Dig this: new offices going up
November 10th, 2012 · 4 Comments
By reporter Steven Smalley
Another big dig is underway in the neighborhood, this time it’s a three-story business complex with basement parking just north of the Magnolia Bridge on 15th Avenue West. With the underground portion of construction providing a distraction for drivers, the plans call for the finished structure to house 65 units of small retail spaces or “work lofts.” They will, “Change the area quite a bit – clean it up,” according to project superintendent Richard Craiger, who spoke with Magnolia Voice. Although plans for the project were laid out in 2007, it’s been only six weeks since actual work at the site has begun. Work on the project is expected to last eleven months. “If you look around, there’s not much for small businesses, and it’s short on parking. So this is going to work good for this area,” says Craiger, amidst the ruins of what was previously an old steel mill on Port of Seattle property. Referring to the leftover foundry, he says, “There’s been some talk to demo the rest of the structure in the back to remove the eyesore,” which would open western vistas giving tenants a view of Magnolia.
Meanwhile, workers are busy digging holes and excavating the site with heavy equipment before the hard rains begin. Magnolians might be happy to note there is a Seattle connection to the project. “It’s owned by a local man,” Craiger says, “he decided to put people to work, and that’s why we’re here. Right now we’re employing about 40.” Pier 70 owner John Goodman, with his company, Goodman Real Estate, drafted the plan to refurbish the old industrial location and turn it into office-lofts, says Craiger. “It’s all for small business use on all three floors. We think there’s a market for small business owners in this area.” As for the feeling of the space when completed, it’s like, “A cabana with a giant courtyard and Wi-fi,” says a representative of Goodman Real Estate. “It’s an awesome location – close to everything in the city,” he declares. The units are designed for, “Start up working groups – innovators with bright ideas…It makes it more of a community. You’re going to want to go to work.” With conference rooms and storage for bicycles, the representative described how the spaces are designed to instill a sense of community. He says there will also be plenty of outreach with Whole Foods and other area stores to foster goodwill. Venture General Contracting is handling onsite construction for the project.