18 Jan 44-Story Residential Tower Proposed for Downtown Seattle Moved Ahead by Design Review Board
January 6, 2022
After three early design guidance meetings with the Seattle Downtown Design Review Board, a 44-story residential tower has been moved through to the recommendation stages. The project, proposed by Chainqui Development, would add residential, ground-level retail, and commercial office space to the site of the historic Griffin Building.
The project site, which is being developed in partnership with MZA Architecture, is located at 2005 5th Avenue and proposes 464 residential units, 3,800 square feet of retail space and 18,250 square feet of commercial office space in the 609,906 square-foot building. The tower would sit above the Griffin building and adjacent to the historic Sheridan Building, which is also at the site.
“After multiple iterations spanning nearly four years, we achieved preliminary design support from the Landmark Preservation Board in 2021 by placing the tower core just outside the north exterior wall of the Griffin building and chantelering the tower over the Griffin roof using an angled, tree-like structure. This increased the tower separation to 60 feet, the maximum we could achieve without impacting the Griffin interior volume,” Craig Davenport, president of MZA Architecture, said.
The development team first met with the design review board in 2017. At that time, the board expressed approval to move forward with design plans that covered the historic buildings with an arcade column feature. However, the Landmark Preservation Board did not approve of this approach and directed the developer to seek other solutions that would separate the tower design from the Griffin Building, keep the existing interior volume and use of the Griffin and restore its facade.
During the third and final early design guidance meeting, the development team was able to address the Landmark Preservation Boards requests while providing clarity to the design about surrounding its previous concerns about how to properly maximize the tower’s separation to the Griffin building, the new approach to the tower’s facade and other transitional elements from the podium to the tower.
“We are continuing with the new formalism design approach found in many significant buildings seen throughout the Seattle area. This design language creates a new tower addition and the existing landmark buildings,” said Peter Sherrill, senior associate with MZA Architecture.
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