Seattle Children's Hospital Buys Downtown City Block to Complete Research Campus

 In another bold move underscoring its mission to eliminate pediatric disease, Seattle’s Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center today announced the acquisition of an additional city block adjacent to the two contiguous downtown research buildings it purchased in late October, 2006.


In another bold move underscoring its mission to eliminate pediatric disease, Seattle’s Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center today announced the acquisition of an additional city block adjacent to the two contiguous downtown research buildings it purchased in late October, 2006.

“The vision of Children’s Hospital is to be the best children’s hospital, because our children deserve the best care possible,” said Peggy Walton, chairman, Children’s Hospital board of trustees. “As a board we embraced that vision five years ago, and have developed a clear path to achieve it. We know research leads to cures and better care. Under the new leadership of CEO Tom Hansen we adopted a bold strategic plan last year that charts a course for achieving our ultimate goal to eliminate pediatric disease. This latest acquisition brings us one giant step closer.”

“Well ahead of schedule we have already surpassed our goal to acquire all the research space outlined in our strategic plan,” said Dr. Thomas Hansen, Children’s Hospital’s CEO. “As Children’s celebrates our 100th anniversary this year, our contribution to the children and communities we serve is that from here forward we can fully explore limitless research potential. Our research will drive new cures, new technology, attract the best staff, and ensure Children’s will lead pediatric medicine into our next century of service.

“At the same time,” CEO Hansen added, “we are undertaking a number of other initiatives within our strategic plan to ensure that our patient care quality and outcomes are among the best in the nation and that patients, families and physicians experience outstanding access and service. Each new discovery, every passionate researcher, all of our physicians, nurses and dedicated staff from all disciplines are focused on serving the children who come through our doors.”

Children’s purchased the downtown city block unofficially known as “Stewart Place,” bordered by Stewart, Terry, Virginia and Boren streets. The property is currently a large parking lot divided by an alley, located directly across the street to the east of the 1915 Terry Avenue building, which is next to the 1900 9th Avenue building, both acquired by Children’s in October, 2006.

Together these properties will form a unified, contiguous and localized campus filling nearly two entire adjacent city blocks. Situated at the south end of the Fairview biotech corridor anchored by Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Zymogenetics in South Lake Union, Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute will connect Seattle’s growing research community, including its partners, the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Children’s physicians and scientists are faculty members at the University of Washington.

“This latest acquisition of research property secures our ability to further develop vibrant research programs in areas spanning from basic research in immunology to clinical research in behavioral health and diseases such as cystic fibrosis and cancer,” said Dr. Bruder Stapleton, senior vice president and chief academic officer at Children’s. “We will invest in cutting-edge research to prevent premature birth, cure genetic diseases and repair birth defects through bioengineering.”

The Stewart Place property sold for a reported value of $43.6 million. Above ground development capacity is just over 900,000 square feet. The property was acquired through a series of related transactions with Touchstone Stewart Place LLC, The Ebright Trust, Murray Hill Developments Ltd., and Marathon Investment Corporation. A ground lease termination also was negotiated with Touchstone, who expressed particular interest in working with Children’s, in appreciation of the mission and plans for dedicating the space to future pediatric biotech research.

“As a city block in the Denny Triangle neighborhood, Stewart Place is a great spot for a corporate campus,” said Douglas Howe, Touchstone president. “We are very supportive of the biotech industry and Children’s Hospital’s ultimate mission to eliminate pediatric disease.”

The lot will be developed over the next several years, in addition to improvements and development of the two previously acquired buildings. Formerly occupied by Corixa prior to acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline, the 1900 9th Avenue building has 11 floors and 216,088 building square feet. It already includes state-of-the art bench research facilities and has been certified by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), earning a Silver Award in 2006. The former Qwest building at 1915 Terry Avenue has 251,095 building square feet and 7 floors. Children’s holds this property with a lease and option-to-buy, with an expected closing this fall.

“In the fastest growing biotech region in the country, we have successfully acquired two city blocks within the past seven months,” said James Hendricks, PhD, president, Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute. “Children’s is already known for many of its premier programs, excellent family-centered care, deep community roots and gifted researchers. Our research institute can now grow to provide diverse state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for physician-researchers that will bring the very best pediatric doctors in the world to Washington state.”

The research strategic plan includes nine Research Centers with goals to address complex biomedical problems across multiple disciplines, departments and divisions. Immunity and Vaccines, Childhood Infections and Prematurity, Tissue and Cell Biology, Translational and Clinical Science, Childhood Cancer, Genetics and Development, Health Services and Behavioral Research, Neurosciences, and Developmental Therapeutics centers are all part of the plan.

Children’s has been leasing 50,000 square feet of laboratory space in the 307 Westlake building in South Lake Union and 40,000 square feet of office space at Metropolitan Park West, both nearby. Clinical research and administrative functions will remain at Metropolitan Park for now. Later this summer it is anticipated those currently located at 307 Westlake will move to the 1900 9th Avenue facility.

The acquisition was made possible by hospital reserve funds and private donations contributed through the Campaign for Children’s, the hospital’s seven-year comprehensive fundraising effort to raise $300 million for facilities, uncompensated care and research.

Kinzer Real Estate Services represented the hospital in the analysis and acquisition of the Stewart Place lot, which closed May 16, 2007.

View a photo of the new research property.

Additional information is available at Research Institute.

About Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention and bioethics, among others. As part of Seattle Children’s Hospital, the research institute brings together leading minds in pediatric research to provide patients with the best care possible. Seattle Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, which consistently ranks as one of the best pediatric departments in the country. For more information, visit http://www.seattlechildrens.org/research.