Spire
Under construction in March 2021
Former namesIcon Tower
General information
StatusCompleted
TypeResidential
Location600 Wall Street
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Coordinates47°37′06″N 122°20′40″W / 47.61833°N 122.34444°W / 47.61833; -122.34444Coordinates: 47°37′06″N 122°20′40″W / 47.61833°N 122.34444°W / 47.61833; -122.34444
Construction startedJune 2018
OpenedAugust 2021
Cost$200 million
Height
Architectural440 ft (130 m)
Technical details
Floor count41
Design and construction
Architecture firmVIA Architecture
DeveloperLaconia Development
Vanke
Main contractorPCL Construction
Other information
Number of units343 condominiums
Parking266 spaces
Website
spireseattle.com
References
[1]

Spire is a 41-story residential skyscraper in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, United States. The 440-foot (130 m) building sits in a triangular block adjacent to the intersection of Denny Way and Wall Street, roughly between the Belltown and Denny Triangle neighborhoods. It has 343 condominiums, retail space, and a rooftop terrace. The building has an automated parking system in its underground garage with capacity for 266 vehicles.

The project was originally proposed in 2006 as the Icon Tower by a Californian developer, but was put on hold during the economic recession two years later. It was revived in 2013 and underwent additional design changes under a new architect and with investment from Chinese developer Vanke. It was re-branded as Spire and began construction in 2018; the building was completed in 2021.

History

The 10,665-square-foot (990.8 m2) triangular site at Denny Way and Wall Street was part of the area re-zoned by the city in 2006 for slim residential buildings with heights of up to 400 feet (120 m).[2] San Francisco-based Levin Menzies announced plans for a 34-story "Vancouver-style" condominium tower, named the Icon Tower, prior to the zoning change being passed by the city council.[3] The site was occupied by a surface parking lot that was purchased by the developer in 2007 for $4.4 million.[4]

The Icon Tower was shortened from 440 feet (130 m) to 290 feet (88 m) by moving most of its parking underground, in response to feedback from the city's design review board and the neighborhood council. Under the plan, the 32-story building would have 224 condominiums and 10 stories of parking controlled by an automated parking system.[5] The design from Weber Thompson featured a "halo" around its rooftop resembling part of the nearby Space Needle.[6] The city's design review board approved its design in 2007 and Levin Menzies planned to begin construction the following year, but put plans on hold due to the economic recession despite a switch to apartments.[4][7][8]

Levin Menzies, re-branded as Laconia Development, chose to prioritize development of an apartment tower on First Hill near Freeway Park before resuming work on the Icon Tower project.[9] In September 2013, Laconia filed updated design plans from Kwan Henmi Architecture with the city, proposing a 39-story tower with 310 units and automated parking for 284 vehicles and 155 bicycles.[10][11] The updated design removed the "halo" from the rooftop and added several floors of above-ground parking to compensate for the shallow State Route 99 tunnel, which runs under the site.[12] Further design revisions under VIA Architecture replaced the parking system with a valet-operated car elevator and converted the project into apartments, averaging 820 square feet (76 m2) per unit. Following city approval, Laconia planned to begin construction in late 2015 or early 2016.[13]

In May 2016, Seattle mayor Ed Murray announced that the $200 million project would be partially financed by Vanke, the largest residential developer in China.[14] Vanke's interest in the project was spurred by a state visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping to Seattle in September 2015.[15] Later that year, the project was granted its master-use permit by the city and Laconia sold the property to another equity partner for $17.3 million.[16] The city granted a shoring and excavation permit for the project in March 2018, shortly before the expiration of the master-use permit, allowing for pre-construction activities to begin.[17]

On June 19, 2018, Laconia and Vanke broke ground on the tower, re-branded as "Spire" and consisting of 352 condominiums. The condominiums, ranging in price from $450,000 to $5 million, were marketed by Sotheby's International Realty.[18] Contractor PCL Construction began work on the site later that month.[19] Presales began in December 2020, with prices ranging from $485,000 for one-bedroom units to $4 million for larger units.[20][21] Spire was opened in August 2021, with move-ins for the first residents.[22]

Design

Spire is located on a triangular, 10,665-square-foot (990.8 m2) lot bounded to the north by Denny Way, to the southwest by 6th Avenue, and the southeast by Wall Street.[12] The 41-story tower has 343 condominiums,[21] ranging in size from 520 square feet (48 m2) on lower floors to 3,000 square feet (280 m2) in the upper penthouse levels. The top two floors are home to the "Spire Club", an amenity space with indoor entertainment areas and an outdoor terrace.[19] At street level, the building has 2,000 square feet (190 m2) of retail space and access to eight levels of underground parking with capacity for 266 vehicles.[12][19] VIA Architects, the last of three firms that worked on the project, took inspiration for its design from the nearby Insignia Towers and Via6 Towers, as well as the Amazon headquarters campus.[23]

The building's parking garage uses an automated elevator system due to the State Route 99 tunnel, which runs under the site.[21] The parking system, designed by Parkworks, uses a system of dollies on rails to carry vehicles from the three elevators to the stalls.[24] It takes three minutes to retrieve a car that is requested using a card reader in the basement level.[21][25]

References

  1. ^ Spire at Emporis
  2. ^ Weber, Blaine (June 29, 2006). "Are we ready for Seattle's pivotal moment in history?". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  3. ^ Silver, Jon (February 27, 2006). "San Francisco developer plans 6th & Wall condos". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Stiles, Marc (October 29, 2013). "Another downtown Seattle residential tower project is resurrected". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  5. ^ Porter, Lynn (August 5, 2008). "Tight sites, expensive land lead developers to try new parking systems". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  6. ^ Cohen, Aubrey (November 16, 2006). "30-story condo tower picks up support". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. p. B1.
  7. ^ "Slender tower for tiny site". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. May 29, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  8. ^ Porter, Lynn (August 5, 2008). "Planned condo towers likely to be apartments". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  9. ^ Stiles, Marc (December 30, 2011). "Laconia aims for tower near Freeway Park". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  10. ^ "Laconia revives plans for tower at 6th & Wall: 310 housing units". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. September 26, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  11. ^ "Laconia planning 39-story tower with 310 units at Denny & Wall". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. October 29, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  12. ^ a b c Cohen, Aubrey (October 28, 2013). "Plan for triangular tower on tiny Belltown site back after bust". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  13. ^ Stiles, Marc (December 29, 2014). "Tall tower on tiny site by Space Needle will be apartments". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  14. ^ Rosenberg, Mike (May 16, 2016). "China's largest homebuilder agrees to first Seattle investment". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  15. ^ Stiles, Marc (October 19, 2016). "How the president of China moved a Seattle high-rise project forward". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  16. ^ "600 Wall St. site sold for $17.3M". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. October 14, 2016. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  17. ^ Stiles, Marc (April 26, 2018). "Laconia has started 43-story residential tower at 600 Wall". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  18. ^ Stiles, Marc (June 19, 2018). "Apartment tower near Space Needle will instead be built as condominiums". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  19. ^ a b c Miller, Brian (June 20, 2018). "Laconia switches 41-story Spire from apartments to 352 condos". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  20. ^ "Laconia Development and Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Reveal Final Presale Opportunity and New Buyer Incentives at Spire Condominiums; Occupancy Spring 2021" (Press release). Laconia Development. December 9, 2020. Retrieved February 22, 2021 – via PRweb.
  21. ^ a b c d Stiles, Mark (July 13, 2021). "After 14 years and a pandemic, $350M Seattle condo tower poised to open". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  22. ^ "41-Story Condo Tower "Spire" in Seattle Open for Move In". The Registry. August 18, 2021. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  23. ^ Levy, Nat (December 30, 2014). "Laconia wants to start 43-story tower next fall or early winter". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  24. ^ Lindblom, Mike (July 20, 2021). "A robot will fetch owners' cars under this Seattle condo tower". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  25. ^ Stiles, Marc (July 14, 2021). "See how Seattle's first fully automated parking system works". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved July 19, 2021.