SEATTLE (May 30, 2023) – Urban Villages, a leading real estate developer and environmental steward, is pleased to announce the summer 2024 opening of Hotel Westland, a carbon positive, adaptive reuse hotel in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood. Construction recently began on the 120-room hotel to modernize the historic structure, giving it a second life and ensuring it lasts for generations to come. Operated by Aparium Hotel Group and architecturally designed by The Miller Hull Partnership with interiors by Curioso, the boutique lifestyle hotel will highlight historic character maintained from the building’s 1907 construction, modern guest rooms and amenities, Pioneer Square’s first rooftop bar, and a signature restaurant, fueled by an authentic connection to community and Seattle’s deep-rooted history.
Hotel Westland is a part of RailSpur, a carbon positive micro-district that is positioned to be one of the country’s most significant adaptive reuse developments, which consists of three main historic buildings and the activated alleyways that connect them.
“We’re proud to develop Hotel Westland as the second carbon positive hotel in our portfolio and in the country,” says Grant McCargo, Urban Villages’ Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “The greenest building is one you don’t have to build from the ground up. With adaptive reuse, we’ve modernized the building and honored its heritage, all while minimizing environmental impact.”
“Hotel Westland is the embodiment of history, community, and preservation. We started with an authentic appreciation for Pioneer Square as Seattle’s most intact historic district and are creating an exciting new destination to dine, stay, and play that reflects its original charm,” says Jon Buerge, President and Partner at Urban Villages. “Our goal is that the new hotel, restaurant, and bar will add vibrancy and longevity, benefiting the community as well as our planet.”
Adaptive Reuse and A Commitment to Carbon Positivity
Urban Villages introduces Hotel Westland – and the entire RailSpur micro-district – as carbon positive following the company’s announcement of Populus, opening in Denver in summer 2024, as the first carbon positive hotel in the United States. With Hotel Westland, Urban Villages is focused on reducing negative effects on the environment through adaptive reuse, energy efficiency, offsite ecological efforts, and renewable energy procurement.
Urban Villages defines carbon positive as a commitment to remove more carbon from the atmosphere than the calculated carbon footprint of a building throughout its life cycle. They take a holistic approach to sustainability at Hotel Westland, preserving the historic building with a focus on creating an environment that is both energy efficient and improves the health and wellbeing of its guests. By revitalizing an existing structure instead of building a new one, the hotel reduces its embodied carbon footprint by 36 percent – the equivalent of 2.2 million miles driven or 492 tons of coal burned. Urban Villages is also making significant efforts to ensure the building lasts for centuries by seismically reinforcing and modernizing it, without compromising its historical relevance. Seismic upgrades ensure that the hotel remains structurally sound and safe for its inhabitants even in a high-seismic zone like Seattle.
Hotel Westland achieves energy efficiency by means of several innovative architectural and building systems solutions. Urban Villages plans to preserve many of the building’s original single pane windows while adding custom insulated interior windows to provide an additional insulative barrier. Additional thermal insulation at the interior also increases the performance of the building envelope, and significantly reduces energy demand for heating and cooling. By strategically adding new windows and increasing access to natural daylight, the design also reduces the need for interior lighting. The hotel’s mechanical systems are designed for efficiency while providing the cleanest and healthiest interior air quality possible.
The hotel also reduces its carbon footprint by avoiding construction of an onsite parking garage, therefore eliminating additional carbon intensive sources and encouraging a more pedestrian lifestyle among locals and visitors throughout its operation. In addition, Hotel Westland will reduce its embodied and operational footprint in as many ways as possible from its waste stream strategies to its selection of operating and service products used within the property. To neutralize the hotel’s remaining emissions, Urban Villages is actively engaging partners for high-quality ecologically focused carbon removals with forestry-, soil-, and ocean-based initiatives that will continue to develop as the project becomes operational. These combined tactics will evolve throughout the lifecycle of Hotel Westland, always with the goal of helping to leave the planet in a better place.
Authentic Hospitality and Dining
Hotel Westland will feature 120 modern guest rooms, a signature restaurant, a rooftop bar, a penthouse Hospitality Suite, two flexible residential-like meeting spaces, and a cafe – all managed by Aparium Hotel Group, known for creating one-of-a-kind, hyper-localized hotels, restaurants, and experiences around the country.
Each of the guest rooms will be well-appointed, affording a comfortable yet elevated urban escape amidst bustling downtown Seattle with thoughtful touches and a design that reflects the history of the neighborhood and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The experience of bringing the city’s heritage and culture inside will extend throughout the property and be coupled with an array of exciting and dynamic services and amenities for guests and locals alike. This will begin with the activated lobby filled with lush vegetation, along a cafe, communal spaces, and meeting spaces, and continue upwards with an eye-catching central staircase that acts as a bridge, transporting guests from the ground level to the hotel dining above and out onto the alley patio. There, the signature restaurant and bar will offer booths, communal seating, a private dining room, and counter space overlooking the open kitchen concept inside where reclaimed wood, statement lighting, muted hues and live plants bring it to life. On the glass-enclosed patio, the restaurant will feature unique solarium seating and access from RailSpur’s activated alleyways for those looking to dine and drink in the neighborhood.
Hotel Westland will also be home to Pioneer Square’s first rooftop bar, inviting guests and locals to connect and take in views of the waterfront, Puget Sound and the city’s downtown. There, various spaces for meeting, dining, and drinking will be wrapped by a green roof that engulfs its occupants in vibrant local plant life and endless views of Seattle. Also on the rooftop, the Penthouse Hospitality Suite – featuring a kitchen, dining room, spacious living area, and wraparound furnished terrace with expansive views – will be an ideal space to celebrate personal milestones, leisure events, and corporate functions.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Urban Villages on Hotel Westland, marking our first project in Seattle, a bustling destination thriving with cultural activity and a vibrant community,” says Mario Tricoci, CEO and Founder of Aparium Hotel Group. “This transformative project aligns with our strategy of creating one-of-one hotels that are built to last and to be as relevant in 20 years as they are today. We’re looking forward to delivering experiences that matter for both locals and hotel guests through our dynamic approach to programming, collaborative local partnerships, and exceptional food and beverage.”
Urban Villages designed Hotel Westland in collaboration with The Miller Hull Partnership, an architectural design firm with studios in Seattle and San Diego that works to create a regenerative and inclusive future through the built environment. Sharing Urban Villages’ philosophy rooted in sustainability, Miller Hull is modernizing the 1907 building, ensuring it thrives for generations to come, while preserving its brick exterior and historic essence. Hotel Westland’s interior design is conceptualized and executed by Curioso – an internationally renowned interior design studio, specializing in hotels, restaurants, residences, and brands with a focus on human-centered design and a deep connection to place.
For Hotel Westland, their first project in Seattle, Curioso was inspired by the city’s history and the authentic values of its inhabitants along with its surrounding waters and forests. Taking cues from the lush landscape and Seattle’s moniker of the Emerald City, a color scheme of rich blues and greens will be found throughout the 120 guest rooms and common areas. The materiality of warm textile finishes, patinated metals, natural brick and exposed timber pay homage to the building’s original architectural expression, while local artisans featured throughout the hotel will pay homage to Seattle’s reputation as a city of craftspeople. In the guest rooms, a carefully selected color palette is extracted from the Northern Cascades and Puget Sound, with deep greens, rich blues, and warm neutrals to provide a reprieve from the bustle of Pioneer Square, and exposed timber beams will be paired with new Curioso-designed custom furniture to provide an eclectic pairing of old and new. The lobby, filled with the natural vegetation of the landscape, will invite guests into the soft respite of the hotel, while celebrating the existing timber structure with intentional lighting and exposed architectural elements. Moving upward, the restaurant and rooftop will bring in more saturated colors, with the ruby tones of the rooftop bar designed to mimic the surrounding Olympic Mountains and vibrant sunsets.
Hotel Westland is constructed by JTM Construction, a Seattle-based general contractor that specializes in delivering exceptional preconstruction and construction services in a collaborative environment.
Historically and Culturally Rich Location
Hotel Westland is situated in Seattle’s first neighborhood, Pioneer Square – a richly historic district known for its Romanesque Revival architecture; authentic and vibrant culture, arts, and food; and proximity to the waterfront as well as the Stadium District. Located 15 minutes from Seattle’s most iconic tourist destination, Pike Place Market, and the cruise port, Hotel Westland is an ideal destination for tourists, while its location at the epicenter of some of the country’s largest creative and tech firms equally caters to locals grabbing coffee on the way to work or a post-work drink on the rooftop.
Further, Hotel Westland’s place in Pioneer Square is home to more modes of transit than anywhere else in the city. This includes close proximity to light rail, streetcar, and bus stations, along with access to a bike path and the Seattle Ferry Terminal – offering easy access for Seattle’s eco-conscious and pedestrian-friendly environment. By placing equal importance on sustainability and community, Urban Villages is developing and maintaining Hotel Westland to make the birthplace of Seattle viable, enticing, and lively for generations to come.
The summer 2024 opening of Hotel Westland makes it the latest in a series of exciting new developments at RailSpur, including offices at 419 Occidental Avenue and retail at 115 S. Jackson Street such as the now-open Heard Coffee, Beerdega, and Cassette Club cycling shop, and Tacolisto, an authentic taqueria and bar opening in late spring 2023. The activated alleyways running through RailSpur also offer year-round art, music, and culinary programming, providing an immersive and dynamic experience for guests of Hotel Westland.