There are plenty of reasons why design firm Tectonic wanted to be part of Liz Dunn’s nearly complete Chophouse Row development and preservation project. But on a warm and sunny spring day, having a private outdoor patio definitely tops list.
“It’s rare to have such cool space,” Tectonic’s Vanessa Knudson told CHS while taking in the Capitol Hill views from her company’s second floor patio.
Tectonic was the first office tenant to move into the 11th Ave building between Pike and Union building at the end of March after relocating from 12th Ave. Along with mobile technology startups Glympse and Mazlo, the three companies and their roughly 50 employees have quickly gobbled up the project’s two floors of private office space.
Specializing in creating “next generation software experiences,” Knudson said Tectonic’s design-focused team was drawn to Chophouse’s “relaxing and inspiring” space. The second floor office, just over 3,000 square feet, matches the rest of the building’s refined industrial vibe with exposed steel beams, reclaimed wood, and high ceilings.
And just in case the dozens of watering holes within a stones throw of the building won’t suffice, Tectonic has already installed its own bar.
Down the hall from Tectonic, Mazlo opened its office earlier this month after a move from Queen Anne. Mazlo’s mobile app seeks to help users attain specific “power habits” by connecting them with the company’s on-staff coaching team. Having created a similar smoking cessation program as a different company, some of Mazlo’s current programs include mindfulness meditation, confident body language, and exercise.
Glympse will be Chophouse’s third office tenant, expected to move in by June. CHS previously wrote about the company’s plans to move from its current South Lake Union home into 10,000 square feet of office space on Chophouse’s third floor. Glympse’s app allows users to share each others location on a map in real time.
Feeling overshadowed by the rapid expansion of Amazon in South Lake Union and fearing a disconnect to the neighborhood in Pioneer Square, Glympse CEO Bryan Trussel said the opportunity to be in the heart of Capitol Hill was a major reason behind the move into Chophouse.
“Capitol Hill just feels like a really nice fit for companies of our size,” he said. “It seems to be a nice mixture of folks that are tech savvy but a variety of people and careers.” That mix will come in handy for the occasional person-on-the-street product testing, Trussel said.
Chophouse’s open floor design and its street level marketplace appears to have paid off in appealing the types of companies Dunn had in mind for her unique mixed-use project. Representatives from all three companies told CHS the building’s design and it’s integration into the surrounding neighborhood were big selling points.
Mazlo’s Sandy Becker said Chophouse appeals to startup workers who “aren’t as concerned with ‘how big is my office,’ but rather the atmosphere and environment.”
Amid concerns that tech’s influence will “ruin” Capitol Hill and wealthy Amazonians are causing rents to skyrocket, Becker said he hoped the neighborhood could maintain a balance of daytime workers and nightlife edge. “(Capitol Hill) is energetic and we want people to stay energetic, why not put them in an energetic environment?” he said.
Easier commutes were another reason cited by all three companies for moving into the heart of Pike/Pine. The building’s bike shop and ample bike parking is already being put to use.
After opening Agnes Underground in 2012, Dunn’s second coworking project will fill the fourth floor office space in Chophouse. The Cloud Room coworking space promises a “stunning, light-filled space” for solo workers who seek “inspiring environments to work, meet, collaborate or host events.” Its name, indeed, is intended to invoke the restaurant and bar above the old Camlin Hotel.
The anchor restaurant be the Chop Shop Cafe and Bar 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 called Amandine 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 food, drink, and retail components of the project have been planning for a May Day debut.
The marketplace of Chophouse Row will also connect with Dunn’s Piston Ring development along 12th Ave (planned to feature a new doggy day care and dog-friendly bar), E Pike home of Cupcake Royale and her 2014-acquired Baker Linen building.