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April 17, 2015

Two-level warehouses planned for 14-acre site in Georgetown

Jon Silver

Matt Wood of Kidder Mathews said other developers will be watching to see if the Prologis project is a success.

As industrial land gets scarce in the Puget Sound area, a new option for developers is becoming more attractive: build higher.

San Francisco-based Prologis has filed plans with the city of Seattle to build a pair of two-story warehouses on a 13.7-acre site at 6050 E. Marginal Way S. in Georgetown.

One structure would be 331,200 square feet and the other would be 209,300 square feet.

A typical multilevel storage space might have a mezzanine or use freight elevators, but this development would be a little different.

The structures would share a two-story "truck court" with a ramp so vehicles can reach loading bays on the second level.

This allows the developer to stack one full-size warehouse on top of another. Plans show the second level would be 28 feet above first level.

A local Prologis representative declined to discuss the project, and the designer from Craft Architects was unavailable to comment.

Other project team members are DCI Engineers, structural engineer; Barghausen Consulting Engineers, civil engineer; William Brown Landscape Architects; GeoEngineers, geotechnical engineer; and Transportation Engineers Northwest, transportation consultant.

Matt Wood, a partner at Kidder Mathews, told an audience at a NAIOP event on Wednesday that industrial vacancies are at an all-time low in King and Snohomish counties, and multistory buildings could become more common here.

He told the DJC that other developers will be watching to see if this project is a success.

"It's a very expensive option, so you only do it you're land constrained," he said.

Tenants for this type of project would likely want to be as close as possible to population centers so they can quickly distribute inventory such as fish, liquor and fresh produce, he said.

Other types of delivery services such as Amazon.com, DHL and FedEx would be likely tenants. Amazon is currently building an 800,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Kent.

Wood said multistory warehouses are more common in other parts of the world, such as Europe and East Asia, but he said he didn't know whether the warehouses proposed for Georgetown would be built in the same way.

The second-level loading bays would require an access structure that gives trucks enough room to maneuver for loading. Structural concerns could also limit the length of the containers, Wood said.

Trucks that load on the ground level would also have to maneuver around structural columns, he said.

© 2015 Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. All rights reserved.

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