Sabey Corporation to Convert Art Deco-style Harborview Hall

Sabey Corporation to Convert Art Deco-style Harborview Hall

"Sabey plans to demolish part of the 1931 Harborview Hall, but keep the facade on Ninth Avenue and build a seven-story addition."

“Sabey plans to demolish part of the 1931 Harborview Hall, but keep the facade on Ninth Avenue and build a seven-story addition.”

Daily Journal of Commerce, Staff Reporter

King County selected Sabey Corp. to convert the 82-year-old Art Deco-style Harborview Hall at 326 Ninth Ave. on First Hill into a medical office building.

Harborview Hall is 10 stories tall. The project entails adding an extra floor to it and building a seven-story addition. The total space would be 166,000 square feet.

The buildings would be connected to create one structure.

Sabey plans to demolish about 45,000 square feet of the 95,900-square-foot Harborview Hall, but keep the facade on Ninth Avenue.

“We’re able to create a state-of-the-art medical office building on the (Harborview Medical Center) campus connected to the campus and retain the aesthetic elements of the existing facade,” said Clete Casper, director of real estate for Seattle-based Sabey.

A small county-owned modular building on the southeast side of Harborview Hall would be demolished and replaced by a 21,000-square-foot landscaped plaza.

Sabey would act as the for-fee developer and contractor for the project. The county would continue to own Harborview Hall and the addition, Casper said.

Sabey filed a land use application for the project with the city, but the King County Council and the county executive have not given final approval, Casper said.

County Spokesman Cameron Satterfield said Thursday that the proposal will be presented to the council, likely in the first quarter of 2014.

Callison is the architect and Berger Partnership the landscape architect. McKinstry has provided mechanical and electrical design, and Grid Engineers is the structural engineer.

Harborview Hall was designed by noted architect Harlan Thomas. It opened in 1931 to house nurses being trained at King County Hospital, now Harborview Medical Center. The county owns the buildings in the medical center, which is managed by the University of Washington.

Harborview Hall once housed research and office space, but is now vacant. It is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, but Seattle declared it is not a city landmark, which means it can demolished. The county had planned to do so in 2011 because of seismic concerns, and replace it with a plaza.

But some preservationists asked to see if the building could be reused, so in October of 2011 the county put out a request for concepts.

Four local real estate groups responded: Low Income Housing Institute with Goodman Real Estate; Wright Runstad & Co.; Seneca Group; and Sabey.

Casper said the county then put out a request for proposals, and his firm was selected.

LIHI and Goodman proposed converting Harborview Hall to apartments for lower-wage workers, while preserving the historic features.

LIHI Executive Director Sharon Lee said Thursday that the county didn’t respond to her team’s proposal or let them know they were not selected.

“We never heard back,” she said. “We don’t know what kind of process they’re running over there, but we’re very concerned because we were never notified. It was just dead silence.”

Casper said Sabey’s plan calls for demolishing the interior and east side of Harborview Hall — “taking it back to the studs.” The addition would face Terrace Street on that side.

Sabey will create a new interior core, with mechanical, electrical, life safety and seismic systems.

Casper said the addition will not be out of scale with Harborview Hall, because it will have taller floors.

Casper said this project is similar to one Sabey did on a building constructed in 1910. Sabey demolished the core of what was once Providence Hospital Building, now James Tower, on the Swedish/Cherry Hill campus in Seattle, and converted the space to modern medical offices.