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August 5, 2021

400 University is done, says Wright Runstad, and ready for tenants

Real Estate Editor

Photo by Brian Miller [enlarge]
The third and final building at Rainier Square is flanked by its older and newer companions.

Wright Runstad & Co. recently announced that its 400 University office tower, companion to the new Rainier Square tower, has been completed. The sidewalks are again open, and the leasing signs are up for the project. Construction on the 10-story building, by BNBuilders, took about 13 months. NBBJ was the architect for the tower at 400 University St., on the corner of Fourth Avenue.

This represents the successful last phase of Wright Runstad's full-block redevelopment of the original Rainier Square office and retail complex, where demolition began in 2017. The landowner, the University of Washington, began mulling the redevelopment around 2013 — when it put out a request for proposals to interested developers. Wright Runstad had the winning plan.

All that's left of the old development is Minoru Yamasaki's famous martini-stem Rainier Tower, which opened in 1977. That's directly east of 400 University; the two are securely connected by what the developer calls a Grand Hall, which also has private outdoor terraces above street level.

Wright Runstad's Greg Johnson said in a statement, “400 University's completion, following the recent opening of Rainier Square, represents another significant milestone in the accelerating recovery of downtown Seattle.”

Intercontinental Real Estate Corp., of Boston, was the financial partner in the speculative project. Its Jessica Levin said, “We had an opportunity to produce hundreds of union jobs while delivering a one-of-a-kind, jewel-box office building within the vibrant Rainer Square. 400 University has an unbeatable location with proximity to unparalleled amenities and convenient transportation.” Indeed, the nearest light rail station is steps away on Third Avenue.

Next door at the 58-story Rainier Square itself (also designed by NBBJ), a PCC Community Market is expected to open — after being delayed — possibly next year. Apartments on the upper levels of Rainier Square are being leased, and some are now occupied. It's unclear if the planned Equinox gym has opened yet.

At 400 University, Greg Inglin and David Abbott of Colliers are marketing the approximately 110,000 square feet of offices over retail. Floor plates average around 11,500 square feet. Amenities include a 6,000-square-foot roof deck, bike storage and shower rooms.

Wright Runstad said in a statement, “Tenant interest in the project is strong, and leasing discussions are underway with a number of prospective occupants.” Broderick Group's second quarter office report said that no leases have been signed yet.

The retail and restaurant space at 400 University totals about 12,000 square feet. The brokers there are Laura Miller of Gibraltar with Kelly Gaddis of NAI Puget Sound Properties.

A hotel was originally planned for the corner, but the program instead flipped to offices.


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

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