At lunch on Friday I snuck away to attend the 5th and Madison green space opening.
There was about 40-50 people there for the ribbon cutting ceremony which was hosted by Bryon Ziegler of Williams Market. Surprisingly Leslie Williams was not in attendance. However, there was a jazz band competing with the construction noise making it hard for small talk.
As part of the ceremonies a few people spoke:
Diane Sugimura – Director, Seattle Department of Planning and Development
- She liked the creative site re-use. The site used to be a drive through bank.
- It’s good to scatter residential in the downtown core
- Glad to see them greening the existing building
- The park will provide an oasis in the downtown core
Kate Joncas – President of the Downtown Seattle Association
- There is a deficit of park space downtown
- This project has good design and good values
Todd Stine – Architect for the project from Kennedy Wilson and Ruffcorn Mott Hinthorne Stine
- First project in Seattle
- This celebrates their third year in Seattle
- They used a sloping pane to conenct the green space with 5th Ave.
- There is a 27,000 gallon buried cistern that provides enough water for the park
- They used native adaptive plants
- Green roof
- Waterfall mitigates noise
Richard Muhlebach – Senior Managing Director, Kennedy Wilson
- Joint project
- First green condo high rise in Seattle; it’s LEED Gold
- Office besides it is being converted to green and will be LEED Silver
- 95% of construction material waste is being recycled
- Building green is the right thing to do.
- There’s 32 unsold units
- 5 units will likely come back on the market
- Recent purchaser tried to negotiate the price but developer wouldn’t budge
- Some units don’t have tubs
- Some floor plans built out with walk in-closets, some not. They made this change in response to feedback from interested buyers. Turns out couples were finding there wasn’t enough closet space.
- Probably 3 more months of work required to get everything all finished
- People started moving in about a week and a half ago
I talked to a few residents and their initial concerns have been over the amount of noise from ongoing construction and their Comcast cable hasn’t been working. But we ran into a Comcast cable guy in the elevator and it sounds like the cable will be functioning soon.
I also took a few photos of the exterior and the interior of a few units (thanks Steve for the tour!)
I like 5th and Madison but I think it takes a true urban dweller to live in the downtown core given how it turns into a ghost town after 6 o’clock. Hopefully these brave few are paving the way for the rest of us in a few years.
Bonus link: $150 million dollar condo in Manhattan