Breaking Ground: MSRE’s Pioneer Role in Seattle’s Adaptive Reuse Revolution

Breaking Ground: MSRE’s Pioneer Role in Seattle’s Adaptive Reuse Revolution

In today’s development scene, there is considerable buzz around adaptive reuse projects. As cities seek to balance growth with heritage preservation, adaptive reuse offers a compelling solution. By repurposing existing structures, developers can breathe new life into historical buildings, honoring their architectural significance while meeting the demands of modern occupants. This approach not only celebrates the unique character of each building but also contributes to the sustainability of urban spaces by reducing the need for new construction.

At MSRE, we value the preservation and reuse of historic and established buildings. Collaborating with esteemed firms like Perkins + Will and Lease Crutcher Lewis, we have transformed iconic structures such as the Federal Reserve Building and Firestone Building into modern, functional spaces while honoring their history.

Not only are we leading Seattle’s historic renovations, but we are also planning to pioneer Seattle’s first office-to-residential conversion. Read below to learn more about our guiding principles, past developments, and future projects.

Our Guiding Principles

Central to MSRE’s approach to adaptive reuse is our commitment to sustainability. By integrating environmentally friendly practices into our developments, such as energy-efficient systems and sustainable materials, we minimize our ecological footprint while providing tenants with spaces that promote well-being and energy efficiency. Through our adaptive reuse projects, we not only preserve history but also contribute to a brighter, more sustainable future.

In addition to sustainability, MSRE strives to harmonize functionality and aesthetics to enhance the urban environment and contribute to Seattle’s enduring architectural legacy. We take pride in crafting buildings that seamlessly integrate with their surroundings while also making a bold statement. Our structures are meticulously designed to offer a harmonious blend of form and function, resulting in visually striking and highly functional spaces. By blending contemporary design with a reverence for history, we pride ourselves on complimenting Seattle’s built environment. With each development, we strive to create spaces that transcend time, leaving a legacy that enriches Seattle’s architectural heritage while meeting the evolving needs of its residents.

400 Westlake: Preserving History and Embracing Innovation

Originally constructed in 1930 for Firestone Tires, 400 Westlake stands as a testament to Seattle’s industrial past. In 2015 MSRE embarked on a transformative journey to repurpose this historic building into a modern space that seamlessly blends the old with the new. Collaborating with renowned architecture firm Perkins + Will and the construction team at Lease Crutcher Lewis, MSRE our teams meticulously restored the building’s original facade while introducing contemporary design elements and amenities, creating a vibrant hub for creativity and commerce.

400 Westlake provided unique structural challenges. In addition to restoring and preserving the original façade, this project also involved adding 15 stories to the original building.

To preserve the original facade, a series of custom braces were created to support the structure while crews completed work in and around it until the new structure was permanently attached.

To add the additional 15 floors, MSRE worked closely with KPFF to implement SidePlate moment frames, eliminating the need for diagonal braces and allowing for uninterrupted views and increased space flexibility.

In addition to preserving the physical structure, MSRE worked closely with community groups to honor the building’s history. Most notably, our team worked with local artists to repurpose salvaged materials from the original building to create artistic bike racks and leaning rails located on site. In addition to using repurposed materials, MSRE partnered with the South Lake Union Community Council to design and install a lamp post to provide continuity within the neighborhood.

MSRE also worked closely with Market to MOHAI to incorporate interpretive signage and artwork outside the building. These include information and visuals about the building’s history, making it a historic marker along the Market to MOHAI walking path.

Not only did this project redefine historical preservation, but sustainable development. As the largest building in Seattle’s Living Building Pilot Program, 400 Westlake is designed to produce 105% of the energy it consumes and collect 100% of rainwater for use on-site.

As our latest development, 400 Westlake showcases our dedication to honoring Seattle’s history while meeting the demands of modern occupants. By restoring and repurposing the original building and incorporating cutting-edge technology, MSRE transformed this landmark into a modern, Class A office space that meets the highest standards of environmental stewardship.

Federal Reserve Building: Honoring Legacy and Fostering Progress

Originally built in 1950, the Federal Reserve Building stands as a symbol of institutional strength and architectural elegance. In 2015, MSRE embarked on a transformative journey to reimagine this historic structure, recognizing its potential to serve as a beacon of innovation in downtown Seattle. Using our guiding principles, MSRE worked with our development partners to modernize the building while preserving its distinctive mid-century modern aesthetic.

The Federal Reserve Building was a development that brought many unique challenges. Given its national landmark status, not only did this project have to be sensitive to both federal and state requirements, but the structural integrity of the original building needed updating as well. To do this, our development partners integrated steel seismic and lateral bracing throughout the original building, allowing us to add a 7-story jewel box on top, complete with outdoor terraces to take in the Puget Sound views.

In addition to adding 7 floors to the original building, MSRE also had a vision to repurpose the building’s historic vault and offer tenants the opportunity to engage with a piece of history. As a result, the historic vault was repurposed into a fitness center, state-of-the-art conference center, and lounge-style co-working space for all building tenants.

3rd & Lenora: Pioneering Seattle’s first Office-to-Residential Conversion

MSRE’s next project on the horizon is pioneering Seattle’s first office-to-residential conversion at our 3rd & Lenora building. At 36 stories tall, the first 11 floors were originally designated for commercial use. Fueled by Seattle’s growing housing demands and the success of our first multi-family project, The Modern, MSRE is preparing to introduce additional residential units and amenities to the lower stack of the community. This first-of-its-kind project not only aims to address the city’s housing needs but also reflects MSRE’s commitment to innovative development strategies that enhance livability and the needs of our community.

At Martin Selig Real Estate, we take pride in our legacy as leaders in architectural innovation and adaptive reuse. By revitalizing historic structures and pioneering transformative projects like office-to-residential conversions, we actively contribute to the sustainability, vitality, and enduring legacy of Seattle.

Our commitment to distinctive designs, functionality, sustainability, and the preservation of Seattle’s architectural heritage defines our approach. As we continue to shape the Seattle skyline, we remain dedicated to creating remarkable buildings that inspire, captivate, and enrich the urban environment for generations to come.

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