Your search results

Building New AND Saving History

Posted by Johnine Larsen on December 8, 2017
| 0

As Seattle keeps growing, it faces the question of how to keep growing. Sprawl outward, with more suburbs and distant communities of single-family homes? Or stay close to the downtown core with rezoning and multifamily housing, rezoning old neighborhoods and tearing down houses to make room for condominiums and apartment buildings?

One of the loudest arguments against rezoning is loss of history. Constructing new multi-unit housing means tearing down old, classic buildings. Goodbye, brick-built and weathered Seattle. Hello, uniform glass and steel.

However, that’s a false dichotomy.

Building new, denser housing doesn’t have to come at the expense of historic structures, as the Gridiron condos show. The Gridiron is 107 new condominiums in Pioneer Square, currently in development. It’s an eleven-story mass of concrete and steel containing 107 residential units for a mix of incomes, from lower-end units to luxury condos. Beneath it, restored and preserved, sits the historic Seattle Plumbing Building.

The Seattle Plumbing Building was built in 1903. The triangle-shaped building has sat at the intersection of First Avenue, Occidental, and Railroad Way for almost as long as that intersection has existed. But before Gridiron started remodeling it, the Seattle Plumbing Building looked as blank outside as it did inside—many of its windows had been filled in with bricks long ago, and the historic building had sunk into near-vacancy. King County owned the building and used it to store old office furniture and equipment.

Now, the Seattle Plumbing Building is getting new life. The Gridiron project isn’t just the 107 condos above the historic building—the Seattle Plumbing Building itself will be rejuvenated with a ground-floor restaurant and bar.

This is the type of development that could strike the perfect balance between development and preservation. New residential units, because goodness knows we need more units to keep up with demand—but also old, historic buildings, because this has been a beautiful city for a long time, after all, and it’s filled with culture that’s worth preserving.

If more developers can find this balance, I see a bright future for Seattle’s urban core. Enough housing to keep things affordable, and enough history to keep Seattle fascinating and gorgeous.

  • Sarah Donaldson
    Sarah Donaldson
    18:44 18 Jul 19
    Darcie was such a joy to work with. She felt like family during the sale of our house and the search for our new home. We may have found our forever home, but if we ever need a Realtor in future, Darcie from Real Estate Gals will be our first call.
    Brian Heagler
    Brian Heagler
    16:55 02 Jun 19
    I have worked with Johnine and her team for 19 years and have always received personal, knowledgeable and professional service and attention! There is never and pressure and they will guide you away from a property when appropriate, which is always appreciated when a market is hot and the tendency is to move quickly. I trust them and have never been let down!
    Anne Slater
    Anne Slater
    18:03 25 May 19
    Johnine Larsen is fabulous! She listened and came up with ways we could get what we wanted in a house and stay within our limited budget. When we found the house we wanted, she moved super fast to get the house inspected and implemented creative ideas to make our offer appealing. And out of 13 offers, we were selected and got our house. I recommend her to anyone buying a home.
    Amy Burdick
    Amy Burdick
    19:13 24 May 19
    Real Estate Gals made sure we found our perfect house! Then, when we were up against other bidders, Johnine worked tirelessly to ensure we were tops! Her extensive real estate experience combined with exceptional character and integrity provided peace of mind throughout the process. She also made sure we received the right value as a seller and got the transaction done quickly and efficiently. Simply stated: there is nobody better to help you find your dream home.
    Bill Hollman
    Bill Hollman
    22:21 19 May 19
    I'd give Real Estate Gals 6 stars if I could. We have used them multiple times, both in selling and buying homes in Seattle and the surrounding area. I can't say enough about the professionalism, knowledge, and patience they bring to the task of buying a new home, or selling your current residence. And they know the Seattle area so well, they'll offer valuable insights into the pros and cons of any location you may be to considering. Look no further, call Johnine at Real Estate Gals. You will be glad you did!
    Beth Guerra
    Beth Guerra
    01:14 18 May 19
    Johnine was a breath of fresh air in the real estate market. She listened intently to our wishes and goals, and was tireless in her search for our perfect house. She is well versed in both Seattle and the surrounding areas. She made sure all the details were taken care of after the inspection, and made the closing process seamless. She even gifted us with a housewarming present. Nearly 7 years later, we still receive holiday cards and well wishes. I highly recommend Real Estate Gals and will look no further in the future.
    Aidan Key
    Aidan Key
    15:44 17 May 19
    Johnine and the Real Estate Gals brilliantly took us through the home buying process two different times. Their willingness to educate (I was new), hear our home hopes, and support us through the process are a few of the reasons that I highly recommend this team. Speaking of a team, I love their collaborative business model - it meant that we--the home buyers--always had a returned phone call and an ability to look at a house on OUR schedule. Truly felt like they place the customer first!
    See All Reviews