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Mosier Creek
Mutual Life Building
Nicholas Court
Belltown Lofts
Fairview Lofts/Minor Office Suites
Hazel Lofts
Bertschi School
Artists Studios
Lake Union Lofts

Address: 605 First Avenue South, Seattle, Washington

Type: Mixed-use commercial

Architect: Olson/Walker Architects

Completion: 1986


  • Abandoned, deteriorating 50,000-square-foot masonry building in historic Pioneer Square, built in 1890 and altered in 1916
  • One of four major buildings in the historic district targeted by the city for renovation

To meet historic preservation standards, while revitalizing the building with cutting-edge seismic technology at the gateway to historic Pioneer Square.

We gutted and renovated the building to create 48,000 square feet of commercial space for offices, retail shops, and restaurants. Highlights include:

  • State-of-the-art seismic and infrastructure technologies, including the first application of an earthquake seismic system designed to accommodate the inherent movement of old masonry structures.


  • $950,000 Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG)
  • $2.2 million from private investors, who immediately benefited from the $1.2 million historic preservation tax credit that resulted in the building’s placement on the local and national Historic Registers.
  • Gateway Savings & Loan

Approximately $5.6 million

Return on investment:
Following the collapse of the savings & loan industry in 1989, the project was reorganized by the Urban Fund and, today, generates an approximate 14 percent return on investment

Urban Land Institute, Historic Renovation of the Year, 1986

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