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5th and Madison Opening

By November 19, 2007

5th and Madison

At lunch on Friday I snuck away to attend the 5th and Madison green space opening.

(Williams Marketing PR was kind enough to email me a good photo of the ribbon cutting.)

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.

Other notes:

  • 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

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