december 8, 2006
  Mixed-use Project in Seattle Revitalizes Neighborhood
Paul Allen’s Vulcan opens 2200 in South Lake Union

by Heather Livingston
Contributing Editor

Summary: A new mixed-use project in the South Lake Union neighborhood of downtown Seattle opened in November. Called 2200, the project was conceived with the intent to be the catalyst for redeveloping the neglected community north of Seattle’s central business district. Situated on a 2.5-acre, five-sided site and measuring 450,000 square feet, 2200’s three towers consume the largest block in downtown Seattle. The project houses the luxury 160-room Pan Pacific Seattle hotel, a Whole Foods Market, 261 condominiums, and various lifestyle retailers and services.

Transforming a neighborhood
The project of Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Real Estate, 2200 is a prominent sign of the area’s transformation from a predominantly light industrial district into a vibrant 24/7 community. According to Principal Mark Woerman, AIA, during the six years that Seattle-based CollinsWoerman Architecture has been working on 2200, the project has changed significantly to adapt to market conditions. “This is a neighborhood in transition; one that has received lots of visibility nationally due to the large area of redevelopment,” says Woerman. “The concept for 2200 did not draw on the existing context. It instead followed a vision of what they wanted to happen in South Lake Union.”

CollinsWoerman Senior Designer Pat Logan notes that when the project was conceived, the program called for a large office component and a grocery store, a luxury in neglected downtown areas, but not the upscale Whole Foods. “As market conditions changed and office space in downtown Seattle became overly abundant, the office component was eliminated,” says Logan. With the city’s recent emphasis on improving the entire South Lake Union neighborhood, 2200 was able to attract upscale vendors like Whole Foods Market and the Pan Pacific hotel, the only one in the U.S. Putting its industrial past behind it, South Lake Union is now an up-and-coming neighborhood for singletons, empty-nesters, and urban dwellers as well as a booming hub for bio-technology research and development.

“The completion of our signature 2200 project is a major milestone for Vulcan and the entire South Lake Union community—the anticipation and momentum surrounding this development has been remarkable,” says Ada M. Healey, vice president of real estate at Vulcan. “2200 alone will serve hundreds of new residents, create employment opportunities, and attract thousands of visitors from South Lake Union, downtown, and surrounding areas.”

True mixed use
2200’s three towers make extensive use of floor-to-ceiling glass, architectural concrete, and brick and steel. The tallest tower is 18 stories and houses Pan Pacific Seattle on the first 11 floors and luxury condominiums above. The other two towers are 15 stories and 12 stories and hold a mix of condominiums and nearly 100,000 square feet of upscale retail, restaurants, and services. 2200 was envisioned as an active mixed-use environment. It was designed to enhance the pedestrian and neighborhood shopping experience by incorporating shared gathering spaces for greater community interactions and aesthetic appeal. An expansive European-style outdoor retail plaza sits atop a grand Spanish staircase and is suitable for concerts, community events, or impromptu gatherings. The plaza provides one-stop services stunningly backdropped against the Space Needle and downtown views.

Opened on November 14, the 160-room Pan Pacific Seattle is the only local hotel to offer personal stewards to work with guests and 2200 condominium owners to arrange almost anything from planning dinners on the town to putting together personalized itineraries. The luxe Hirsch Bedner-designed guest rooms offer spa-like bathrooms, views of the Space Needle and downtown Seattle, and the latest in business and entertainment technology amenities. As part of 2200’s unique urban living approach, luxury hotel amenities will be integrated into the condominiums so that residents can take advantage of the Pan Pacific Seattle’s five-star services, including housekeeping, 24-hour room service, personal concierge services, valet parking, dog walking, and guest suites. Community amenities include a spacious game room and community room, a 4,000-square-foot fitness center, landscaped rooftop deck with expansive city views and outdoor seating, 16-person private movie theater, fully furnished guest suites, and the convenience of a Seattle streetcar line directly in front of 2200.

Demonstrating the overwhelming market acceptance of urban lifestyles and growing interest in South Lake Union, 2200 sold 90 percent of its condominiums less than a month after opening its sales center. Prices for the condominiums ranged from below $300,000 to over $2 million. “Selling the vision of South Lake Union was part and parcel of the evolution of 2200,” says Woerman. “We were trying to sell an answer in an untested market, and it’s proven to be an incredible success. 2200 is the catalyst for South Lake Union’s revitalization; it is a vibrant part of the community.”

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