Building a legacy: Construction begins on 12-story South Lake Union office complex

The Multi-Employer Property Trust is helping finance the construction of 9th & Thomas. MEPT requires that all contractors working on its projects sign collective bargaining agreements with trade unions. Seattle-based Bentall Kennedy advises MEPT, a $7.5 billion fund.

With 9th & Thomas, the Redmans wanted the craftsmen and women who have been part of Sellen Construction's success to benefit. Pension plans are the investors in MEPT, and they'll get some of the cash flow from 9th & Thomas once the building is done. In addition, some unnamed local families are contributing equity for the development.

9th & Thomas Project

The 9th & Thomas building is a legacy project for the Redmans. The family could have sold the development site but didn't want to lose control over what was built. Scott Redman said a goal is to build both office space and a community gathering spot.

The first floor of the 165,000-square-foot glass-and-steel building will be what Redman calls a community “living room,” which will be lined by retail and restaurant space.

Upstairs will be office space for small tech, creative, venture capital and other companies. Each floor is unique. Some will have cantilevered space that hangs outside of the rest of the building, and some will have outdoor covered terraces. Indoor and outdoor terraces are spread across multiple floors. There will be an apartment on the top floor where Scott Redman and his family plan to live.

The 9th & Thomas project is the latest commercial development occurring in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Currently projects totaling more than 1.1 million square feet are going up. That is equal to 16 percent of the submarket's existing inventory.

Seattle architecture firm Olson Kundig designed 9th & Thomas. Urbis Partners is marketing the office space for lease, and another Seattle real estate company, Gibraltar, is looking for retail tenants. Costigan Integrated is managing the development, and Heartland LLC is handling financing and asset management.

The cost of the project, which is scheduled to be done at the end of 2017, was not disclosed.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information about the apartment on the top floor.

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