From the Field: Projects with Heart

The Publix

Built in 1927, The Publix Hotel served as a home for migrant workers coming to Seattle from around the world. After being closed for more than a decade, the historic building underwent a full rehabilitation, transforming the once single-room occupancy, 8 x10-room hotel, into a trendy multi-family, six-story apartment complex. Located in the heart of the Historic Chinatown International District, it’s one of six remaining buildings in the neighborhood constructed for Rainier Heat and Power Co. Thoughtful touches like the restoration of its original doors and wood paneling honor the building’s past, while more modern amenities like a high-design lobby space, roof-top deck, dog run and bike storage attract modern tenants. A new L-shaped structure constructed to the south contains larger apartments, and connects to the rehabilitated hotel at the ground and second levels. Adjacent to the Union Station transit hub, new ground floor tenants will add retail diversity as they open over the next few months.

The Publix has been recognized with numerous awards including Historic Seattle’s “Best Rehabilitation” and the Valerie Sivinski Award from Washington’s State Historic Preservation Officer, which recognizes achievement in historic preservation and outstanding rehabilitation of historic structures.

Architect: Clark | Barnes Owner: Uwajimaya Inc., Developer/Owner’s Rep: Spectrum Development Solutions, Structural Engineers: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, Civil Engineers: KPFF Consulting Engineers, General Contractor: Marpac Construction, Landscape Architect: HEWITT

The Publix Hotel and FUMC Honored at Historic Seattle’s 9th Annual Awards Benefit

Augusta Apartments

Named after Augusta Ada Byron, a gifted British mathematician who’s widely regarded as the world’s first programmer, Augusta Apartments is an amenity-filled, 216-unit complex at the edge of the University District. According to the project’s website, “in the late 1960s, the site was home to a startup called Computer Center Corporation and it was there at CCC that Paul Allen (owner of Vulcan, Augusta’s developer) and his childhood friend, Bill Gates, honed their coding skills by working after school and on weekends.” The story inspired the project team and has become a cornerstone of the building’s modern identity. Augusta cleverly pays homage to its namesake and technology roots, with everything from the art on its walls (including a colorful mural of Augusta Ada Byron herself), the “story” showcase on the website, the pixel-inspired logo, and of course, its very name.

While the demand for housing in Seattle is certainly there, Vulcan identified their story as an important differentiator, especially as their targets are students and young professionals, a market that values branding, uniqueness and personality in what they buy, what they watch, and yes, where they live.

Architect: Runberg Architecture Group, Owner: Vulcan Real Estate, Structural & Civil Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, General Contractor: Exxel Pacific, Landscape Architect: Brumbaugh & Associates


The Sanctuary at the Mark

As the F5 Tower (formerly The Mark) rose into the Seattle sky, it may have been easy to miss what was happening closer to the ground. Eleven years ago, the First United Methodist Church, which shares a city block with the tower, seemed fated for demolition due to mounting repair costs. Founded more than 100 years ago, it is Seattle’s oldest church. Preservation groups, with help from public officials, worked tirelessly to keep the church from being razed, and ultimately, Kevin Daniels saved the church to integrate it into the tower’s design.

The team reimagined what the church could be, and is currently refurbishing it as a high-end event venue for the F5 Tower’s hospitality arm. To honor the space’s history and former life, it’s called “The Sanctuary.” Our team helped restore the historical Beaux Arts treasure, providing seismic upgrades and designing connections to the tower (including an impressive glass walkway) and incorporating it into the final design. This year, the project was recognized with the “Exemplary Stewardship” award from Historic Seattle.

Architect: Zimmer Gunsel Frasca Architects, Owner: Daniels Real Estate, Structural Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, General Contractor: JTM construction

The Mark / F5 Tower Website
Watching the F5 Tower Rise