The explosive development underway in Seattle's Denny Triangle is extending the skyline northwards, but in contrast with the office towers of the central business district, this vibrant neighbourhood is becoming a forest of residential towers. An alarming lack of housing supply has contributed to skyrocketing home prices and rents, and in response, developers are easing the burden facing dejected millennials by delivering a wave of highrise residences.
Touchstone, AMLI Residential, Mortenson Development, and ZGF Architects are collaborating to bring a two-tower complex to the neighbourhood. The Tilt49 project includes an 11-storey office tower next to a 41-storey residential building of 393 apartment units, and each tower comes with its own set of amenities. Recent photos of the construction put the building in a contextual frame, but also show some of the finer details that give the development its sleek public face.
Meanwhile, a 41-storey tower at 2202 8th Avenue is steadily taking shape above ground. Developed by Clise Properties and designed by Graphite Design Group, the building's elliptical floor plates will house 450 units and 8,000 square feet of retail space. A curved facade has been employed to provide uniform access to views for all residents. It too will offer a generous helping of amenities, including an expansive roof deck. The project is located diagonally across from Amazon's multi-tower building complex.
Another tower at 970 Denny Way features the team of Holland Partners Group and Weber Thompson. With 40 storeys and 461 apartments, the building marks another significant entry into the growing highrise fabric of the area. A podium housing office and retail space evokes the characteristics of the neighbourhood's industrial warehouses. Essentially a plinth for the tower above, the podium roof is not wasted. Rather, it will become a landscaped park, complete with a pavilion structure. Having just spurted above ground level, the development won't be ready for opening until 2018.
At the same height, with the same architect attached, Stratus by Boston-based GID Development Group features a similar combination of residential and retail. Also located just across the street from the new Amazon campus, the market-rate 396-apartment tower has a significant amount of its cladding installed. Light and transparent, Stratus stands in aesthetic opposition to the visually darker Cirrus project to the south, which was also a collaboration between GID and Weber Thompson.
Our only non-residential building on this list is under construction at 924 Howell Street. A Residence Inn by Marriott will occupy the 302-room, 15-storey hotel, which is being developed by Stonebridge Companies. Weber Thompson — seemingly ubiquitous in the city — designed the orthogonal building in partnership with Johnson Braund. Unreserved hotel rooms are a rare sight in the city as the hotel occupancy rate frequently hovers between the 90 and 95 percent mark.
Anyone walking the streets of the neighbourhood will immediately realize the rapid pace of change that has grasped the area. Cranes, signals of progress, are dotting the skyline and ushering in a new era of modern architecture in the city. With nearly 70 buildings currently under construction within the Emerald City's boundaries, the most in more than a decade, Seattle is increasingly embracing a future shaped by high residential density. It's a pattern that has taken hold across the biggest cities in the United States, many of which have been fraught with record-breaking housing prices that have forced city officials to expand their horizons in the search for housing solutions.
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