What kinds of companies will put Capitol Hill’s new office buildings to work?

No time for play -- office space is coming to Pike/Pine

No time for play — office space is coming to Pike/Pine

A Capitol Hill coworking space at Office Nomads (Image:  Trina Gadsden/Office Nomads via Flickr)

A Capitol Hill coworking space at Office Nomads (Image: Trina Gadsden/Office Nomads via Flickr)

Despite its nightlife boom, ask Capitol Hill business owners and developers what the neighborhood really needs and you’ll likely hear a call for more daytime activity. Amid the Hill’s latest mixed-use apartment construction wave, a few developers are making space for daytime desk jockeys in their new Capitol Hill buildings. Companies that have recently moved into the neighborhood have cited the area’s strong food and drink and entertainment assets, along with an explosion in new apartments for companies with workers increasingly drawn to walkable, commute-free living.

Capitol Hill whiz developer Liz Dunn said the unmet demand for office space in Pike/Pine prompted her to make office a key component of her her latest development, Chophouse Row.

“We’re not getting any office because the national market hasn’t caught up,” Dunn said, explaining that large, nationally-focused developers now building in the neighborhood aren’t yet focused on the area’s daytime potential. “It’s going to be folks like me and Legacy, local owners, who are going to be able to build office space.”

Dunn told CHS that several tenants have signed leases at the 11th and Pike project and at least one would announce their move in the coming weeks. Generally, Dunn said she’s seeking out creative and tech-minded companies to fill the 25,000 square feet of space that spans three floors and two half floors.

Following the success of her 2012-opened Agnes Underground coworking space, Dunn will also be dedicating an entire floor inside Chophouse to coworking. The currently unnamed work space will offer a traditional coworking membership, as well as conference room and meeting space memberships for nearby businesses.

The Legacy Pine building will bring 50,000 square-feet of office space to Pike/Pine

The Legacy Pine building will bring 50,000 square-feet of office space to Pike/Pine

In addition to coworking spaces make places for the new era of one-person companies and freelancers to keep office hours, Capitol Hill has found some places for desks in repurposed buildings like Hunters Capital’s 12th Ave Ballou Wright or, even more creatively, in some of the many Hill building’s earmarked for eventual redevelopment. In some cases, it’s been part of the neighborhood’s shift from its arts-focused past. In others, we have a fascinating, globally recognized showcase of the future of office building design and construction (though filling it with tenants has been another matter). Others do it the old fashioned way. While still others like Add3 have grown here and thrived to the point where they can afford to find new spaces on Capitol Hill for their growing businesses. New office space for developer Capitol Hill Housing and other nonprofits is also part of the plan for 12th Ave Arts when it opens this November.

It’s possible some of the retail space in the new transit oriented development around Capitol Hill Station could also have daytime office uses.

For others, the pressure to grow is relentless. ‘Seattle’s top startup’ Simply Measured packed up and left the Hill for more space in Belltown last year. Other unique businesses that had made the Hill home recently decided to opt for new neighborhoods include Luna Sandals which moved to Lower Queen Anne and Fran’s Chocolates which took off for Georgetown.

Given their light manufacturing needs, neither would likely have been a fit for the other local project Dunn referred to a block away across E Pike where an ambitious office-focused development will rise in coming years. Developers at Legacy Pine believe deeply that there will be strong demand for office space in Pike/Pine, and have been signing up tenants for their planned 50,000 square feet of office space, although representatives would not yet divulge any names. Land use notice signs are already up for the project.

The 11th and Pine building is the current home of Value Village, The Stranger, and The Rhino Room Big Fun. The Stranger, among Capitol Hill’s most well known office tenants, is staying put in the building, for now.

“We’ve had a very great relationship,” said Legacy representative Will Nelson. “They’ll have some decisions to make on what they want to see long term.”

A Legacy rep previously told CHS that it seems unlikely the newspaper would be open to altering its operations for a interim two-year move during construction. But in a neighborhood looking to foster and grow its ranks of daytime office workers, keeping its existing cubicle dwellers might be an important first step.

5 thoughts on “What kinds of companies will put Capitol Hill’s new office buildings to work?

  1. I think this is a great development. Maybe Pike-Pine will turn into a real neighborhood, instead of just an area to party and get drunk…..or to commit a crime.

    We are very lucky to have Liz Dunn as one of the prime developers on Capitol Hill!

  2. This is great news for those of us leading a “free lance” life. I’m happy to learn of all the creative plans to expand Cap Hill shared office space & the camaraderie of a work place. I love working for myself, but I don’t always want to Be by myself.

    Thanks to Bryan C for another well-researched article.

  3. Maybe Liz will be recruiting! :) Wednesday at Sole Repair

    http://www.eventbrite.com/e/seattle-smallbizproud-event-tickets-11740543281?aff=eorg

    “Join chef and owner Matt Dillon of Sitka & Spruce, architect Jeff Pelletier of Board and Vellum, principal developer Liz Dunn of Dunn + Hobbes, plus filmmakers Trisha Dalton and John Sears at Sole Repair Shop to network and discuss trends and challenges that small businesses face today.

    Trisha and John will be in Seattle as part of the “I Am Small Business Proud” road trip and will share insights they’ve learned from talking to small business owners across America.

    This is a great opportunity for small business owners and those interested in starting a business. Come out, enjoy food and cocktails, ask questions, and connect with others that make Seattle great.

    RSVP for two and bring a friend OR share this out with your Small Business Community.

    See you there!
    #SmallBizProud”

  4. Pingback: Capitol Hill developer buys 103-year-old Baker Linen building for $5.4 million | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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