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Seattle’s Next Urban Campus?

Posted by Johnine Larsen on December 16, 2014
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stadium-eastUrban Visions recently released an update on Stadium East, the 1,000,000-square-foot office and retail campus. That update, we have to say, looks awesome.

Stadium East would be a massive eight-story urban campus, with 860,000 square feet of office space, 130,000 square feet of retail space, and 1,000 underground parking spots. As the name suggests, it would sit just east of CenturyLink and Safeco. Instead of that seven-acre industrial property at the junction of I-90 and Airport Way, we could soon be looking at 5 to 7 cutting-edge buildings.

We could soon be looking at a revitalized Pioneer Square.

Urban Visions and architect firm NBBJ have bolds plans for Stadium East. The campus will maximize its use of natural light and collaboration spaces, using floorplates as large as 50,000 square feet. Those giant, sprawling floors will facilitate collaboration spaces and employee productivity. That’s the hope anyway.

“It’s different,” said Urban Visions CEO Greg Smith. “It’s not a high rise; it’s an urban campus that is one-of-a-kind for the city.”

centurylink-stadium-eastWe’re not sure about that one-of-a-kind thing (What about Amazon’s campus? Or Microsoft’s?), but there’s one thing we can’t dispute: Stadium East will have a one-of-a-kind impact on SoDo and Pioneer Square.

Urban Visions CEO Greg Smith says he will market the campus to tech companies, law firms, financial companies, and a number of other industries–and all that retail space will need tenants, too. Sounds like huge economic boost to us.

It’s a prime spot, with an entire fleet of nearby mass transit options and a $1 billion waterfront redevelopment, and Stadium East could turn the area into a new South Lake Union. But a SLU with far fewer traffic woes. This news comes at a good time for Pioneer Square, which just found out it’s sinking (thanks, Bertha). Amid its not-so-steallar history, Stadium East is a ray of hope.

This urban campus been in the works for a long while, going through behind-the-scenes planning and negotiating, but now Stadium East has stuck its toe into the spotlight. It still has a long way to go (the lengthy permit process is only beginning, and actual construction won’t begin without preleases), but it looks promising.


Rendering photo by NBBJ