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Four Seasons major project in Seattle

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Much like the one is Boston, Miami, Atlanta, and a bunch of other cities, large building with office, residential, and of course, 4/5 star hotel.

Four Seasons eyes major project

The downtown Seattle development could include a hotel, condos and retail

Jeanne Lang Jones

Staff Writer

After losing Seattle's venerable Olympic Hotel, Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts could have another development within a block of the five-diamond historic hotel it managed for more than 20 years.

Four Seasons and a group of local investor partners are planning a major, $100 million-plus mixed-use hotel development in downtown Seattle, similar to Four Seasons projects in other cities across the country.

Along with a luxury hotel, "We'd like to do a mixed-use retail/residential project like we've done in Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Miami and various cities," said Four Seasons vice president of corporate planning Peter Hodgson.

"Maybe we would do some office space," Hodgson added. "There is not a cookie-cutter approach."

Four Seasons' development in San Francisco includes a 277-room hotel, 142 luxury condominiums, a 100,000-square-foot sports club and spa, and 105,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. In Miami, the hotelier combined a 222-room hotel with 186 condos, 84 condo/hotel units, a 40,000-square-foot sports club, 10,600 square feet of retail shops and 200,000 square feet of office space.

What Four Seasons does here will depend on which site it ultimately selects and the types of development local market conditions favor, but Hodgson said the project "could easily be over $100 million."

The hotelier and its investment partners would like to find a site in the downtown core near the financial district with good proximity to restaurants, stores and theaters -- one "possibly with good view corridors," Hodgson said.

The Four Seasons group has been site shopping ever since losing its bid last month to purchase the former Four Seasons Olympic Hotel building and leasing rights to rival Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

Despite the monthslong negotiation over terminating its long-term management contract, Four Seasons seems now to have few regrets.

"It was a more appropriate hotel for their chain," Hodgson said. "What you will find when we come back to Seattle is our hotel, will be much smaller and will be more high-end."

Hodgson said the new hotel would be designed to have larger guest rooms than what is now called the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle, as well as more luxurious bathrooms and a much larger spa and health club.

The expectation is that it, too, would receive the American Automobile Association's top rating of five diamonds. Only 130 properties -- less than one-third of 1 percent of the 42,000 hotels and restaurants reviewed for 2003 -- received the five-diamond award for superior service, facilities and amenities.

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4 Seasons is a pretty nice hotel from what I can remember. I once stayed at one in Greensboro I think it was for a conference. I think the absolute best hotel I've ever stayed at was a suite at the Hyatt at Grand Central Station in NYC, talk about a hotel!! And I had a clear shot of the Crysler Building so you could imagine my excitement, LOL!

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4 Season hotels are very nice. Plus, I like the fact that they build these larger combo buildings, combining hotel with condos and office space. It seems to be a trend they are continuing in Seattle.

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