Vulcan explores enrolling office development in Seattle's ultra-green program


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Vulcan Real Estate is proceeding with plans to build an office tower in South Lake Union, though a company executive said groundbreaking could be several years out.

Vulcan last week applied to the city of Seattle for a master-use permit for the project at 324 Ninth Avenue North It will be at least eleven stories with 230,400 square feet of space but could have an additional three floors if Vulcan participates in Seattle's Living Building Pilot Program. The taller building would have 288,800 square feet of office. The program was created to help the city meet its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Participating developers can build bigger, taller projects for meeting high-performance green building requirements. "Given the early stage, we are exploring the Living Building Challenge option, but have not yet made a decision about which direction we will go," Vulcan Real Estate Investment Strategy Director Lori Mason Curran said in an email Tuesday.

The project on a corner lot will incorporate a landmarked circa - 1927 building, which most recently housed City Hardware.

City Hardware

City Hardware was the last tenant in the landmarked Seattle building at 901 Harrison Street. The building will be incorporated into an office tower that Vulcan Real Estate is planning at Harrison and Ninth Avenue North.


Graphite Design Group of Seattle is the project architect. While no general contractor has been hired, Mason Curran said Vulcan has retained Howard S. Wright, a Balfour Beatty company, to provide pre-construction services. The development site is north and west of two Amazon-occupied office buildings. While Amazon has said it does not plan to expand further in Seattle due to what it considers the city's anti-business policies, Google and Facebook are growing in South Lake Union in buildings that Vulcan developed. "We have not pre-leased any space and do not have a groundbreaking target date," Mason Curran said. "We could be looking several years into the future."

In 2016, Vulcan paid $28.5 million for most of the development site, which measures two-thirds of an acre. The seller had paid just over $11.7 million only about 18 months prior and was planning an apartment tower on the property. The property includes another parcel, which Vulcan acquired for $3.6 million, according to public records.