Skanska Tops Out Seattle Office Tower

The 2+U high-rise, taking shape above a plaza that will feature 17,000 square feet of retail and cultural space, will hover 530 feet over the city’s central business district.

Skanska edges closer toward the completion of its 2+U office development in Seattle with the recent topping out of the 686,000-square-foot waterfront tower. The developer recently placed the highest piece of steel on the skyscraper, which will stand 530 feet in the city’s central business district.

Carrying the address of 1201 Second Ave., 2+U is sprouting up on a corner site at the intersection of Second Avenue and University Street. “Our team is proud to come one step closer to delivering on our mission to create an experience our tenants, community, and city desire most.” Murphy McCullough, executive vice president for Skanska Commercial Development in Seattle, said in a prepared statement.

Originally named 2&U, the Class A office project has been in the works for a few years. Skanska signed a long-term ground lease with the Samis Foundation for the development in 2014. The 38-story tower is lifted 85 feet above the ground, making room for an open-air pedestrian plaza that will feature 17,000 square feet of retail and cultural spaces. Skanska utilized a host of materials to reach the topping out point at the Pickard Chilton-designed building, including 245 miles of electrical wire, 280,000 square feet of glass and 5,980 tons of steel.

Warm reception waiting

In addition to connecting the new waterfront, Pioneer Square and surrounding downtown neighborhoods in one of the country’s fastest-growing major metros, 2+U will fill a gap in office offerings—large, contiguous blocks of square footage. Skanska is on schedule to complete development in the third quarter of 2019.

“Amazon, Google, Facebook and WeWork were all active in Seattle’s office market in recent months. As these companies absorb entire buildings at a time, the sense of urgency among larger tenants to secure big blocks of space intensifies,” Eric Leland, senior managing director with Savills Studley, noted in the commercial real estate services firm’s third quarter 2018 Seattle office report. “Competition for the largest Class A space is brisk.”