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SEATTLE-A group that includes significant players in the local business community is partnering with Toronto-based Four Seasons on a proposed luxury hotel development Downtown. The project is slated for the site of an existing parking garage located directly across First Avenue from the new Wamu (Washington Mutual) Center and the expanded Seattle Art Museum. The project would bring the Four Seasons brand back to Seattle four years after it lost its management contract for the Olympic Hotel, which it had operated since 1982. Four Seasons lost that contract last year when another Toronto company, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, bought the 450-room hotel and took over management. The predicted occupancy date for the new hotel is 2007, assuming construction begins by this time next year. A project spokesperson tells GlobeSt.com the group is in design review and hopes to have a complete Master Use Permit application submitted to the city by the end of the year.Four Seasons will invest in the project as a member of Seattle Hotel Group LLC, which includes John Oppenheimer, chief executive of Columbia Hospitality; former Mayor Paul Schell; entrepreneur Bruce McCaw; and Tom Alberg, managing director of Madrona Venture Group. Four Seasons and Seattle Hotel Group considered 22 potential development sites before focusing in on the Heliparker garage, which Wamu purchased in January for $9.7 million and now is under contract to sell to Seattle Hotel Group.Estimated at upward of $100 million, the 310,000-sf hotel tower will have 150 hotel rooms, each with its own fireplace, and 50 condominiums whose owners will have access to hotel services. Many units will have views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Amenities include a 5,000-sf ballroom, a two-level spa and fitness center, a lap pool, a restaurant and lounge. Tony Puma, the project manager for Safeco Field, Key Arena, Friday Harbor House and the Inn at Langley, will serve as Seattle Hotel Group’s project manager for the Four Seasons development. Locally based architecture firm NBBJ is the project’s architect. Locally based Lease Crutcher Lewis is the contractor. NBBJ will collaborate with San Francisco-based Brayton + Hughes to design the hotel interiors. Susan Marinello Interiors of Seattle will design the residential interiors. The local law firms of Cairncross & Hempelmann and Perkins Coie are providing land use and legal support for the project. Bob Rennie of Rennie Marketing Systems will market the condos.

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