A new project is in the works for the north end of Lake Union that will see Seattle’s first sustainable, mass timber multi-use development connecting strongly with environmental responsibility and the importance of outdoor recreation, to create a modern rendition of the office, retail and recreational space.
“We had the opportunity to think about how a workplace would evolve to meet the demands of a post-COVID world. We are no longer just competing with other office buildings; we are competing with people’s homes.” – Joanna Callahan
Northlake Commons has been modelled after the feeling of being deep within a forest in the Pacific Northwest, with a core of timber and steelwork support and large windows allowing lake-facing views and a constant flow of fresh air. In addition to 8,000 sq feet of curated retail space, it will incorporate 65, 000 sq feet of programmed outdoor space, including private decks and an expansive public plaza overlooking Lake Union, and directly link to the popular Burke-Gilman bike trail providing bike storage (and even kayak storage!) for tenants. Northlake Commons will operate as a warehouse and distribution facility for the Dunn Lumber family, as well as host a 5-million gallon stormwater treatment facility, cleaning the runoff from nearby Wallingford neighbourhood and directly aiding in the protection of the Lake Union ecosystem and the region’s waterways as a whole.
The 167, 000 square foot plot is owned by the iconic Dunn Lumber family, who’s timber industry business was established in 1907 and who have been operating on this same street since 1931, and is being designed and developed in conjunction with award-winning Hess Callahan Grey Group, Spear Street Capital, JLL Property Investment, Swinerton Builders and esteemed architects Weber Thompson.
On the 15th of February 2022, the groundbreaking event took place in the north-east corner of the plot, backdropped by earth-moving machinery, glittering waters of Lake Union and the skyline of Downtown Seattle. The weather shifted between cloudy (usual Seattle weather) and golden, with sunlight peaking through just as the speeches went underway, and flooding in strongly in time for a ceremonial champagne smash.
We’ll take that as a good sign for the future of this development project, scheduled for completion year-end 2023. Here are some images from the Groundbreaking event.