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Originally published Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Developer wants taller 2nd Ave. condo tower

Developer Intracorp has filed an application to build a 400-foot-tall condo tower on a Second Avenue site where it already has a permit to build a 240-foot tower.

Seattle Times business reporter

Developer Intracorp, which won a city land-use permit two years ago for a 240-foot condo tower on Second Avenue, has filed a new preliminary application to build a 400-foot-tall residential tower on the site instead.

The revised plan calls for 432 units — more than twice the number that city planners approved in 2006.

Mike Lierman, Intracorp Seattle president, said zoning changes and the recent slowdown in the condo market prompted the company to take another look at the site and conclude that it makes more sense to go taller rather than build now under the existing permit.

The permit for the shorter building expires in November 2009, according to city records.

"We're keeping our options open," Lierman said.

A three-story parking garage now occupies the 0.3-acre site, at 1915 Second Ave., between Stewart and Virginia streets.

Intracorp filed a land-use-permit application for a 24-story, 175-unit condo tower in February 2006. Months later, the City Council raised the height limit in the area to 400 feet for residential buildings, but the developer pressed on with plans for the shorter tower.

The city Department of Planning and Development approved the land-use permit in December 2006. Intracorp applied for construction permits in late 2006 but apparently stopped pursuing them last year.

It acquired the property from Autopark USA of Honolulu in January 2007 for $6.875 million, county records show.

The city's Downtown Design Review Board is scheduled to consider Intracorp's new proposal July 22. The 400-foot tower would have retail on the ground floor and 428 parking stalls on nine underground and four aboveground levels.

No target date for starting construction has been set, Lierman said.

Next door, The Justen Co. and Columbia West Properties have proposed a 38-story condo and hotel project at 1931 Second, at the corner of Virginia. The downtown zoning changes the City Council approved in 2006 require an 80-foot separation between towers in the area.

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Justen Co. founder William Justen said it's unclear whether that requirement would allow his company's tower and Intracorp's to be built.

"If you talk to two land-use lawyers, you'll get two different opinions," Justen said.

The Justen project also is scheduled to be considered by the downtown Design Review Board on July 22.

Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or epryne@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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