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Grand Central Block In Pioneer Square To Be Reinvented As Multifamily

Unico Properties unveiled plans for the 116K SF Grand Central Block in Pioneer Square, which it acquired in 2014: a transition from office to a yet-to-be determined number of multifamily units. 

Grand Central Block

The property is an assemblage of three adjacent buildings in Pioneer Square: the Grand Central Building, City Loan Building and Buttnick Manufacturing Building. The buyer plans capital upgrades to the buildings, especially to rehabilitate the unreinforced masonry assemblage, and including seismic support, fire-life-safety systems, ADA standards and modern mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

Unico will pursue a combination of environmental building standards including LEED, Living Building Challenge and the 2030 Challenge. 

The company says its three goals for the area — rehabilitate the buildings, adapt their use to multifamily and activate the adjacent Occidental Square Park — align with the Pioneer Square Neighborhood Plan for 2020, which was published by a partnership between the Alliance for Pioneer Square, Pioneer Square Business Improvement Area and the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development.

JLL's Stuart Williams, Unico Properties' Jonas Sylvester and Integra Realty Resource' Allen Safer at a Bisnow event.

"The rehabilitation project will allow us to preserve, protect and extend the life of these historic gems,” Unico President and Chief Investment Officer Jonas Sylvester said.

The project will also bring 24-hour residents and mixed-income apartments to Pioneer Square.

Unico is soliciting input from Pioneer Square community stakeholders about the rehabilitation project. The company is no stranger to the rehabilitation process, with its work on the Smith Tower in Pioneer Square and its planned restoration of the historic 1925 Washington Building to apartments in downtown Tacoma.

“Preserving the useful life of historic buildings is the best way to secure long-term sustainability in the built environment," Unico Director Brett Phillips said. "Without investment, these aging buildings will detract from the economic vitality and cultural fabric of Pioneer Square."