Seattle DJC: Crews top out Via6, remove enclosure system

Seattle - Lease Crutcher Lewis on Monday topped out the $200 million Via6 apartment project at Sixth and Lenora in downtown Seattle.

“Construction began just 13 months ago and continues on a very aggressive schedule,” said Matt Rosauer, project manager with developer Pine Street Group, in a statement. In that time, 55,000 cubic yards of dirt were excavated, 35,000 cubic yards of concrete poured and the daily workforce has grown to about 350 people from various trades.

Construction crews are wrapping up miscellaneous structure work on the roof and are starting to dismantle the enclosure system used when pouring the building's concrete decks.

The enclosure system is somewhat unique to the Seattle area, although it is not a new product.

Bill Gormley of Lewis said it has three benefits: it's a safety measure that keeps workers and tools from falling; it protects against the weather; and it speeds up deck construction by relying less on the tower crane.

Gormley said it gets windier at higher levels and crews can't work if it gets too windy. He estimated they would have had to shut down deck operations for three days last winter if the enclosure system wasn't in place.

Gormley said the enclosure system takes the place of a prefabricated cable system that requires extensive tower crane use to move between decks. He said they picked up about a day per floor on the schedule by using the enclosure system, which is taken apart and reassembled by hand.

Lewis hasn't used the enclosure system on other projects. Gormley said the system is expensive, so a project has to have enough floors to make it feasible. He said it may show up more often, since there is a myriad of concrete apartment towers planned locally.

McClone Construction, which specializes in horizontal concrete decks, built the system for Lewis. McClone rented it from Peri Formwork Systems.

Lewis crews are now focusing on exterior walls and roofing to get the building dried-in by late August.

When it opens in February 2013, Via6 will have 654 apartments in two 24-story towers connected by a six-level podium. About 18,000 square feet of retail will be on the street level, with three levels of below-grade parking. Apartments will also be on levels two through six of the podium.

Apartments will average 700 square feet and have 9-foot ceilings and air conditioning. About 90 percent will have balconies. Pre-leasing starts this fall.

Retail will include a restaurant, grocery store and cafe.

Architect GGLO designed the building to meet LEED gold standards. MKA is the structural engineer.

Pine Street Group LLC is the developer, along with equity owners Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Multi-Employer Property Trust. Bentall Kennedy is the real estate advisor.

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