Troy Block office building
Troy Block office building

Troy Block

Seattle, Washington
Historic Site, New Life

No one had wanted to touch the Troy Block site for 40 years. It was dirty, noxious, and contaminated. Touchstone’s vision for the site an ambitious one: to attract a tech tenant that would help transform the neighborhood.

As one of only three remaining superblocks in the city, the Troy Block site in the South Lake Union neighborhood is occupied with two early 20th century landmarked historic buildings – the Troy Laundry Building and the Boren Investment building.

The Troy Laundry building had previously operated as a fur cleaning business, but had sat dormant for the last 40 years. The cleaning operations had caused severe contamination to the soil, requiring the removal of more than 12,384 trucks of soil. Our design team transformed Troy Block into two iconic glass towers optimized for workgroup flexibility, collaboration, and pedestrian traffic while seamlessly integrating the block’s historic roots. Our design bestowed each landmarked historic building with its own presence and identity on the site while integrating them with the modern office towers on the site.

Ground view of Troy Block's outdoor cross-block connection with people sitting on raised planters
Record Deal

Troy Block preserves two early 20th century historic landmark buildings and transforms the site into a modern tech office campus. In March 2019, the development was sold for US$740 million according to the Puget Sound Business Journal – setting a new record for Seattle’s biggest real estate deal. This price rag was even higher than Columbia Center, the tallest building in Seattle, which sold for US$711 million in 2015.

Exterior view of historic brick Troy Laundry building with modern glass tower above
Historic Preservation

Our design team connected the contemporary new towers to the historic fabric of the site mainly through proportion and color. By revitalizing the original structures and incorporating reclaimed historical elements into a holistic design, our design team reactivated this city block that had sat vacant and silent for decades. The final result showcases Seattle’s rich history while creating a state-of-the-art facility in which local companies can thrive.

Covered cross-block connection inside historic Troy Laundry facade with business men/women walking through
The covered "Troy Arcade" emphasizes the inside of the historic Troy Laundry facade with artifacts from the building's previous life.
Artifacts include a marque sign, operating laundry scale, and benches made from old boiler valves.
Aerial view of exterior courtyard and roof-deck to the left
Open air courtyard with easy access between towers.
Gentle steps and benches create a connection to the mid-block crossing and other Amazon buildings to the west.
Covered cross-block connection with historic Troy Laundry sign hanging above
Activating the Neighborhood

A public cross-block connection and central courtyard enhances pedestrian movement, while a café and five local restaurants located on the ground floor encourages tenants and passerby to stay and play.

Abstract metal sculpture in open air courtyard
Lead Pencil Studios of Seattle was commissioned to design this large metal sculpture that resides in the outdoor courtyard
Main entrance to Troy Block with people coming and going
Interior lobby with fire place and soft seating
Tenant Attraction

Designed for a tech tenant with efficient floor plates, the redevelopment provides 50% more area per floor than any other South Lake Union building. This provides superior flexibility for larger workgroups. Amazon, the current tenant of Troy Block, was particularly captivated by this efficient space planning, and liked how the modern glass towers had been elegantly combined with the historic fabric. Amazon committed to lease the entire block during early construction.

Project Team

People
Ryan Bussard
People
Kay Kornovich
People
Andrew Clinch