South Lake Union Targeted in Historic Redevelopment, Green Technology

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor Seattle heavyweight Vulcan Inc. continues to lead the market in advancements, this time heading the green charge. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Vulcan will install 24 electric-vehicle charging stations throughout the developer’s South Lake Union urban [...]

Seattle heavyweight Vulcan Inc. continues to lead the market in advancements, this time heading the green charge. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Vulcan will install 24 electric-vehicle charging stations throughout the developer’s South Lake Union urban community as part of a partnership with ECOtality. This initiative follows recent increased interest in the community among several high-tech firms.

The stations have industry-standard connectors and thus will be able to be used both by already available electric vehicles and to-be-released models. Initially, the stations will offer free service, although there will be a charge as the market grows. The Vulcan initiative is part of the EV Project, a government initiative that uses Recovery Act funding through the Department of Energy. The total investment by the end of the current plan will be $230 million, including private and government funds.

Also in South Lake Union, developer Touchstone bought the 2.5-acre Troy Laundry block for a reported $18.4 million. The move by the very active developer will not result in an immediate redevelopment, as company officials say that development options are currently only in consideration, according to The Seattle Times.

The block’s seller, The Seattle Times Co., previously pursued rezoning of the property to allow residential use, though as of now no reports indicate that the new owner will continue with that effort. A historic landmark, the building must maintain its terracotta façade as part of any new construction resulting from major redevelopment.

South Lake Union has attracted significant interest over the years, with 4.3 million square feet of office, residential and research laboratory development to date, according to CPE’s June 2011 profile of vice president of real estate Ada Healey.