A CENTURY-LONG PARTNERSHIP


Since 1861, University of Washington has owned 10 of the 11 acres that currently comprise the Metropolitan Tract; in fact, it was the site of the original University campus. The campus moved to its present location on the shore of Lake Washington in 1895, but the University of Washington continued its ownership of the downtown property.

The Metropolitan Tract is managed by Unico Properties, Wright Runstad, and LHCS Hotel Holdings.

Timeline

1861


Arthur Denny, along with Charles Terry and Edward Lander, donate a forested 10-acre knoll overlooking Elliot Bay to establish a Territorial University.

1895


University of Washington moves to its current 342-acre campus on Lake Washington.

1904


The downtown property is leased to the University Improvement Company for a 52-year term. Five years later, the ground lease is assigned to Metropolitan Building Company and as a result, becomes known as the Metropolitan Tract.

1909-1926


The Cobb, White, Henry, Stuart, Douglas, Stimson, Olympic and Skinner buildings are constructed, helping to form the foundation of Seattle’s iconic skyline.

1952


The Olympic Hotel is placed into a separate ground lease. The Hotel, lauded in 1924 as “the grandest inn west of Chicago,” signs a 60-year lease signed with JMB Urban in 1980, under operations by Four Seasons. In 2004, a new ownership group acquires the leasehold and Fairmont Hotel assumes operation control.

1954


Unico Properties is awarded the ground lease for the Metropolitan Tract for a 35-year term. The ground lease is extended in 1977 until 2014. A separate 45-year ground lease with Unico for redevelopment of the Cobb is signed in 2005.

1964


The 225,000 square foot IBM Building is built. The building is designed by legendary architect Minoru Yamasaki, who contributed to many of the buildings within the Metropolitan Tract.

1970-1978


The Douglas, Stimson, White, Henry, and Stuart buildings are demolished. In 1970, the 275,000 square foot Puget Sound Plaza is built with design assistance from Minoru Yamasaki, who later designs Rainier Tower and Rainier Square in 1978. In 1972, the 28-story Financial Center is built on the location of the Stimson building.