Specialty: Interior design, urban planning, residential multi- and single-family, commercial

Management: Jeff Bates, Charles Shugart, Shannon Shugart, principals

Year founded: 2006 (Shugart’s predecessor firm, Tecnikos Architecture/Interiors/Planning, founded 1991)

Headquarters: Seattle

Current projects: 65-unit $8 million condominium in University District; 40,000-square-foot $3.5 million manufacturing plant in Interbay; multi-block planning study in downtown Bellevue

Image courtesy Shugart/Bates
Shugart/Bates is seeking design review for Duncan Place, a 65-condo building in the U District.

Charles Shugart and Jeff Bates met in graduate school in New York City, where they learned that density is good.

Their goal is to prove that here.

“In Seattle, density has sometimes been seen as a negative thing,” said principal Jeff Bates of Shugart/Bates. “We’re trying to bring higher quality to it so people can see that (high-density) projects can be good additions to their neighborhoods.”

Small infill is hot

Bates is confident that the market for the small-scale infill projects his firm specializes in will continue to grow. That’s partly because of the demands of the Growth Management Act, and partly because the market for large-scale projects is very risky right now.

“Costs for large scale projects have been (accelerating) at a very rapid rate because of the demand for concrete and steel,” Bates said. “We’re very lucky beca

use a lot of our mid-density projects are made of wood. And we’ve seen declines in the recent price of lumber.” Shugart/Bates has several such projects in Fremont and Queen Anne.

Infill in the suburbs

Bates said he thinks the density trend is even taking hold in Bellevue, where Shugart/Bates is doing a planning study for several city blocks downtown.

“It has not been a walkable city,” he said, “but that is going to change.”

Bates said he thinks that Bellevue — and other post-war suburbs like it — may be in for a bigger transition than Seattle. And his firm is ready to help.

“Architects dismiss the suburbs and the Eastside,” he said. “We see a huge opportunity.”

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