterfront.”
The statement said Selig will oversee construction of the structure, which will be approximately 18 stories tall. Jacobi will work with Jim Olson, of Olson Kundig Architecture, on design of the exterior.
The Jacobi family has owned the main building for over 50 years. Windermere has offices there, along with various tenants that included Dania — until it abruptly left this summer.
The Jacobi family bought the last remaining bit of the block in 2012 for $1.75 million. The block totals 33,750 square feet. It's bounded by Western, Marion and Columbia streets, and Alaskan Way.
The viaduct ramp at Columbia is first on the list of structures that Kiewit will remove as part of its $94 million contract to raze the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The Marion Street pedestrian bridge to the ferry terminal, partially supported by the Commuter building, will have a temporary replacement.
In the near term, the Commuter Building and an old parking garage will be demolished. Both are about 100 years old, in poor condition, and not landmarked.
Selig has submitted a plan to lease the site to Kiewit for construction staging.
Permitting and construction of a new tower will likely take three to four years, regardless of Kiewit's schedule. No start date for that has been announced.
The Perkins + Will plan, which hasn't yet entered design review, calls for three levels of underground parking for 225 vehicles, one level of retail/commercial space, nine floors of offices, and eight floors above with 150 residential units (apparently apartments, not condos). Those numbers are always subject to change.
Also, structured parking is more feasible and economical on the waterfront.
The addition of Olson to the design team is significant. Along the waterfront, Olson Kundig has already designed Urban Visions' planned new office tower at 74 S. Jackson St. No start date or tenants have been announced for that project.
Olson has a half-century of experience working around Pioneer Square and the waterfront.
Brian Miller can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (206) 219-6517.