NEXUS – a 382 unit, 41-story condominium high-rise set to break ground this month, is among the most progressive icons proposed for downtown Seattle’s skyline. It’s also the archetype of the future for modern living. The scale model for this much-anticipated development was previewed during the Downtown Seattle Association’s (DSA) “State of Downtown” event held on February 14th at the Westin Hotel in Seattle. The sold-out program hosted more than 1,200 stakeholders that are shaping the future of downtown Seattle including the keynote speaker, Vishaan Chakrabarti, author of A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for Urban America and founder of the New York-based firm Partnership for Architecture & Urbanism. Chakrabarti believes cities are powerful tools with which we can shape a prosperous, sustainable future for America. He’s a leading opinion on how cities evolve and was published in an op-ed “America’s Urban Future” by The New York Times.
It was a timely conversation considering that downtown Seattle is experiencing an unprecedented number of developments – in fact 62 tower cranes are currently erected, more than any other urban center in the US. This news even reached global media in the UK where the Financial Times reported on February 10th that a construction boom makes Seattle ‘crane capital of the US’ with new offerings like NEXUS announced “amid high demand and a severe shortage of homes”.
Massive projects are transforming the city; the $2 billion deep bore tunnel that will replace the Highway 99 viaduct and revitalize the waterfront; and the $1.6 billion expansion of the Washington State Convention Center are a couple of the largest. But it’s the combination of all the individual projects that are literally creating new neighborhoods. A collection of more than two dozen high-rise residential, office, hotel and commercial developments totaling more than $6 billion of capital investment will redefine the northeastern corner of downtown Seattle being dubbed the “East Village”.
“This part of the city was defined by car dealers, parking lots and low-rise commercial buildings at the edge of downtown Seattle that offered available land, high-rise zoning and close proximity to South Lake Union, Capitol Hill and the CBD,” said Dean Jones, President & CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “Now it’s the hottest urban neighborhood in the making. It’s incredible, by 2020 this will be one of the most densely populated and vibrant communities on the West Coast.”
While the East Village will eventually be home to more than 10,000 new housing units, NEXUS is the only development offering homes for sale. It’s developer, Vancouver-based Burrard Group chose Seattle to build its vision for NEXUS because of its innovative culture, unparalleled market fundamentals and emerging status as a global city on the rise.
“NEXUS will challenge the status-quo, not just with of its unique architecture but also the lifestyle that it will afford its owners,” said Christian Chan, Executive Vice President of Burrard. “We’re introducing a fourth dimension of technology including IoT (Internet of Things) integration and the activation of unique amenities and services. We are envisioning the way we will live in the future and ensuring that our residential community keeps up with the times.”
Chan knows that hardware devices will evolve over the next few years as NEXUS reaches skyward. That’s why he retained Seattle-based Sirqul to lead a first-of-its-kind “Living Lab” that’s integrated into the NEXUS Sales Center. This workshop of-sorts will utilize an exclusive-to-project app to explore the latest technologies for homeowners to interact with their environment, order products and services and encourage connections between residents; whether that’s to schedule pet meet-ups in the dog lounge, to join a Yoga class in the fitness studio or book private dining in the Sky Club.
In order to showcase the future neighborhood and interact with the robust amenities package, the NEXUS Sales Center will include an augmented reality experience produced by Z-Axon made possible using Microsoft’s HoloLens technology, which pairs the physical environment up with digital holograms. When the Sales Center opens in February, prospective buyers will be able to visualize the neighborhood of the future, with the NEXUS scale model providing a physical anchor around which a virtual cityscape is formed. But first, the scale model and the HoloLens experience will be debuted during the DSA’s State of Downtown event.
“It feels like you’re a giant walking through a vertical village,” adds Chan. “It certainly brings into perspective the burgeoning community and showcases how NEXUS is front and center amongst a growing skyline.”
The opportunity to see the future doesn’t stop there. A voice command to the HoloLens will create a digital overlay to the scale model allowing the viewer to pull out and view amenities. The interactive tours include dollhouse plan views of the podium level and the penthouse Sky Club as well as launch videos.
To be sure, there’s plenty to digest. NEXUS boasts an amenities package that is akin to an urban resort. It begins with a grand sense of arrival on the lobby level with a full-service concierge offering package and guest reception services as well as access to a plethora of in-building and in-city attractions. The lobby is also flanked by a café and a destination restaurant, which are being courted to add food and beverage services just an elevator ride away. The building’s podium touts a collection of fully-furnished Guest Suites available for overnight visitors, a co-working facility for residents to meet, work and collaborate, and an adjacent media lounge for dynamic presentations, game day or movies. In addition, four-legged residents and their owners will also enjoy a Pet Lounge with interior and exterior (covered) play areas including pet relief facility and a puppy spa so walking the dog doesn’t require leaving the building. Next door a fully-appointed health club offers both cardio and free-weight equipment as well as an indoor/outdoor stretch and yoga studio.
High above it all is the Sky Club – a full floor collection of amenities offering wraparound views of Capitol Hill, downtown Seattle and South Lake Union. Inside, homeowners and their guests will mingle in the fireside lounge; meet in the conference room; shoot billiards, shuffle board and play cards in the games room; enjoy private dining served by an adjacent catering kitchen; or create a meal together with the exhibition kitchen, which opens to the terrace through oversized doors. Outside a mix of individual and common spaces include an indoor/outdoor sky parlor with fire pit, a sky garden, several BBQ stations, eating areas and skyline grotto with another fire pit.
In a refreshing twist the penthouse level of NEXUS is not reserved for a fortunate few but in fact for all to come together high above the city. It’s just one of the many advancements introduced by this high-tech, high-rise and speaks to the commitment by the developer to create community.
“We believe urban development comes with a greater responsibility than just building units in the sky,” said Chan. “NEXUS is a vertical village, and by integrating thoughtful amenities and connecting residents with services through technology, we will encourage a thriving environment for live, work and play.”
The concept has certainly found a willing market. More than 80-percent of the homes have already been reserved for priority presales. Homes range in size from studios and urban one bedrooms priced below $400,000 to Sky Lofts valued at more than $3 million. For more information visit www.NEXUSseattle.com