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10 years in the making, massive Seattle Stadium East project is officially launched
Marc Stiles | Puget Sound Business Journal


Seattle real estate company Urban Visions unveiled plans for this 1-million-square foot office and retail project called Stadium East Wednesday. This is the proposed design that the company will take to a city board for input on the design.

Seattle real estate development company Urban Visions on Wednesday unveiled plans to turn a seven-acre industrial property at the terminus of Interstate 90 into a 1-million-square-foot office and retail campus called Stadium East.


Under the proposal, seven new buildings will rise eight stories and have a total of around 860,000 square feet of office space with the rest of the space dedicated to retail. There will be 1,000 stalls of underground parking.


Urban Visions still must get the city of Seattle's OK to build the project, which company CEO Greg Smith said he will not develop until he pre-leases the space.


"We'll wait for the right tenant like we did for Weyerhaeuser," Smith said, referring to the timber giant's decision to move its headquarters to 200 Occidental, a new building that Smith's company is developing in Pioneer Square near Stadium East.


Located at the intersection I-90 and Airport Way South just east of CenturyLink and Safeco fields, Stadium East is the latest example of how downtown's energy is shifting away from South Lake Union toward the central business district and Pioneer Square. Urban Visions hopes to cash in on Stadium East's proximity to billions of dollars of rapid mass transit investments and other infrastructure in the south downtown area, including the planned $1 billion makeover of the city's waterfront.


"What's cool about this is the new light rail line to Bellevue, it goes by [Stadium East]," said Smith, who called the project "a true transit-oriented development" at the "true front door to Seattle."


Depending on where you are on the project site, you're either a few blocks from the Stadium Station light-rail stop or the Union Station/King Street Station regional mass-transit hub.


It's a different story in traffic-choked South Lake Union, where is headquartered, Smith said.


"Traffic has become a nightmare in South Lake Union," he said. Smith thinks that more and more, people and businesses will gravitate to south downtown and Pioneer Square, a historic district known for the character of its brick buildings and plazas. It's already happening with tech and other companies moving to the area.


On its face, Stadium East seems like a classic tech campus. But Smith said that Urban Visions will market the property to an array of users, including law firms and financial companies.


Urban Visions and the project architect, Ryan Mullenix of the Seattle firm NBBJ, are designing Stadium East to maximize employee productivity. Corporate America is changing its work spaces by providing employees more natural light and collaboration spaces located on large floorplates. Stadium East's floors will be 50,000 square feet.


Smith said Urban Visions' in-house team will market the space for lease. In the meantime, he plans to start getting the city's OK for the project later this year. He hopes to begin going through the city's early design guidance process next month.