Video: Washington Square taking shape

By Jodi Schwan

It’s changing the downtown skyline and starting to sign up tenants.

The eight-story Washington Square project across from the Washington Pavilion on Main Avenue between 11th and 12th streets is well under construction and on track to open by the end of the year.

Take a look inside the project here.

“The project is fulfilling our vision, to develop the site to complement the Washington Pavilion and provide a mixed-used space that has an active streetscape experience,” co-developer Chris Houwman said.

washington square

A rendering of Washington Square

The office space on the fourth floor is 70 percent leased, he said.

The first tenant to commit to space in the new building is L.G. Everist Inc., which plans to move 25 employees into a 10,000-square-foot space. The headquarters for the company, which is a manufacturer and supplier of stone, sand and gravel products, currently is located at 11th Street and Phillips Avenue.

L.G. Everist was attracted to the building’s location near the Pavilion and liked the idea of helping grow activity on the south end of downtown, chairman and CEO Rick Everist said.

“It’s a nice spot where you can start from scratch, and you can’t do that on Phillips,” he said. “It stretches downtown, and that was our goal. It stretches downtown, and it pushes it.”

The business plans to move this fall and has wrapped up designing the space, Everist said

“We’re going to put quartzite in there similar to how the airport has wrapped their columns in quartzite. That’s a really good look; we love that. We’re going to have all our old archival photography in there. It will be a pretty office with a lot of light.”

The project has been fun to watch come together, he added.

“There’s a tremendous number of moving parts, and from our perspective it’s really fascinating to watch a group like (general contractor) Henry Carlson put all the details together so seamlessly. And now that the skin is going on, you can see the shape and the character of the sides. We’re real happy with it.”

washington square

An example of a condo at Washington Square

Interest also has been strong in living at Washington Square, Houwman said. The condominiums, which include access to a rooftop owners’ terrace with a fitness center, dog area and outdoor living space, are more than half sold. Prices start around $600,000.

The view from above Washington Square.

The view from above Washington Square.

“The buyers are people who want to live, work and play in an area that is vibrant and convenient,” Houwman said.

washington square

An image of what Washington Square could look like.

The first floor is intended for retail and is an especially good fit for dining, said Raquel Blount of Lloyd Cos., who has it listed.

“We have had great interest in the main level retail space available,” she said. “Given the location with the Washington Pavilion and the downtown loft living above and nearby, we are looking for a top-notch restaurant to complement the tenant mix.”

The building is “an A-plus property,” she said, that “will command a special retail mix.”

The view from above Washington Square.

The view from above Washington Square.

The standard is high for Washington Square, Houwman agreed, but the market also appears to be responding.

“During the design phase, we stressed the importance of using high-quality materials and timeless designs. It is equally important that the tenants have this same level of expectations.”

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Video: Washington Square taking shape

The eight-story Washington Square mixed-use project is set to open by the end of the year.

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