Greg Smith is Planning Seattle’s Second-Tallest Skyscraper

A local team led by developer Greg Smith is hatching plans for Seattle’s second-tallest skyscraper, built around an unconventional 616-foot-high atrium that would bathe the interior offices with natural light and give pedestrians walking beneath the tower a view of the sky.

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The 880-foot-tall tower, known as 888 Second Ave., would be the fifth tallest on the West Coast, according to the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

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Smith said his firm, Urban Visions, controls the full city block bounded by Second and Third avenues and Columbia and Marion streets, and he expects to apply for a permit later this year. The project doesn’t have any committed tenants or financing yet, Smith said.

The proposed 60-story skyscraper would have about 1 million square feet of office space and about 160 luxury residences on top, as well as some retail spaces at the base. The well-known Metropolitan Grill on the Second Avenue block front will anchor the new tower’s retail. The current mid-rise buildings on the block are old but not protected as historical landmarks.

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When completed, Smith said the tower should put Seattle on the map in terms of architecture and design. He said Seattle has an “amazing” talent pool of architects, engineers and designers, and the tower will showcase that.

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“Seattle has always been known for our food and our music, but not so much our architecture and design,” said Smith. “This is really going to be something to show off.”

[ via Seatle Times ]