Amazon will soon have a new neighbor in the form of a fellow tech giant.
As GeekWire reported on Thursday, Google plans to move its Seattle offices to four six-story office buildings in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, a stone’s throw away from Amazon’s headquarters. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. investment company is developing the property.
A recent filing with the city’s Design Review Board shows Vulcan’s architectural plans for part of the project — specifically, on “Block 31” between Terry Ave N. and Boren Ave. N. Vulcan is also developing another set of buildings on “Block 25” between Boren Ave. N and Fairview Ave. N., which are also referenced in the Design Review filing.
The mixed-use property, located on a site most recently used for staging for Mercer Street construction, will include one 6-story office building, and another structure with six more stories of office space along with an 8-story residential tower above. All told, there will be 307,900 square feet of office space; 110,700 square feet of residential space (79 units); and 7,850 square feet for retail. There will also be parking for approximately 371 cars underground.
There’s also a through-block “woonerf” connecting Terry Ave. N. and Boren Ave. N. Here’s how Graphite describes the inspiration for the design:
The language of the lake is brought to Block 31 through massing that reinterprets the surrounding context. Starting with strong, defining pier elements, stacking reminiscent of lakefront waterfront language defines lower building volumes. Upper level shaped and curved elements reference maritime forms. The composition of stacked and arrayed elements of varying scales speak to the character of Lake Union, while the tower works in conjunction with those on adjacent Blocks 25 and 37 to anchor the neighborhood.
As the container language forms the abstract base of Block 31, the pier is defined by a floating horizontal mass on the north end of the project. The idea of “lifting” the block allows for a gesture towards Lake Union Park as it slides underneath the massing of Block 31’s frontage and throughblock. Anchoring the south is the sail or hull-like form of the residential tower. The different elements create an interlock of form differentiating Block 31 from Blocks 37 and 25 on the east and west adjacencies.
Along with the proposed buildings on the adjacent “Block 25,” Google will have more than 600,000 square feet of office space. Construction will take place in phases, starting in 2017 and ending in 2019. Google has agreed to leases lasting 14 to 16 years, according to a Vulcan official, a new sign of its long-term commitment to the Seattle region.
Combined with Google’s recently expanded offices in Kirkland, Wash., the technology giant will be approaching 1 million square feet in the region with this new space. Google currently has more than 1,900 employees in Washington state, in offices in Seattle and Kirkland.
Apart from giving Google a larger footprint in the city, the news is notable because Amazon isn’t the one taking the buildings. Vulcan developed the online retailer’s existing campus in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Amazon has been focusing much of its expansion in the neighborhood to the south, where it is developing its own three-block campus on the northern edge of downtown Seattle.
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