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SEATTLE-Vulcan Inc. is closed to receiving its Master Use Permit for a six-story office building with ground-floor retail at 428 Westlake Ave. Underground parking for 125 is also part of the project.

The city gave its OK earlier this week and if not protests are received by June 24 the MUP should be issued by the end of the month. The only thing stopping them from breaking ground at that point is a building permit, strong preleasing and a construction loan.

A source at Vulcan tells GlobeSt.com that the company would like to break ground this year. The source also said the company had some tenants already committed to space, but that could not be independently confirmed by GlobeSt.com. There also was no word on whether the construction loan had been lined up.

Vulcan says its joint-venture partners on the project are Collins Woerman, the project designer and architect, and McKinstry. The three have formed Westlake & Republican Assoc. to develop the property. Mark Woerman declined comment, citing a confidentiality agreement with Vulcan.

Across an alley from this project, Vulcan and Schnitzer Northwest are steadily gaining MUPs en route to development of a handful of buildings all located on Terry Avenue, between Mercer and Harrison streets in the South Lake Union area north of the Downtown core.

Initially dubbed Terry Avenue Technology Court, the 500,000-sf, five-building project has been renamed Interurban Exchange on the advice of a professional branding firm, Schnitzer Investment Manager Suzie Morris told GlobeSt.com earlier this year.

Four of the five buildings will be new construction and between four and five stories high. The fifth is an existing structure called the Van Vorst Building. It will most likely be renovated for use as a tenant amenity center. Pacific Real Estate Partners has won the leasing assignment.

Morris says Schnitzer will wait for significant preleasing before moving forward with construction of Exchange 1. The building is designed for biotech use, and will take about 13 months to construct once ground is broken. The same preleasing requirement will exist for Exchange 2.

Approvals for the remaining two new buildings has been slowed while the joint venture attempts to acquire from the city an alley that separates the two properties, says Morris. The public benefit in exchange for the alley will likely be a half-acre plaza between the two buildings. An MUP for these two buildings is not expected until this summer, says Morris.

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