Rainier Square - group 2

Rainier Tower, 1301 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, USA

Date and Time

Tuesday, September 17 2019 - 6 PM

Event Details

SPIRE members and guests enjoyed a presentation and tour of Rainier Square with Wright Runstad & Company's CEO, Greg Johnson and Project Manager, Andy Bench (MS '13).

Located at the heart of Seattle's urban core, Rainier Square is a 58-story mixed-use high-rise being developed by Wright Runstad & Company and an institutional investor advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Currently under construction, the project includes seven levels of underground parking, 80,000 square feet of retail, 722,000 square feet of office space, and 191 luxury apartments. The retail is anchored by a 20,000 square foot organic foods market and a 30,000 square foot full-service Equinox fitness club. The office space is 100% leased to Amazon. When it opens in August 2020, Rainier Square will be the second-tallest building in Seattle.

Wright Runstad & Company's CEO, Greg Johnson and Project Manager, Andy Bench (MS '13), provided us with an indepth overview of the impressive project. We heard about the history of the site, which sits within the original campus of the University of Washington and is still owned by the University today, and how WRC acquired development rights on the property. Greg talked about the considerations that went into the dramatic architecture, and about the entitlement challenges the project faced. We also learned about the leasing activity that ended with Amazon taking 100% of the office space and the process Amazon is now going through to sublease all of that space as they focus on growth outside of Seattle. In addition, we heard about the retail program and the unique residential offering at the top of the building. We were also fascinated to learn about the construction activity and the innovative structural design that compressed the construction by 9 months.

After the discussion, Andy led us on a tour of the building, which topped out mid-August. We shot up to the 40th floor where we were treated to breathtaking, unobstructed 360-degree views of Seattle and beyond. Afterwards, we shot up to the 59th floor where we were able to get an even closer look at the innovative dual plate sheer wall core of the building and peer down the elevator shafts to the ground below.

It was quite a rush!

More about Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is the CEO of Wright Runstad & Company. Greg earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University and a Master of Business Administration in Real Estate from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. He serves as a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute with a position on its global Operating Committee and is Past Chair of ULI’s Seattle District Council. Greg serves on the Boards of Forterra, the Downtown Seattle Association and the Bellevue Downtown Association. Greg is also a member and Past Chair of the Advisory Board of the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington.

In 2014, Greg was honored as the Seattle region’s Executive of the Year by the Puget Sound Business Journal for Wright Runstad & Company’s broad influence in shaping the future of the region.

About Andy Bench

Andy Bench is a project manager at Wright Runstad, a real estate development and operating company located in downtown Seattle. Andy is currently overseeing the redevelopment of Rainier Square, a 58-story mixed-use tower. Prior to joining Wright Runstad, Andy was a project manager at Pine Street Group L.L.C., another real estate development and management firm in downtown Seattle. He previously worked at Sabey Corporation and DPR Construction. Andy holds an MBA from the University of Washington, an MS in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Stanford, and a BA from Georgetown University.

About Wright Runstad & Company

Seattle-based Wright Runstad & Company develops, acquires, manages, and leases high quality commercial office buildings located primarily in the Pacific Northwest. The company has a 47-year history as one of the region's premier real estate development and operating companies, delivering outstanding property performance and superior investment returns. Wright Runstad & Company maintains an exceptional reputation among tenants and institutional investors for its demonstrated commitment to integrity and high levels of quality and service.