Specialty: Sustainable real estate development and brokerage
Management: Principals Greg Smith, Jeff Schoenfeld, Dana Beckley
Current projects: Second & Pike and Fifth & Madison, both residential projects; 901 Fifth, an office project; Trolley Tower, a retail/residential project; Reedo Eco Center; and Stadium East and Stadium West, mixed-use projects
To further make its mark as one of Seattle’s leading sustainable development companies, Greg Smith changed the name of his company to Urban Visions this fall.
“The company came up with the name that reflects our philosophy. We are really focused on the urban environment so the name — Urban Visions — just kind of flowed,” says Smith, who adds each of his company’s project will be built using sustainable, smart-growth principles.
Sodo looks good
At the top of the list is the newly renovated Reedo Eco Center just west of Qwest Field. Urban Green, formerly known as the Puget Sound Sustainable Development Center, is to be the building’s anchor tenant.
In the same neighborhood, Smith is working with Diamond Parking to build an apartment project on a lot between Occidental and First avenues South.
North of there, he’s planning Trolley Tower on half a block next to Occidental Park. It will have underground parking, retail and a stop for the waterfront streetcar beneath condos or apartments. Last month, after the King County Council voted to contribute $7 million for the streetcar barn, Smith said his company would work “full steam ahead on the project.”
Condos look good, too
Also in the works are two major condo projects, Fifth & Madison and Second & Pike, and renovation of the former Union Bank of California Center, now known as 910 Fifth. Urban Visions is also working on two large projects: Stadium East and Stadium West.
Stadium West is at the former WOSCA site west of Qwest. “We want to create something like Harbor Steps,” says Smith, who explains the site could have open space, retail, office and housing. Stadium East, which is the former Frye warehouse property, would be somewhat similar.
It’s an ambitious list for a 20-person company. Smith is not fazed. Of all the cities on the West Coast, Seattle “is the most vibrant, well balanced.” He talks about the large number of startup companies and says that creates “an incredibly entrepreneurial office-based market.”
Then there are the cultural amenities, such as the Seattle Art Museum, SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park that is under construction, Benaroya Hall, and the sports stadiums. He also cites downtown Seattle’s strong retail climate.
It’s why people want to move downtown, he says, referring to the numerous residential projects. “We are banging on all cylinders now,” says Smith. “I think we are poised to become an even more world-class city without losing what makes us special.”
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