CHALLENGE AND RESPONSE:
Southport’s massive project scope is a challenge in itself, especially considering the significant time it required to complete—nearly two decades, with 6,000 new jobs created in the process. The size, scope and timeline could be considered the most prominent challenges at Southport, especially as the project required multiple complex phases and included the development of more than 2.4 million square feet.
In addition, Southport is the first development of its kind in Renton. Given the size of the project, and its lack of predecessors, SECO knew the project would generate significant attention from the community. But would potential visitors treat Renton as a destination? Would SECO end up with its projected ROI? Despite uncertainties, CEO Michael Christ was confident and saw massive potential in Renton. Southport’s location is an optimal one—not only does it sit on Lake Washington and boast exceptional views, but the ease of access will appeal to guests and tenants alike. The site is close to airports and major interstates, and a proposed water taxi route (funded by SECO) would ferry riders from Renton to South Lake Union in 50 minutes.
Southport is also neighbor to The Landing, which includes 600,000 square feet of retail, and the 57-acre Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, which offers walking trails, tennis and volleyball courts, boat launches and fishing docks.
WHAT THEY DO EXCEPTIONALLY WELL: ALIGN AGAINST A LONG-TERM VISION.
Establish a Long-Term Vision: Now that the project is approaching completion (in early 2019), it’s easy to picture what the future could resemble at the campus—tenants putting down roots in Renton and calling Southport home; commuters depending on the water taxi for their everyday route; event planners turning to the Hyatt Regency to host conferences; and even couples booking the hotel’s deck for wedding ceremonies. Much credit is due to Christ and the SECO team for believing in Renton, realizing such an incredible campus for the waterfront parcel, and remaining loyal to their vision for many years.
Be Future-Focused: Southport has planned for the future in both design and function. The property’s office space, in particular, reflects SECO’s understanding of creating flexible spaces that can be customized to tenant needs. Designs (floor-to-ceiling windows, top- quality finishes), amenities (rooftop lounges, bike storage, outdoor gathering spaces), and technology elements (Fiber WiFi, elevated electrical service, back-up generator pads) all work together to create an office environment appropriate for a modern organization, especially large technology teams.
Manage the Story: Managing the story is important for any new venture or project, but especially one that requires years of construction, community engagement, and ultimately tenants, residents and guests buying-in to a new location and idea. During construction, Southport’s website shares concepts and live feeds of the building process. Today, the site provides important Southport information to stakeholders, all in one place, highlighting the waterfront campus’s various features, including the Hyatt Regency, Bristol Apartments, and Class A office spaces — as well as showcasing the broader Renton community, The Landing, transportation benefits, and life on Lake Washington.