Last week the final design meeting was held for the University Village expansion. The owners, University Village Limited Partnership, look to add a large parking garage and six retail buildings. The goal is to guide vehicles into perimeter parking structures, allowing pedestrians to enjoy walking around without navigating surface parking lots and internal traffic.
The proposed seven-story West Garage will feature 742 parking spaces, replacing the 343 surface spaces currently on the corner of Northeast 49th Street. The new entrance will be via 25th Avenue Northeast. Drivers could also enter via 49th with the option to use either the West Garage or North Garage. The West Garage will also include 6,500 square feet of retail. Overall, the structure will total around 316,000 square feet.
The other six retail buildings will be internal to U Village’s site, replacing existing surface lots and linking the new buildings to existing pedestrian pathways. They will be designed as shell buildings allowing for future facade customization. Enhancements could include custom storefronts, canopies, signage and lighting. The building heights will vary from one to three stories and range from 5,000 to 29,000 square feet. Combined, they will add about 88,000 square feet of retail space. No tenants have been announced.
The latest addition to U Village came last fall with the 45,400 square foot RH Gallery building for Restoration Hardware. It is located just south of the site for the proposed West Garage. With the new West Garage and six retail buildings, there will be a net gain of 399 parking stalls. After construction, U Village will have one remaining surface parking area left between QFC and The Gap. In addition to current surface lots, U Village currently has two 800-stall parking garages.
Neither a construction timeline nor general contractor has been specified. However, the West Garage will be completed first, with an estimated completion in 2019. The University Village expansion team includes Shugart Wasse Wickwire, architect; and Hewitt, landscape architect.