Center of the Universe - Data 1

Creating Sustainability at the Center of the Universe

The center of the universe lies just north of downtown Seattle—at least according to the sign in the heart of Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.  In that spirit, Joanna Callahan and Mike Hess (Hess-Callahan Partners) teamed up with Mark Grey (Stephen C. Grey & Associates) to form CoU, LLC, or Center of the Universe, with the goal of developing an environmentally friendly office project that connects with its surroundings, both built and natural.  

CoU LLC ground leased property at 34th Street and Troll Avenue, in the shadow of the Aurora Bridge, from Fremont’s largest landowner, the Fremont Dock Company.  Now the building, christened Data 1, is fully leased to Tableau Software as part of its multi-building campus in the neighborhood. 

The Building


Designed by Weber Thompson architects and featuring a first-in-the-northwest structural system, the five-story building delivers 11,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 115,000 square feet of commercial office space in the heart of Fremont.  CoU took pains to ensure the prior retail tenants would have a home in the new building, particularly a Turkish restaurant and coffee shop beloved in the neighborhood.  Two levels of below-grade parking provide 152 stalls for cars, while bike lockers for up to 200 bicycles help self-propelled employees take advantage of the adjacent Burke Gilman Trail.  

The project provides stunning open spaces for both tenants and the public.  A new pedestrian connection draws people through the site toward A.B. Ernst Park and the historic Fremont Library to the north. A central courtyard affords outside space and additional natural daylight inside the building. The fa├žade and surrounding hardscape include eclectic art and historic elements, such as a section of the Berlin Wall.

The Green


The Aurora Bridge dumps approximately 3.2 million gallons of untreated rainwater into Lake Union on an annual basis.  CoU and engineer KPFF developed a biofiltration system that would treat a significant portion of that water. Approval required cooperation of the Washington State Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Seattle Public Utilities. 

Data 1 is not the first environmentally friendly project this team has tackled, nor will it be the last.  Mike and Mark were part of the team that developed the super-green Terry Thomas building in South Lake Union.  Also designed by Weber Thompson, the Terry Thomas building was one of the first LEED Gold buildings in Seattle.  Joanna, Mike, and Mark are now partnering on the Watershed, a deep green building that will become the third structure permitted under the City of Seattle’s Living Building Pilot Program.   

In November 2017, Data 1 won the NAIOP Night of the Stars award for "Office Development of the Year."

Foster Pepper was pleased to represent CoU, LLC on Data 1 and looks forward to working with CoU’s partners on future projects.