Puget Sound Business Journal - January 29, 2004
Washington Mutual Inc. said it has finalized its purchase of the site for its new headquarters building, to be shared with the Seattle Art Museum. The downtown parcel was purchased from the museum and the Museum Development Authority for $18 million, and an adjacent parking garage also was purchased from the development authority for $9.7 million.
The big bank and the museum will begin construction next month on the $300 million project to build and share a new office tower dubbed 'WaMu Center' in downtown Seattle. They hope to be able to move in within two years. The project will allow Washington Mutual to consolidate its far-flung Seattle headquarters operation into one site, and give the museum more space at the same time. The deal has been in the works since early 2002. Washington Mutual said it expects to employ 4,000 to 5,000 staff in the new tower.
The project's Washington Mutual component is 890,000 square feet in a 42-story office tower owned by the bank. The bank's offices will be located on the eastern portion of the site, and will front Second Avenue. The museum's component is made up of 335,000 square feet on 12 full or partial levels The entire project will be built on a six-level underground parking garage owned by the bank, which would accommodate 710 vehicles.