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SEATTLE-Developer Paul Brenneke of Portland, OR, had expected to be moving dirt here by now for an estimated $130-million luxury hotel project at Second Avenue and Pine Street in Downtown. Instead, he is retracing his steps through the approval process, having last week attended an early design review meeting with city planning staff.

The project, in the works since 2000, previously received a Master Use Permit. However, a delay related to the city’s would-be monorail extension, which required a portion of Brenneke’s development site to be taken via eminent domain, ground the project to a halt and forced a partial redesign, Brenneke tells GlobeSt.com.

“We had a concern that if we simply tried to amend the old MUP, it might confuse things,” he says. “So now we have a new MUP application, but we’ve got a fully approved building with only minor modifications.”

Brenneke conditionally sold the Downtown Seattle hotel site in 2003 to University Village developers Stuart Sloan and Matt Griffin in order to extract it from foreclosure proceedings. As part of the sale agreement, Brenneke held an option to purchase the property back from the duo for what they paid ($9.6 million) plus interest.

Brenneke exercised the option by partnering with the Benaroya Cos. of Seattle, which provided equity to repurchase the property rights for $10.3 million. The investment banking firm RM Watson Co. of Seattle also held a stake in the investment partnership; it’s unclear if Brenneke bought it out as well.

As previously approved, the 21-story project includes an ultra-luxury hotel, penthouse and pied-a-terre condominiums, and 100,000-sf fitness club and spa. Brenneke says he will not delay the project any further to wait for potential height increases for Downtown buildings because it won’t benefit the property.

Brenneke says the design modifications, the hotelier and new development partner have all been handled, but he is not yet ready to reveal the changes. “We pretty much have everything selected but there’s an agreement to keep everything under wraps until January,” he says. “I can say [Portland, OR-based] Sienna is the architect.”

For previous stories related to this development, click on the following story links:

  • June 14, 2004 Brenneke in Control of Avalon Hotel, Restaurant
  • Jan. 19, 2004 Brenneke JV’s with Benaroya for Second & Pine
  • Sept. 24, 2003 Partners Battle for Control of Avalon Hotel
  • Mar. 12, 2001 Review Board Approves Second and Pine Design
  • Oct. 18, 2000 Architecture Firm Heightening Seattle Presence
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