Triad Development has submitted a formal request to the city to transfer its interest in the Civic Square project to local developer Touchstone, Mayor Ed Murray announced today.
“This new agreement will allow us to move forward with a vibrant Civic Square development that includes public open space and light rail access,” said Mayor Murray. “I look forward to working with Touchstone as we get this project moving. We aim to break ground this year.”
In his response to Triad’s request to transfer the project to Touchstone, Finance and Administrative Services Director Fred Podesta allowed for a 60-day period during which the City and Touchstone will refine details of a revised project structure. By May 11, Touchstone must submit, and the City must approve, a financing plan, project schedule and references, among other requirements. If terms are reached with Touchstone, the mayor will send legislation to City Council for approval.
“We’re excited about an opportunity to move forward on this project with the City,” said A-P Hurd, Touchstone president and chief development officer. “We believe the mix of residential, office, retail and open public space will activate the block around this site that has stood vacant for too long.”
To be constructed at the vacant site of the former Public Safety Building to the west of Seattle City Hall, the project includes a mixed-use office and residential tower with a public plaza and retail space. The City first entered into an agreement with Triad Development in 2007 to develop the site. Triad submitted a building permit application in June 2015, but ultimately could not meet all the requirements to proceed with the project. At that point, the City entered into a standstill agreement to engage in discussions for 60 days, during which Triad would look to assign its rights in the project to a new development team, subject to the City’s approval. As that deadline approached, promising conversations with Touchstone prompted the City to offer 10 additional days for that discussion to play out, resulting in today’s announcement.
City Hall, the Seattle Municipal Tower, the Justice Center and the former Public Safety Building site are all components of the City’s 1999 Civic Center Master Plan. The plan envisioned a new building for public and/or private use on the north side of the old Public Safety Building site (known as Civic Square), balanced by a major public open space element on the south side of the block, linking to public spaces at City Hall and the Justice Center.