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Wexford Develops Innovation Hub for the University of Washington

Published 1/16/2024
Brightwork - Portage Bay Crossing
Brightwork - Portage Bay Crossing
Brightwork - Portage Bay Crossing
Brightwork - Portage Bay Crossing
Brightwork - Portage Bay Crossing

Wexford Science + Technology will break ground in mid-2024 on Brightwork, the anchor building for the University of Washington’s planned innovation district in Seattle. The 345,000-sf facility will be constructed by Wexford for an estimated cost of $282.5 million, with UW investing $72 million for tenant improvements. After an 80-year lease, the 11-story structure will revert to university ownership.

Designed by ZGF Architects, this nexus of collaborative discovery will offer the University of Washington approximately 130,000 sf of leased space to house the Institute for Protein Design, the Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine, and the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds. The building will also accommodate Connect Labs by Wexford and a range of lab and office environments for mission-aligned partners working in the fields of clean energy, biotechnology, healthcare, advanced materials, and environmental sciences. An expansive lobby and event space will foster interaction and exchange between occupants, complemented by conference rooms and dining amenities.

Targeting LEED Gold sustainable design certification, Brightwork will leverage rooftop photovoltaic arrays, chilled beams, and a crenelated façade to achieve superior energy performance. The project team includes general contractor Whiting Turner, engineering firms AEI and KPFF, and landscape architect Jones and Jones, with Colliers International acting as leasing agent. Completion is expected by late 2026.

The University of Washington is transforming 69 acres of underutilized campus land into Portage Bay Crossing, a mixed-use destination integrating academic, research, corporate, and residential functions. Featuring a lakeside park, bike trails, and pedestrian pathways, the development spans 19 construction sites and could eventually deliver up to 3 million sf of space at total buildout.

Organization Project Role
Wexford Science + Technology
ZGF Architects LLP
General Contractor
Affiliated Engineers, Inc. (AEI)
KPFF Consulting Engineers
Jones and Jones
Landscape Architect
Colliers International
Leasing Agent