SEATTLE – NBBJ, the world's third-largest architecture firm, today announced it is entering into an agreement to negotiate a lease for its headquarters from a development partnership comprised of Vulcan, Harbor Properties and PEMCO Insurance. Negotiations are underway for a lease at a new development project located in the Cascade neighborhood in Seattle's South Lake Union community.
Under the terms of the agreement, NBBJ will begin the process of designing a new mixed-use development that will include approximately 85,000 square feet for the firm's headquarters. The development will feature office space, retail, housing and underground parking and the design will be consistent with the Cascade neighborhood plan. The total size of the project has not yet been determined, but it is projected to exceed 400,000 square feet.
Vulcan and PEMCO are the property's landowners. Joined by Harbor Properties as a development and equity partner, the three organizations are joint venture partners for this project.
The development will be located between John and Thomas streets and Yale and Pontius avenues. A portion of the site is the current location of the vacated Richmond Laundry facility and the design of the new building will incorporate historical elements of the original structure.
"NBBJ's interest in this property acted as the catalyst that allowed us to put this extraordinary partnership together," said Ada M. Healey, vice president of real estate for Vulcan Inc. "We will be delighted to welcome NBBJ to the growing roster of world-class companies locating in South Lake Union. We believe NBBJ's creative and talented workforce will add a tremendous amount of energy and intellectual capital to the neighborhood, as well as further revitalize the area."
The deal is scheduled to close in February. NBBJ's 430 Seattle-based employees would move to the new building upon completion in December 2005. NBBJ is currently located in two separate office spaces in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood, where the company has maintained offices for more than 20 years.
"Getting all of our Seattle staff into one location will provide a more cohesive, synergistic work environment for us," said Scott Wyatt, managing partner at NBBJ. "Equally important, this will be a wonderful opportunity to design a state-of-the-art 'green' headquarters building that sets a new standard for energy efficiency and sustainability. We'll be 'walking the talk' with our own LEED-certified headquarters."
NBBJ and the development partners will incorporate advanced and extensive green building practices into the design to create an innovative, sustainable building. It will include elements such as increased natural daylight, fresh air control through operable windows, an accessible green rooftop and the use of environmentally sensitive building materials.
The building is planned to be one of Seattle's first mixed-use projects that is LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). LEED is an industry measurement tool created by the U.S. Green Building Council to define green, environmentally and community-conscious projects.
"The Richmond Block project will be a true example of live, work and play. At this time, we envision the development to incorporate housing, new shops and services, and office space," said Denny Onslow, president of Harbor Development. "The project, as well as NBBJ and its employees, will bring new energy and amenities to the neighborhood."
"We're excited to welcome a great company like NBBJ to the Cascade neighborhood," said Stan W. McNaughton, PEMCO Insurance president. "NBBJ's arrival will benefit and enhance the community. We've met the folks at NBBJ and we're convinced they're the type of people who will contribute a lot to Cascade."
One of the world's leading architecture and design firms, NBBJ has designed some of the world's top performing places, including world headquarters for Reebok, Starbucks, and Telenor, the expansion of Sea-Tac International Airport, and new stadiums for the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Bengals and Milwaukee Brewers. NBBJ is also the world leader in healthcare design, with work for Swedish Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, and Harborview Medical Center. Established in 1943 in Seattle, NBBJ now has six offices in the United States, as well as offices in the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. For more information about NBBJ, please visit www.nbbj.com.
About Vulcan Inc.
Vulcan Inc. creates and advances a variety of world-class endeavors and high-impact initiatives that change and improve the way people live, learn, do business and experience the world. Founded in 1986 by investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, and under the direction of president and CEO Jody Patton, Vulcan oversees various business and charitable projects including real estate holdings, investments in more than 100 companies, from Charter Communications, DreamWorks SKG and Diego Broadband to TechTV, and the Sporting News, the Seattle Seahawks NFL and Portland Trail Blazers NBA franchises, First & Goal Inc., Vulcan Productions, the Seattle Cinerama theatre, Experience Music Project and the six Paul G. Allen Foundations. For more information about Vulcan, please visit www.vulcan.com.
About Harbor Properties
Harbor Properties is a full service real estate firm that owns, manages and develops a broad spectrum of real estate including office, retail, multifamily residential and resort properties. Harbor is perhaps best known for the ULI Award winning Harbor Steps project on First Avenue in downtown Seattle. The project exemplifies Harbor's strategy of integrating with a neighborhood to create places for people to live, work, play and shop. Founded in 1972 by Stimson Bullitt, former Chairman of the Board, Harbor has been under the direction of Robert Holmes, President and CEO since 1996. Harbor Resorts, a subsidiary of Harbor Properties owns and operates three Northwest ski areas, Stevens Pass, Mission Ridge in Washington and Schweitzer Mountain Resort near Sandpoint, Idaho. For more information about Harbor, please visit www.harborproperties.com.
PEMCO Insurance, established in 1949, is a Seattle-based preferred-risk insurer that offers auto, home, boat, life and umbrella insurance to Washington residents. PEMCO Insurance is sold by community agents throughout the state, as well as through PEMCO offices in Seattle, Lynnwood, Spokane and the Tri-Cities. Currently, PEMCO serves nearly 535,000 customers statewide. PEMCO has been headquartered in Seattle's Cascade neighborhood for more than 50 years.