For years, the lots in the vicinity of Second Avenue and Pike Street have been little more than neglected corners eagerly passed by pedestrians as they make their way between Pike Place Market and Seattle’s downtown retail core.
But last summer, Pioneer Square–based real estate firm Urban Visions broke ground on a 39-story, mixed-use apartment tower, appropriately named 2nd & Pike. It’s the fourth luxury residential project being constructed within that two-block area. “The intersection of Second and Pike is a cultural crossroads,” says Urban Visions CEO Greg Smith. “From the water to Pike Place to the center of retail up to Capitol Hill, the Pike/Pine corridor is a 10 in location and perspective.” But, Tom Kundig, principal/owner of internationally acclaimed architecture firm Olson Kundig, which Smith has brought on to design the project, adds, “The area has been overlooked and underutilized for quite some time. This site was long overdue for improvement.”
The original site of Seattle’s early-20th-century department store MacDougall & Southwick, the lot had been vacant since the store closed in the mid-1960s. But with high-profile (and high-priced) developments like Smith’s and Lake Union Partners’ recent multimillion-dollar acquisition of Second Avenue’s iconic Eitel Building, things are looking up for the previously abandoned area. Way up. When completed in December 2017, the 2nd & Pike Tower will offer 339 residential units, 7,153 square feet of ground-floor retail and a destination sky bar restaurant on the eighth floor.
The 39-story tower will be encased in a gradated glass exterior, progressively fading from dark to light as it rises towards the sky. Photo courtesy of Urban Visions.
Targeting the increasing need for residential addresses in high-rise apartment buildings downtown, Smith hopes the building will offer sanctuary for tenants that is in balance with the bustling activity of the area. “I love the energy of the Pike/Pine corridor—it’s all right there,” Smith says. “We wanted to cater to the urban resident that wants a little more space and fresh air, pairing this prime location with an ideal space.”
Each of the residential spaces in 2nd & Pike will feature 9-foot-plus ceilings, private decks and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows. It will all be encased in a gradated glass exterior inspired by the Seattle Tower, just blocks away at Third Avenue and University Street, whose bricks progressively go from dark to light, fading into the sky as the eye moves up the structure. “It’s important that 2nd & Pike looks like Seattle while helping to move the architectural statements of this city forward,” Smith says. “I feel the project will be iconic when it’s done.”