Lease Crutcher Lewis and Allegra Properties Complete Renovation of Union Stables

Seattle – Lease Crutcher Lewis (Lewis) and Allegra Properties have completed the renovation of the historic Union Stables north of the Pike Place Market. Lewis is moving its headquarters to the fourth and fifth floors in March, and along with other tenants will be the first “human” office occupants since the building was built in 1909.

The building originally housed some 300 horses that were used to pull streetcars and fire engines. When cars and trucks replaced horse transport in the 1920s, the building was used as a parking garage and an auto body shop. The Moscatel Family (owner of Allegra Properties) began using the building as a furniture warehouse in the 1960s. They purchased the building in the 1970s and continued furniture operations through the early 2000s. Over the decades the building was damaged by earthquakes and fire. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, and as such the renovation has followed strict guidelines. Likewise, sustainability was a core focus, which aligned well with historic protection. 

"Renovation is the most sustainable type of construction,” said Dave Rauma, the Lewis Senior Project Manager in charge of the renovation and the Lewis office buildout. "The guidelines for renovation challenged us to be creative with design details. In keeping with our commitment to sustainability it’s very exciting to see how much of the original material we were able to reuse.”

Major elements of the renovation include seismic upgrades, masonry restoration, new mechanical/electrical systems, and construction of the new penthouse level to replace the penthouse that burned in the 1970s. The penthouse is set back from the existing parapets so is barely discernible when looking at the building from the street.

For the seismic upgrade, Lewis sawcut the concrete foundation slab and excavated it for the new footings that carry steel cross-braced towers. The masonry restoration reused every brick from the original building, as road brick is no longer being produced. The entire exterior was then tuck pointed.

Much of the original framing remains, including vertical timbers that horses once chewed on and rubbed against. Timbers that were removed were cut into the longest lengths possible and many are being made into tables and desks for the new offices. Other reclaimed wood is being used for flooring throughout the building.

The freight elevator was removed and replaced with a single elevator and two new stairwells. Rather than replacing the 1,000 amp electrical service, it is being reused and a dashboard will allow Lewis and other tenants to track their energy use. The HVAC is a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system. The initial cost is similar to variable air volume (VAV), but the energy use and operational cost will be much lower. The building also has operable windows in the penthouse and uses sun shades to control heat gain.

One of the requirements of the restoration was to retain the existing doorways on Western Avenue, each large enough for a team of horses. The door openings were retained and new doors now mimic the original openings. The original terra cotta horse head that graces the front of the building has also been restored.

Maintaining the historic integrity of the building and bringing it up to current codes and tenant preferences was a goal from the beginning. The location just north of the Pike Place Market and adjacent to the waterfront is a major draw. Amenities in the building include great views, a seismically secure building, ample bike storage and showers for people who bike to work or jog at lunch hour.

“It has long been our goal to preserve this magnificent building as one of the prominent landmarks of the City,” said Neiso Moscatel, president of Allegra Properties. “Every aspect of the historic renovation exceeds our expectations and the building will stand for years to come as a testament to Seattle’s rich history as well as the progressive attitude of sustainability and efficient building operations.”

Weinstein A+U is the project architect for the renovation and BOLA Architecture was the lead consultant for historic designation.  Coughlin Porter Lundeen is the structural engineer. Pat Foley of Lake Union Partners consulted on the project. The Miller Hull Partnership is designing the Lewis interior. Weinstein A+U and Tune will occupy the second and third floors.

The Lewis offices on floors four and five (the penthouse) provide contiguous and open space to support the company's collaborative work style. The penthouse level includes reception, company leadership, accounting, the lunch commons, and extensive meeting/open space, opening to a rooftop deck with outdoor seating. The fourth floor houses operations, preconstruction, marketing, and information technology.

The space will also reflect Lewis' and the team's commitment to sustainability with a target of LEED® Gold for the building and a target of LEED® Platinum for the Lewis interior.

About Lease Crutcher Lewis
Lease Crutcher Lewis has been a leading Northwest general contractor since 1886, and has been based in Seattle since 1939. Lewis is active in numerous project types, including multifamily, biotech, medical, office, education, retail, hotel, historic renovation, seismic, and others. Common threads for its work include an integrated approach to working with customers and design partners, a focus on Lean methods to ensure schedule and quality, and performing a large percentage of its work with its own craftspeople.

About Allegra Properties
Allegra Properties was founded in 1972 by Neiso Moscatel as a full service real estate company that offers property management, development and investment services. Allegra Properties, through its affiliates, owns and manages a portfolio of over 35 properties. They own and have redeveloped three historic properties.