The complexities of true adaptive reuse — building Chophouse Row

Dunn & Hobbes’ urban infill development added six stories and 30,000 square feet of office, retail and residential to a Character Structure building, creating a true mix of use…and one heck of a complex construction project.

True mixed and adaptive reuse
Seattle introduced the Character Structure ordinance in 2012 within the Pike-Pine neighborhood, encouraging developers to create adaptive reuse projects by offering bonus floor area and height in exchange for keeping buildings 75 years old or older.  The initial code was loosely worded and awarded the bonus to developers who simply maintained the existing facade of old buildings, erecting new structures just behind them, creating fashionable designs that came to be known as the “facadectomy.”  While the city eventually closed those loop-holes, developer Dunn & Hobbes was committed to the intent of the ordinance and created the award winning project, Chophouse Row at 11th & Pike.

Reusing existing structures speaks to the soul of the neighborhood.  Tenants like those buildings better and will pay more to be in them.  — Liz Dunn

Chophouse is an example of a fully integrated adaptive reuse, re-purposing an existing heavy timber and concrete building common in this neighborhood in the 1900’s.  The redevelopment gutted the existing structure, surgically adding a new foundation system with 64 helical pin-piles encased and doweled to a new three-foot adjacent mat foundation.   Throughout, a new heavy steal moment frame structure threads through the existing building and laces to the 40,000 square feet of new program to form a single integrated system — 50,000 square feet in total within six stories.   Where heavy timbers were no longer needed, they were reused in the new structure or as stairs and rainscreen.  Among the more impressive design elements is the restraint to leave building remnants untouched, including fragile old clay tile infill and casement window frames with leaded glass panes.  Walking the building, one is constantly straddling old and new.  This is hte strategy that integrates Chophouse into its context and makes the complexities of adaptive reuse worthwhile.  One cannot over-state the skills of the architects, consultants and contractors involved in making a project like this happen, not to mention the vision and fortitude of the developer, Dunn & Hobbes.

FIX’s Role
FIX provided full project management to the Dunn & Hobbes team beginning with initial project visioning and pro forma modeling all the way through construction management and tenanting.  In 2016 Chophouse Row, designed by SKL Architects and Graham Baba, was named one of the top 25 projects in the world by ULI, provided honorable mention at the AIA Honor Awards, and named the NAOIP 2015 Mixed-Use Development of the Year.  See our project page here for more information and images.