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September 23, 2020

Plans take shape for Hamlin Robinson School expansion on Oberto block in Rainier Valley

Real Estate Editor

Rendering by NAC Architecture [enlarge]
NAC Architecture is designing the new space. It also designed the school’s current campus on the block to the west.

Hamlin Robinson School bought the Oberto store property last year for just over $4.1 million. It's directly east of the school's existing campus in the Rainier Valley.

The early six-story plan for developing the small trapezoidal block at 1730 20th Ave. S. was for faculty apartments over classrooms. The school and NAC Architecture have since changed plans to a four-story middle school building only, with no residential component.

No design review is required for the 54,154-square-foot project. The school says it will serve up to 225 students in grades 6-8. It hopes to open the new building by the fall of 2022.

The building will be about 65 feet tall, with classrooms and west-facing terraces on the fourth floor. The bottom three floors will have a central atrium and open staircase.

No parking is included, but there will be 68 bike stalls. The Oberto block and current campus are about a five-minute walk north to the future Judkins Park Station, where light rail service will begin in 2023.

The team includes Exxel Pacific, general contractor; Dana Warren of the Warren Co., owner’s rep; LPD Engineering, civil; Weisman Design Group, landscape architect; CPL, structural engineer; Metrix Engineers, mechanical; and NAC Engineering, electrical.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to add the general contractor.)

The Oberto family began operating a factory on the property in 1954. The store continued there after a new factory was built in Kent, in 1997. The family sold the business two years ago to Premium Brands. It previously sold the west block to Hamlin Robinson in 2013, where NAC designed the existing campus.


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

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