Construction begins on The Danforth, home to Whole Foods and 265 ‘luxury apartments’ on First Hill

Danforth Rendering 2

Danforth Rendering 1The 16-story tower where Whole Foods plans to open by 2018 will be filled with “luxury apartments” and will be known as The Danforth, the project’s developers said Thursday in an announcement marking the start of construction at Broadway and Madison.

“We expect The Danforth to be a destination for residents and workers of not just First Hill and Capitol Hill but also surrounding neighborhoods including downtown Seattle, Madison Park, Madison Valley and the Central District,” Todd Seneker, portfolio manager for Columbia Pacific Advisors, said in the “alternative investment” firm’s announcement.

“The luxury apartments and retail will be centrally located near some of the city’s most historic neighborhoods but also on the First Hill Streetcar line and just blocks away from the new Capitol Hill light rail station.”

Why The Danforth? Maybe this PR description can provide some clues: “a luxury apartment tower that will serve as an anchor of the intersection of two of Seattle’s most prominent streets and two of the city’s most dynamic neighborhoods.” Anchor you say? “A Danforth is a style of anchor. The Danforth anchor was developed in the 1940s for use with landing craft,” a PR rep tells us. “Today, the anchor is widely used with a variety of vessels seeking to have security when in a harbor.” Interesting. So, um, what about the building again?

As a name, The Danforth is stately and refined. It speaks to the old world nature of First Hill and the permanence of the neighborhood, spotted with historic mansions and old growth street trees. 1001 Broadway will anchor the intersection of Broadway and Madison, two important corridors in urban Seattle that bring together Seattle U and its neighborhood, Capitol Hill and First Hill. The Whole Foods at its base further solidifies this location as an important corner.

“As a name, The Danforth speaks to this future landmark status of the building,” the rep tells CHS. There you go.

The project’s design was approved in January including a 40,000 square foot, two-story grocery store, 265 residential units, and 358 below grade parking spaces. In June, CHS reported on the demolition of the three-story masonry medical building that stood at the tri-corner of Harvard, Broadway, and Madison since 1928. In November 2014, CHS broke the news that the national grocery chain was coming to the area. At the time, company representatives said the First Hill Streetcar line and proximity to First Hill’s hospitals and nearby Seattle University were important factors in choosing the Broadway and Madison location

“We are excited to share our mission and values with the neighborhoods this store serves,” Joe Rogoff, Whole Foods Market’s president for the Pacific Northwest region, said in the latest announcement. “Creating jobs, supporting local producers and finding opportunities to partner with community organizations and non-profits are core to our philosophy and practices. We look forward to serving this intersection of the First Hill and Capitol Hill neighborhoods by providing a wide selection of natural and organic food, sustainable seafood, humanely raised meats and house made prepared foods and bakery items.”

The new grocery store will join other Whole Foods in Seattle including the location at Westlake and Denny. Capitol Hill and Central Seattle’s grocery business is a hotly contested area of the local economy with a host of new players looking to join the landscape now dominated by QFC and Safeway even as Seattle headquartered online retail giant Amazon also sniffs around the space.

The Whole Foods and apartment tower development brings is being designed by Tiscareno Associates, with DCI serving as the structural engineer, GGLO as the interior designer, and the Howard S. Wright company as the general contractor.

The Danforth is one of two apartment towers that Columbia Pacific Advisors is developing around First Hill.  CHS reported in March on the company’s planned 243-unit, 24-story senior housing community on land owned by the Archdiocese of Seattle next to the Frye Art Museum.

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12 thoughts on “Construction begins on The Danforth, home to Whole Foods and 265 ‘luxury apartments’ on First Hill

  1. Is it me or is the pace of this project much quicker than those on Capitol Hill? Seems like just recently the old Polyclinc was leveled and now we have construction taking place.

    Meanwhile, as just one example, Piecora’s was leveled years ago and is still an empty pit.

    Does FH have different processes in place over CH?

    • Just a small correction, Timmy… wasn’t the old Polyclinic that was levelled….it was another medical/dental office building. The Polyclinic still stands, although most of the offices have moved to the “new polyclinic” at 7th & Madison.

  2. I love Central Co-op and will go there instead of Whole Foods every time, but I’m still surprised they think they can anchor the Light Rail station development and compete with a Whole Foods this close — literally only half a mile away. It’s unfortunate but I kind of doubt they’ll be able to.

    • You would be shocked at how small a house sells for well north of $600k now. A house of any significant size now, not even a super nice one, easily goes for close to a million.

  3. We sold our condo in Hawaii, and the idea at the time was just to rent and not buy at our ages 80 and 86th and in our 62nd year together. So, now on our 4th. year, we see the money running out here in the city we love with those rents..should bought? Where to now Nebraska or another boring flat state.

    • What you describe is what worries me now. On the one hand, I’m happy to see my house being worth such a ridiculously absurd amount. OTOH, the taxes will eat me alive when I retire in a few years. So yeah– you make a shitpile of money when you sell the house, and nobody feels particularly sorry for you. But then you have to move out of Seattle, since everything else is just as ridiculous. WA offers very small relief for seniors on property taxes, compared to homestead exemptions and such that other states do. The problem is, you don’t want to live there.