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February 2, 2022
Chandler's Cove is a legacy name that predates its sale, some two decades back, to Vulcan Real Estate. The owner began flirting with redevelopment plans in 2017, when demolition of the four-building complex was contemplated. Planning for new construction lasted about two years, then went quiet.
Now, instead, Vulcan has announced that it'll renovate and rebrand the property at 809 and 901 Fairview Ave. N. The new name is Lake Union Piers, and Miller Hull will oversee the refresh of about 60,000 square feet. Abbott Construction is the contractor, and Hewitt is the landscape architect. Work began last month.
Familiar tenants like Daniel's Broiler will remain throughout the process. The marina will continue during and after renovations. But about 40,000 square feet is now being brokered, directly via Vulcan, for what it calls dining, entertainment, recreation and maritime uses.
Vulcan's Ada M. Healey said in a statement, “We have the opportunity to reinvigorate this iconic piece of Lake Union real estate and reimagine it to complement the energy of the surrounding neighborhood. Lake Union Piers will be a place for visitors and locals to connect to Seattle's Lake Union and experience this one-of-a-kind lakefront experience.”
Much of the 8.3-acre property is now parking, with somewhat confusing bike and pedestrian access — especially when wandering over from Lake Union Park. Hewitt will help sort that out to “connect the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop trail with enhanced walkways and greenery [and] reconfigure parking and drop-off areas.”
Vulcan also describes new “native landscaping, improved public seating areas, 5,700 square feet of flexible outdoor event spaces, and space for new food, drink and shopping concepts.”
The first phase of construction should wrap this fall; that centers on Building A, the easternmost structure (once home to Novilhos, now a Kraken team shop). Work on the other three south buildings should run to the fall of 2023. For Building B, which juts farthest north to the water, a dramatic new “Lantern” and “View Terraces” are planned.
Running west of Buildings B and C, alongside the water, the promenade will be redesigned; new visitor moorage is also planned there.
During construction, says Vulcan, the Boats Afloat Show will run its April and September events as scheduled.
Vulcan's Robert Arron leads the effort to find new tenants. He said, “We are actively engaging prospects for new, innovative restaurants, entertainment venues and retailers to complete our roster and create an exciting assortment of places to visit at our wonderful waterfront locale.”
Before the late Paul Allen began buying up some 50 acres in South Lake Union, now a tech center for Amazon, Facebook and Google, Wally Trace and partners nabbed the old H.C. Henry Pier and Lone Star Cement properties, then developed Chandler's Cove in the 1980s. It changed hands once before Vulcan acquired it, plus the former Burger King property, for nearly $30 million in 1999-2000.
Brian Miller can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (206) 219-6517.