Chophouse Row lines up mobile tech company Glympse for Pike/Pine marketplace + office development

(Image: Dunn + Hobbes)

(Image: Dunn + Hobbes)

glympseIOSTech backlash or no, startups have and will continue to make Capitol Hill their home. One new building preparing to open in Pike/Pine appears to have landed exactly what its developer was looking for in creating a mixed-use project just off E Pike with a focus on office space, not apartments.

Glympse, a Seattle-based mobile technology startup currently making its home in South Lake Union, is making plans to bring its employees to Capitol Hill with 10,000 square feet of office space in the upper levels of Liz Dunn’s nearly complete Chophouse Row development.

Dunn told CHS she cannot comment on tenants in the preservation and development project and Glympse hasn’t returned our messages from earlier this week but early plans on file with the city show preparations to construct a two-level office for the startup on the third floor of the 11th Ave project between Pike and Union that is combining an old auto row-era structure with new construction to create a Melrose Market-like marketplace at street level with office space above.

The third-floor space include 19-foot ceilings for the main 6,700-square-foot office area. The mezzanine offers another 3,300 square feet of room for cubicles and desks. It was marketed for “$24 – $28” per square foot putting rent somewhere around $20 grand a month.

A new Dunn project will fill the project’s fourth floor office space with The Cloud Room coworking space:

The Cloud Room provides a shared working environment that’s enriched by the people who occupy it. The stunning, light-filled space creates an environment of opportunity for both independence and connection with other engaged people in a range of fields. From desks and meeting rooms, to the lounge and west facing deck with a fire pit, the options are appealing to those working solo, or members who are already well established and simply seek inspiring environments to work, meet, collaborate or host events.

Dunn lists an eclectic roster of partners in creating the Cloud Room project including Graham Baba, Herman Miller, Oola Distillery, Brian Paguette, Civilization, Gray, and the building’s marketplace tenants Chopshop and Bar Ferd’nand. Also listed among Cloud Room partners is alternative weekly The Stranger.

Tours can be scheduled starting in March, according to the facility’s website.

Dunn also converted the space beneath her company’s Piston Ring building at 12th and Pike into a coworking facility. Agnes Underground opened in 2012.Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 11.28.35 AM

With around 20 employees, Glympse is the type of company Dunn hoped to target in creating Chophouse Row. “We’re not getting any office because the national market hasn’t caught up,” Dunn told CHS last summer, explaining that large, nationally-focused developers building in the neighborhood weren’t 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.”

Earlier this year, CHS reported on the possible setback dealt to Legacy’s plans for an office development on 11th at Pine as the auto row-era buildings home to Value Village and The Stranger were deemed worthy of landmarks protection.

The Glympse workers — creators of an app designed to “share your location in real time with the people you trust” — won’t have to wander far around lunch time thanks to Chophouse Row’s lower level marketplace. The anchor restaurant for the development will be a new venture from Ericka Burke of Volunteer Park Cafe. Playing a smaller part is Kurt Farm Shop, a cheese and dairy counter from farm to table champion Kurt Timmermeister. A Bar Ferd’nand sibling and a bakery and cafe concept from the people behind Le Gourmand and Slate Coffee will round out the food and drink offerings. Meanwhile, Niche Outside is the only retail element announced for the project. Expect a couple more to be squeezed in.

The mews of Chophouse Row will also connect with Dunn’s Piston Ring development along 12th Ave (soon to feature a new doggy day care and dog-friendly bar), E Pike home of Cupcake Royale and her 2014-acquired Baker Linen building.

In November, CHS reported that construction delays had pushed back the opening of the ambitious development to 2015. If you’re looking for more clues on the status of things, the Slate Coffee and bakery project Amandine has announced a plan spring opening. Dunn told CHS she had no updates on a planned opening when we contacted her earlier this week.

Along with concerns about Woo! Girls and wealthy Amazonians “ruining” Capitol Hill, the neighborhood has been full of tech startup activity. In addition to coworking spaces making places for the new era of one-person companies and freelancers to keep office hours, Capitol Hill has made room 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 an arts-focused past. Other projects are much more grand in scale with Madison at 15th’s Bullitt Center perhaps being the grandest, greenest of all. Others have done 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 growing businesses. New office space for developer Capitol Hill Housing and other nonprofits was also part of 12th Ave Arts when it opened in November. Others have left the neighborhood. “Seattle’s top startup” Simply Measured packed up and left the Hill for more space in Belltown in 2013.

As for the impact of the new workers joining the Pike/Pine milieu, we’ll see if the push for more “daytime activity” bears the economic fruits many developers say the new projects will bring. Culturally, things should be fine provided everybody takes a moment to review a few of the neighborhood’s guidelines.

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14 thoughts on “Chophouse Row lines up mobile tech company Glympse for Pike/Pine marketplace + office development

  1. Thank you Liz Dunn for restoring historic auto row builldings and developing beautiful new buildings in parking lots that are the appropriate scale and well designed. You obviously care about the neighborhood, not just making a quick buck at the expense of everyone else like many of the developers in the neighborhood. People will eventually realize that these airy old autorow showrooms with old-growth timber beams are priceless, but I fear it will be too late for many. Instead we are ending up with a movieset of false storefronts with cheap new construction fueled by global equity firms. I would love to see you purchase the newly landmarked buildings on 11th or partner with Legacy to repurpose the outstanding historic buildings and construct a sleek new building in the parking lot. Perhaps it could be a partnership with the city to walk the walk on the new arts district legislation. With a community vision, a public-private partnership, and a lot of hard work, this site could be a win-win for all: historic preservation, art loft/studios, a community center/performance space, affordable housing, and office space. 12th ave arts was a great example of a partnership. It should be only the beginning.

  2. How can a small tech startup like Glympse afford $20,000 a month in rent? I realize they are probably getting by on venture capital, but doesn’t that run out at some point? And they just have one app?….doesn’t seem like a viable business to me, but what do I know?

    • When one round of VC money runs out, they get another. Eventually, they either get acquired because their app is actually useful and/or popular, or they go public, or yeah, they run out of money and shut down. Which happens in the vast majority of start-ups. (Which is also true of most businesses.)

      In the app bubble alternate universe, all it takes is a single app to generate ungodly quantities of non-existent revenue… because of the lure of the possibility of acquisition or the possibility of monetizing a large number of users. Like Snapchat is a one-app company, and because it has like 80 billion users sending pictures of their junk to each other, its theoretical valuation is in the billions of dollars because, er, there lies the rub. They don’t make any money. But they could. Maybe. And that was enough for Facebook to drive a multi-billion dollar truck to their front door and try to acquire them, yet not enough for the company to accept that buy out. It’s holding out for even more.

      • Yeah, ‘there’s the rub’ indeed.
        I found myself scratching my head to figure out what problem this app solves. ‘…an app designed to “share your location in real time with the people you trust”…’. You mean like you’d do by, say, sending your friend a text to tell them where you are? Or maybe this is another app based on the premise that what you’re doing at any given time is SO IMPORTANT that ALL your friends need to know about it 24/7, so they can drop whatever they’re doing (apparently nothing) and come rushing to join you. Gag.
        OK, yes, I’m old. I don’t get it. I’ll shut up now.

      • If it’s any consolation, Jim, I don’t get it either. It seems as though there is some “app-mania” going on, and most of them are kind of useless. It seems to be driven by the lure of big money, once again proving the old saying “money makes the world go ’round.”

  3. Speaking of the Bullitt Center, I’ve been a bit surprised at the difficulty management has had in finding and keeping tenants. From the notice on the exterior stairwell a day ago, an entire floor is available.
    To me, it is a most unappealing and unfriendly structure, street side, even with our public park they usurped.

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