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Old May 11th, 2012, 08:19 AM   #101
mSeattle
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^They're perfectly good buildings. Everything doesn't need to be so brand new around here. This city bugs me. They're so strict, not foot above 500', well mabe a foot or two but no more. Why not give Hedreen 560' - 600' and save the low-rise existing, functioning, and more affordable lease buildings?
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Old May 11th, 2012, 09:20 AM   #102
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Because they're ugly and not highest and best use for that land. Everything doesn't need to be new if it were built right the first time. There are some older structures that should never be messed with- these dumps just aren't on that list.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 10:46 AM   #103
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I don't think they're ugly. Then again, I judge something on things other than how shiny it is.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #104
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Quote:
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Because they're ugly and not highest and best use for that land. Everything doesn't need to be new if it were built right the first time. There are some older structures that should never be messed with- these dumps just aren't on that list.
Gonna have to join the "These aren't ugly" camp. Dumpy is a bit of a stretch too. Granted, that area can be a little sketchy at night(what part of downtown isn't these days?), and maybe I'd like to see that bodega fixed up a bit, but these 2 are doing just fine.

And as for not putting the land to the best use: As I've said time and time again on here, not every parcel needs to have a 50 story tower on it to be putting it to best use. I might agree with you if they were squat little 3 story buildings that might belong on a neighborhood street in capitol hill. But these are both pretty substantial developments.

Also, as has been discussed before; modern architecture, especially for large towers, seems to have a very limited material palate. You're either looking at glass or concrete. It's nice to see some brick and marble every now and then. Leaving these be would be what people are looking for when they ask for "character".
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Old May 11th, 2012, 05:13 PM   #105
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Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course- I just happen to be with the developer. I'll be happy when they cone down.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 05:34 PM   #106
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Quote:
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^They're perfectly good buildings. Everything doesn't need to be so brand new around here. This city bugs me. They're so strict, not foot above 500', well mabe a foot or two but no more. Why not give Hedreen 560' - 600' and save the low-rise existing, functioning, and more affordable lease buildings?
Some developers would jump at that, but only if at least the same square footage could be built. With less land and the same FAR, the project would have to be smaller. If they bought the small buildings and included those in the FAR calculation (or included the land but not the existing buildings in the calc) it might make sense. Or might not...the result would be substantially higher construction costs for the same square footage due to inefficient shoring, parking layouts, and taller/skinner structure.

Also, here's one of Seattle's fundamental problems: When we provide tradeoff options like TDRs or height bonuses, we make them as expensive and difficult as possible to use because we can't stand the thought of a developer winning. The result is that the opportunity often goes unused.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 05:56 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mSeattle View Post
^They're perfectly good buildings. Everything doesn't need to be so brand new around here. This city bugs me. They're so strict, not foot above 500', well mabe a foot or two but no more. Why not give Hedreen 560' - 600' and save the low-rise existing, functioning, and more affordable lease buildings?
I think in this instance, keeping those structures would be detrimental to the development of the hotel. It really couldn't be worked in to a new hotel structure well. Separate elevators, access etc. Perhaps if they were smaller in size they could have become a corner restaurant or something. Here, they just take away space. Not everything can (or should) be saved. If this were a mega-residential project perhaps.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 06:00 PM   #108
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I think in this instance, keeping those structures would be detrimental to the development of the hotel. It really couldn't be worked in to a new hotel structure well. Separate elevators, access etc. Perhaps if they were smaller in size they could have become a corner restaurant or something. Here, they just take away space. Not everything can (or should) be saved. If this were a mega-residential project perhaps.
Yep!
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Old May 11th, 2012, 07:52 PM   #109
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If I'm not mistaken, you go one block furthur east and there is a parking lot sitting there. Why we feel the need to tear down existing buildings yet leave parking lots intact is something I just don't understand.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 08:08 PM   #110
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If I'm not mistaken, you go one block furthur east and there is a parking lot sitting there. Why we feel the need to tear down existing buildings yet leave parking lots intact is something I just don't understand.
A) It's not for sale.
B) It already sold and plans have not been made public
C) Hedreen didn't want that one
D) any two of the above
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Old May 11th, 2012, 08:10 PM   #111
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A) It's not for sale.
B) It already sold and plans have not been made public
C) Hedreen didn't want that one
D) any two of the above
Amen.

I don't get how people don't understand this. It's not as if one person owns every lot in the city and that all lots are equal in every way.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 09:49 AM   #112
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September 26, 2012

Convention center expansion figures into Hedreen's plan
By LYNN PORTER
Journal Staff Reporter
The Washington State Convention Center is in preliminary discussions with King County about building a 285,000-square-foot expansion in downtown Seattle over the Convention Place Transit Center, between Olive Way, Pine Street and Ninth and Boren avenues.

...

http://www.djc.com/news/re/12045422.html?cgi=yes
*
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Old September 26th, 2012, 10:07 AM   #113
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This is so awesome - I don't have as much of a reaction as you guys to amazing news, but I think my pulse did begin to register for awhile today. A 50-story hotel (has to be 50 for the effect) with room for second tower, 125k meeting space, etc etc AND now proximity.

Last edited by RMacherat; September 26th, 2012 at 10:14 AM.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 05:18 PM   #114
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I dig the 600 short-stay apartments. Along with the hotel, that's a massive number of people. And it's probably an underserved market (central, high-end), though we do have places like the building across from the Uptown Theater for example.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 05:24 PM   #115
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Awesome!
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Old September 26th, 2012, 07:30 PM   #116
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But will they count as residents for census-purposes?
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Old September 26th, 2012, 08:50 PM   #117
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When I lived in the Uptown version, it was a mix of one-week tourists, locals like me, people who'd just moved to town, etc. No idea about ratios. I suppose if a person has moved to Seattle an is camping there for a few months, then they'd probably count.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 10:52 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCIII View Post
September 26, 2012

Convention center expansion figures into Hedreen's plan
By LYNN PORTER
Journal Staff Reporter
The Washington State Convention Center is in preliminary discussions with King County about building a 285,000-square-foot expansion in downtown Seattle over the Convention Place Transit Center, between Olive Way, Pine Street and Ninth and Boren avenues.

...

http://www.djc.com/news/re/12045422.html?cgi=yes
*
Anyone have a quoted article for us non-subscribers?
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Old September 27th, 2012, 12:22 AM   #119
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From todays DJC.

http://www.djc.com/news/re/12045422.html

September 26, 2012

Convention center expansion figures into Hedreen's plan
By LYNN PORTER
Journal Staff Reporter

The Washington State Convention Center is in preliminary discussions with King County about building a 285,000-square-foot expansion in downtown Seattle over the Convention Place Transit Center, between Olive Way, Pine Street and Ninth and Boren avenues.

Jeff Blosser, the center's president and CEO, said a decision will be made in late 2013 or early 2014 whether to move forward with what could be a $600 million multi-story project that would double the center's size.

The expansion would be on the county-owned site a block and a half from the current convention center, and could be connected by pedestrian-friendly street improvements or coverings.

Blosser said the convention center now has approximately 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 35,000-square-foot ballroom and 50,000 feet of meeting space, but it can't accommodate the groups that want to come there.

“We're turning quite a bit of business away now,” said Blosser, though he didn't have exact figures immediately available Tuesday afternoon.

Such an expansion would play into the plans of R.C. Hedreen Co. The Seattle developer plans to start construction within the next two years on a project that would include 155,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space in two 45- to 50-story towers and a podium. The complex would have two 25,000-square-foot ballrooms, a 13,000-square-foot ballroom, and about 126 meeting rooms.

Hedreen’s project would be kitty-corner to the proposed expansion, on a block bounded by Howell and Stewart streets and Eighth and Ninth avenues.

Greg Harris, senior manager and general counsel with the firm, said meeting space in the $600 million to $800 million project would complement the convention center space, and bring in hotel guests.

“Our understanding is they're turning away millions and million of dollars in meeting revenue because of the limited capacity for meetings,” he said.

The Hedreen complex would also have 1,200 hotel rooms, 600 extended-stay apartments, 350,000 square feet of office space, about 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and 1,400 parking spaces on multiple levels.

Hedreen has been working with in-house architect Shauna Decker on programmatic drawings. Bush, Roed & Hitchings surveyed the site, but other team members have not been selected.

The extended-stay apartments will be about the size of the hotel rooms — 300 to 330 square feet — but will also have kitchens. They are intended for people who want a long hotel stay or a short apartment stay, Harris said.

He said some people looking at condos at Hedreen's Olive 8 complex downtown have expressed interest in this type of product. “A lot of people are coming and asking us is there a place they can stay for six months and get a lay of the land” before committing to permanent housing, he said.

As of August, hotel occupancy in the Seattle metropolitan area was 72.6 percent, according to Smith Travel Research. CBRE said office vacancy (including sublease space) in downtown Seattle was 14.5 percent in the second quarter of this year.

Harris said his firm's project will connect the thriving South Lake Union area to the downtown core, including its retail sector, and to the three million square feet of office space Amazon.com plans in the Denny Triangle. “It's a key piece.”

The company's plans have evolved. Earlier this year it announced that the complex would have about 950 hotel rooms and 600,000 to 700,000 square feet of office space.

Harris said the current plan is a better project.

Hedreen on Monday acquired the last property it needs to move forward: the Ray and Bonair apartment buildings. It will raze them, along with the aging Greyhound bus station and other buildings on the site.

Harris said financing is not yet in place.

Blosser said the Washington State Convention Center is doing due diligence to determine if the county-owed site would work for the expansion, and said the center would likely ground lease the property if the project is a go.

“We would just cap the site and build over the top,” he said.

Plans are preliminary, he said, but added, “We think it's necessary to do it now because of the lost business.”

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Old September 27th, 2012, 12:34 AM   #120
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Awesomeocalypse. Thanks!
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