Initially, the developer of a multi-family high-rise near the Space Needle planned to use a first-of-its-kind in Seattle, high-tech parking system. Now he plans to just use valet.
It’s one of several tweaks to the 43-story project at 600 Wall St. In addition to outlining some of the changes Monday, Paul Menzies said the 400 units will be for rent. His company, Laconia Development of Walnut Creek, Calif., previously had not decided whether to build the tower as apartments or condos.
Menzies, CEO of the company, discussed the updated plans in advance of a Jan. 6 meeting before a city design review board.
The tower will rise on a triangular-shaped surface parking lot that is only about a quarter acre. That’s not big enough to build an underground parking garage with ramps, so Laconia had planned to build the project with a fully-automated parking system where a resident would drive into a “parking portal” that would lower the car automatically. Problems with this technology have prompted Laconia to instead have valet operate car elevators that will lower the vehicle into their parking space.
Laconia thinks it’s still too risky to build a large condo project downtown.
“The market hasn’t risen back to the level of dynamism it had before the recession,” Menzies said, adding that he could convert the project later to a for-sale product. “I’m not saying that will happen, but right now I think apartments is the safer way to go.”
Apartments in the tower will average 820 square feet. Units will range from studios to two-bedrooms. The packet that Laconia submitted to the city in advance of the Jan. 6 meeting shows some studios will be as small as 327 square feet, with two-bedrooms ranging up to nearly 1,260 square feet. The apartments are designed for the mid-market demographic, Menzies said.