Rainier Square Tower Just Became Seattle's Second-Tallest Skyscraper



Have they lined up any tenants for it (since Amazon pulled the plug), or will it go up as a see-through?


I find it interesting that Lester seems to write about whatever the hell strikes his fancy, while a woman hired at about the same time with the same level of experience is saddled with assignments like knocking on doors of hostile interviewees and clocking in at 7am to post the news roundup.


A young Catalina sold popcorn at the SE corner of 4th & Union back in the 80's (one of my favorite jobs, btw). The old Rainier Square/Rainier tower was quite an impressive complex, in a 70's urban planning sort of way. I'll be interested to see what this looks like when it's done.


It’s taken almost 2 years and it isn’t finished yet?

Why the heck does it take so long to do anything in Seattle?

The place should have opened in January.


For reference it took just over 13 months to build the Empire State Building 90 years ago.


Looks a lot better than the Amazon buildings that are all the same height. I don't see why something taller can't be built in the Denny Triangle and other areas away from the waterfront.


@1 Maybe that is all he is good at?


@5: That year was exceptionally warm for New York City, allowing construction to continue during months when, in normal years, it would have been too cold to build.



The schedule for the Empire State Building was they key piece of the bid, and the contractor met the deadline by throwing an insane amount of labor at it, 3400 workers, often in 12-hour shifts around the clock, for a total of 70 million man-hours.

And even at depression-era wages, that was hugely expensive. Starrett's bid was the fastest, not the lowest. The investors wanted to see returns as soon as possible, so they took the gamble of higher up-front costs-- and lost. The building wasn't profitable until the 1950s, for lack of tenants.

Contractors today can do a job in a hurry, too, if they're given the budget for labor, equipment, and overtime (The Empire State Building bid included allowances for a ton of overtime-- double pay for saturdays or >8 hours/day). But only if the investors decide that's the tradeoff they want to make.

Partly because of the lesson of the Empire State Building, investors today tend to value lower construction cost over faster completion. Even in a boom-town like Seattle, there's no guarantee of occupancy for a high-end skyscraper.

Oh, and 5 workers died while constructing the Empire State Building, too, largely for lack of modern safety precautions. You know, that time-sink nanny-state stuff like harnesses and railings and whatnot.


@5 Personally, I appreciate a building that's not rushed on to the market, and judging by the design it must be far more difficult to build something with a curved base than the standard square box.


@9: “Oh, and 5 workers died while constructing the Empire State Building, too, largely for lack of modern safety precautions.“

Interestingly, that was an excellent safety record for that time. Construction crews on New York’s skyscrapers of that period were used to an average casualty rate of one worker’s death per floor. As the Empire State Building is effectively an 86-story building with a 16-story cupola atop it*, it came in a whopping 81 deaths short of expectations. Not bad for a rush job!

*To make it visibly taller than the Chrysler Building.