No one had wanted to touch the Troy Block site for 40 years. It was dirty, noxious, and contaminated. Touchstone’s vision for the site was an ambitious one: to attract a tech tenant that would help transform the neighborhood.
As one of only three remaining superblocks in the city, the Troy Block site in the South Lake Union neighborhood is occupied with two early 20th century landmarked historic buildings – the Troy Laundry Building and the Boren Investment building.
The Troy Laundry building had previously operated as a fur cleaning business, but had sat dormant for the last 40 years. The cleaning operations had caused severe contamination to the soil, requiring the removal of more than 12,384 trucks of soil. Our design team transformed Troy Block into two iconic glass towers optimized for workgroup flexibility, collaboration, and pedestrian traffic while seamlessly integrating the block’s historic roots. Our design bestowed each landmarked historic building with its own presence and identity on the site while integrating them with the modern office towers.
Troy Block preserves two early 20th century historic landmark buildings and transforms the site into a modern tech office campus. In March 2019, the development was sold for US$740 million according to the Puget Sound Business Journal – setting a new record for Seattle’s biggest real estate deal. This price rag was even higher than Columbia Center, the tallest building in Seattle, which sold for US$711 million in 2015.
Our design team connected the contemporary new towers to the historic fabric of the site mainly through proportion and color. By revitalizing the original structures and incorporating reclaimed historical elements into a holistic design, our design team reactivated this city block that had sat vacant and silent for decades. The final result showcases Seattle’s rich history while creating a state-of-the-art facility in which local companies can thrive.
A public cross-block connection and central courtyard enhances pedestrian movement, while a café and five local restaurants located on the ground floor encourages tenants and passerby to stay and play.
Designed for a tech tenant with efficient floor plates, the redevelopment provides 50% more area per floor than any other South Lake Union building. This provides superior flexibility for larger workgroups. Amazon, the current tenant of Troy Block, was particularly captivated by this efficient space planning, and liked how the modern glass towers had been elegantly combined with the historic fabric. Amazon committed to lease the entire block during early construction.