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The Collective Seattle Is A Clubhouse For Big Kids

Think of The Collective as a 15K SF clubhouse for big kids. Grownups are welcome, but leave your electronic devices in your pockets, please. This is about face-to-face fun.

Members of The Collective have access to this climbing wall.

Nestled near South Lake Union, the two-sided private club has a little something for everyone. Members enjoy happy hours and hammocks, rock climbing and guitar playing, fast WiFi and ping pong, and a net nest designed for hanging out.

On one side is a restaurant and bar, called High Tide, which offers dishes that are local and fresh, seasonal and organic. As the name implies, High Tide is meant to serve as a transition from work to play. End-of-the-day email catch-ups are easily accomplished thanks to the power bars and WiFi. Then, as work winds down, the restaurant and bar ease the transition into the evening. 

“Here, people can be very focused on work, and then transition to happy hour and socializing and, hopefully make new friends,” The Collective community ambassador Alex Mondau said.

The net nest is one of many hangouts in The Collective's space.

Across the lobby is Alpenglow, a space dedicated to activities and play. That is where you will find the hammocks, rock climbing wall, stage and net nest, similar to something you would see in a treehouse.  

The private club, which costs $150 a month with a joining fee of $250, has a calendar full of events, including talks on how viruses are being used as medicine, bouldering and fun runs around Lake Union. Membership has hit 750 in the first month. Mondau expects the numbers to continue to climb.

Seattle boasts a few urban private clubs already. While the number of clubs isn't shooting upward, membership for some existing clubs, such as Columbia Tower Club, has increased, ClubCorp Vice President of Innovation Tommy Trause said. Columbia Tower Club is a property of ClubCorp, which is also behind The Collective.

"Columbia Tower Club has done a great job repositioning itself for an evolving Seattle business environment and it has benefited from a beautifully revitalized Seneca Street," Trause said.

In general, commercial real estate landlords are seeking ways to make their ground-floor space more relevant to millennials, and these clubs can fit a very specific niche.

"The thinking is that millennials like to take their laptop and work at a coffee bar at the base of a building," Colliers International Executive Director of Real Estate Services Craig Caggiano said in a Bloomberg article

The Collective occupies street-level space of the new Juno Building at 400 Dexter Ave. North, which Alexandria Real Estate Equities is developing as the new headquarters and research and development center for biotech firm Juno Therapeutics. Alexandria Senior Vice President John Cox was looking for a “lore-worthy” business to make the ground-floor space interesting, Trause said.

The Collective boasts a full bar and restaurant that serves fresh, local entrees.

Trause and Mondau, who are friends from childhood, were up in the mountains skiing when they got a call inquiring about new ideas for the Juno Building’s ground-floor space.

They knew exactly what to do.

Trause, Mondau and a third friend, Scott Barber, have been dreaming of creating a clubhouse for big kids in the city for years, Trause said. 

Barber, a CBRE vice president, was the linchpin with all the connections, Trause said.

“We always said, ‘wouldn’t it be cool to have a place like this?’ We go out and play in the mountains but there was a third space, like this, that was missing. A city camp for big kids.”

The space, built by BNBuilders, is the first of its kind for ClubCorp, which also owns Canterwood Golf & Country Club in Gig Harbor. Trause expects to replicate this idea in other markets. 

“There’s a need for guys like us to take the skyscraper private club and bring it down to the street,” he said.

“This is about bringing people together in a space where they can learn, talk and play, without looking into their phones,” he said. “There is a need for that.”