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SEATTLE-The health research organization PATH said Thursday it has signed a letter of intent to expand and relocate its current 75,000-square-foot, 300-person headquarters in the Ballard neighborhood here to 111,000 square feet in billionaire Paul Allen’s new 2201 Westlake development in the Denny Triangle area of Downtown. Microsoft at the start of the year walked away from its letter of intent to occupy the entire building, which totals approximately 300,000 square feet.

PATH is tentatively planning to make the move in January 2010. A source at Path tells GlobeSt.com that the company will occupy the second, third and fourth floors of the 12-story building anchoring the mixed-use development but did not specify the length of its commitment.

The reasons for the move included reaching maximum capacity at its current location–the number of staff housed at PATH’s Seattle headquarters has doubled over the past decade–and wanting to be housed in a “green” building. The 2201 Westlake development has been designed to qualify for LEED Gold certification of the US Green Building Council, the second highest certification a development can achieve.

PATH said in a statement that it had been reviewing its space options for more than a year, and that the tentative agreement with Allen’s development arm(Vulcan) provides “affordability in the short and long term, flexible space that can accommodate…growth, [and an] environmentally friendly building with easy access to green transportation options.”

In addition, PATH says the location will put it closer to partners in the Washington Global Health Alliance and the region’s leaders in research, health, and technology. Once relocated, its neighbors will include Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the University of Washington’s biotechnology and medical research hub, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Scheduled to open in May 2009 on the city’s new streetcar line, 2201 Westlake is a 450,000 square-foot mixed-use project spanning a half city block that includes 300,000 square feet office in a 12-story office tower and a 19-story office and residential tower with 135 condominiums known as Enso, 25,000 square feet of street-level retail space and a six-level underground parking garage.

The 2201 Westlake project team includes Sellen Construction as the contractor and Callison as the architect. CB Richard Ellis’ Roy Mann and Tom Pehl represented PATH in the LOI transaction as advisors/consultants. Ray Attisha of CB Richard Ellis served as an advisor to Vulcan Inc.

Two other Downtown office buildings are set for delivery in 2009–Schnitzer West’s 660,000-square-foot development at 1918 Eighth Ave., and West 8th, a 500,000-square-foot building by Touchstone Corp. at the corner of Eight Avenue and Westlake Avenue. No tenants have been revealed for any of the projects, though a couple of large requirements are reportedly being shopped in the market.

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