Seattle Property to Fund GU Endowment

Seattle waterfront. (Image courtesy city of Seattle)
Seattle waterfront. (Image courtesy city of Seattle)

January 22, 2019
Gonzaga News Service

SEATTLE — Waterfront property gifted to Gonzaga University by businesswoman and philanthropist Myrtle E. Woldson will be developed by AMLI Residential into a 340,000-square-foot multifamily residential project that will help fund Gonzaga’s endowment and provide for student scholarships, AMLI announced.

“We celebrate Myrtle Woldson’s legacy by honoring her wish that the bequeathed properties be held by the University endowment in order to provide the highest and best use for the benefit of future students educated by Gonzaga University,” said Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh. “Our agreement with AMLI to invest in the renaissance of Seattle’s historic waterfront guarantees scholarships will reach deserving students who choose to advance their education at Gonzaga.”

The planned project will be located at 1101 Western Ave. between Spring and Seneca Streets. While concept plans are still evolving, the current approach is for a 17-story project that will include approximately 257 residential apartment homes and approximately 4,000 square feet of ground-floor retail/commercial space with additional services for Seattle’s evolving Waterfront neighborhood. Construction at 1101 Western Ave. is slated to begin in mid- to late-2020 with tentative completion expected in mid- to late-2022.

“In addition to supporting the University’s mission and the academic pursuits of our students, Gonzaga University is committed to the vision that this development will make a substantial contribution to the vibrancy of Seattle’s waterfront district and the surrounding neighborhoods,” President McCulloh added.

Scott Koppelman, AMLI senior vice president of development, said AMLI envisions a dynamic mixed-use project on this important and underutilized waterfront parcel.

“Because of the location and timing, we see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a timeless project and we are truly honored to participate in this effort,” he said. “We are excited to couple our investment with the significant investments the city and state have made to remove the Alaskan Way Viaduct and re-establish the connection between the waterfront and Seattle’s central business district. We envision a project that will activate the new Alaskan Way surface street frontage, integrate the design into the character of the neighborhood, and promote sustainability through pursuing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification.”

Sustainable features of the project will include highly efficient HVAC systems, energy-efficient lighting, water conserving plumbing systems and fixtures, sustainable landscape materials, including a bee pollinator network, and improved pedestrian connections. The project will also contribute approximately $2 million to Seattle’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) through the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program.

AMLI will enter into a long-term ground lease with Gonzaga to redevelop the site. Koppelman noted that AMLI is committed to developing a property of the highest quality to help grow Gonzaga’s endowment and the student scholarships it supports.