SEATTLE | Rainier Square Redevelopment | 795 FT | 50 FLOORS


First concept shows dramatic tower plan for UW downtown site

On Thursday, the UW Board of Regents Finance and Asset Management Committee took up two 80-year ground leases and a pre-development agreement with Wright Runstad & Co. to erect a new 1.15-million-square-foot mixed-use project on the Rainier Square block, around the existing Rainier Tower, which would remain.

“The completed development will be an asset for the University and for the city as a whole,” according to a UW staff memo. “It will bring vibrant density with at-street destination retail activity, highly desirable residential and hotel units, and world-class office space. Located at the heart of the city and supported by multiple transportation options, this iconic development will enhance and sustain the value of the Metropolitan Tract as well as the surrounding center of the downtown commercial core.”

The proposed project consists of a 50-story (795-foot) tower containing 750,000 square feet of offices, 182 apartments and 30,000 square feet of retail space; a connected 15-story, 198-room, luxury hotel; and a 1,200-space parking garage.


Seattle Stiletto Tower Shows Bet on Mixed-Use Real Estate

A proposed 57-story office tower that would be Seattle’s second-highest building will have apartments at the skyline, marquee retail on the street and a hotel on the same block.

The $550 million Rainier Square project, shaped like a J with a spiked heel in the initial design, is among the first in the city to combine four different types of real estate in one property, said Greg Johnson, president of developer Wright Runstad & Co. The Seattle-based company plans to apply for final review and permits with the local planning department in November, he said.

Developers in the U.S. are building projects with multiple uses – particularly in cities such as Seattle with strong employment – as they seek to balance rising demand for urban offices with strong apartment and travel markets. By providing a one-stop place to work, live and shop, they are focusing on sites that may attract companies targeting younger employees who want a short commute and the flexibility of renting.

“The Millennials are driving how people work, play and live and how developments are created,” said David Simon, executive vice president at Los Angeles-based landlord Kilroy Realty Corp., referring to the almost 85 million people born from the early 1980s through 2000.


Rainier Square’s updated design - May 2015

From the start, designers of the 59-story Rainier Square tower in the heart of downtown Seattle have proposed carving and scooping out portions of the building to create a unique, curving high-rise.

That’s still the plan, though the design team has tweaked the project to shift where these features will be placed. The public will learn more about Seattle architecture firm NBBJ’s plan at a Tuesday design review board meeting at City Hall. It’s the second time the board has reviewed the Rainier Square project.

Meanwhile, city officials have determined that the scope of the project, which also includes a 12-story hotel, is so big that it will have a significant impact on the environment. That means the project will require a deeper analysis, including an environmental impact statement (EIS).

But the project developer, Wright Runstad & Co., caught a break because the city has determined that the EIS done 10 years ago in conjunction with the big downtown rezone covers the project. However, Wright Runstad has prepared a short EIS addendum that’s under review.
The nearly full-block project at the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and University Street will have a large amount of office space – 780,000 square feet, or about half the amount of space in Columbia Center, the city’s largest office tower.

Wright Runstad President Greg Johnson said Friday that the project team still is considering whether or not to start building before leasing any space to office tenants.
The latest plan is to start construction in the middle of next year, Johnson said. Last fall, the plan was to start construction at the end of this year on the project whose proposed cost Wright Runstad had pegged at $600 million.

Around 180 units of high-end housing, 155 hotel rooms, 71,000 square feet of retail and nearly 880 stalls of underground parking also are part of the project that will replace low-slung retail buildings that the developer says are outdated and partially occupied by struggling retail.
At the southeast corner of the block is the 38-year-old Rainier Square Tower. Known for its ultra-tapered pedestal, the tower will remain and serve as inspiration for the design of the new tower.
Under the previous design, a portion of the tower was carved from the northeast side of the tower. But at the urging of the design review board, that team has moved it to the southeast portion of the tower. This will allow better views of the current Rainier Square Tower’s iconic base.


great news. This particular proposal is one of my favorite in the works over all of the country right now. F5 Tower is amazing, too.

crane up, prep work underway. Here’s a construction cam:


Taken on October 2nd by user geoffloftus:

Have a good weekend!!

Edit: if someone could change the title of this thread to Under construction, that would be sweet! :smiley:


Moved to u/c. :beers:

On a side note, Seattle is the 3rd fastest growing big city in the U.S… :slight_smile:

October 13th by user geofflotus:

Also taken on the 15th:

Seems to be the first basement levels. Not sure what area of the site this is, but looks like work is moving along at a good pace!


Taken on January 5th by c33f:




Very much above ground :slight_smile: It looks very good!
You can see the slight curve of the iron the curving side already so that’s cool!!


Rising quickly (March 1st by user Ginkgo on SSC):

Since this is a steel structure, I imagine it’s going to be rising very quickly!
Have a good week everyone! :smiley:


I guess Amazon is planning on subleasing this space. I wonder if they’ll be doing the same with the Court Square citigroup tower in queens.

Edit: I guess Amazon only signed an statement of intent not a lease for Queens:

1 Like

April 5th (c33f):


April 15th:


Taken yesterday:


Rainer Square construction Detail


Link to webcam and Infos to the Building



Ok this is just one sexy looking building. my goodness…

Taken by N_206


Also, here’s some showing it from far away:

Pics by c33f

Honestly, this is probably my favorite building besides Steinway in the entire US. Very very beautiful!