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The idea of Nitty Gritty was rooted in what is unvarnished, unpolished, unpretentious, unique, and a little unexpected. That's why Nitty Gritty was designed with different, dynamic and delightful spaces that recognize the value of human activity.

We started a revival in this neighborhood just north of downtown Seattle, and it's proving that industry, technology, and community involvement can come together to create something that feels both familiar and brand new.

The three-story 118,000 SF Nitty Gritty building was planned to bring together an exceptionally diverse group of tenants and uses, including office, industrial, R&D labs, retail, restaurants, a chef's farm, and all the other ingredients of a vibrant neighborhood. Conceived to be a place with a sense of community pride and indigenous urban spice-the first of its kind and a pioneering example of how seemingly different uses can successfully and enthusiastically mix and mingle in one building.

Nitty Gritty was to have at its core a space we called the Uncommons. It's a different kind of place, definitely part of the building but belonging also to the community. The idea of the Uncommons, held through all iterations of planning and development as a means to preserve public space. Open to everyone; it erases the boundary between the outside and inside of the building.

Nitty Gritty also incorporated sustainable features designed to reduce its environmental impact by lowering overall operating costs and energy consumption for every tenant. An 8,000-square-foot roof garden would provide space to produce fresh herbs and vegetables for the restaurants at street level. Natural light from huge windows and skylights minimized the need for artificial illumination. This building, planned for LEED-certified Silver certification, was unique, quirky, lively and efficient ... all Nitty Gritty.

Snagged by the irrational politics of a citywide downzone, the zoning now prohibits a building like the Nitty Gritty, and the land remains undeveloped.

“If you don't like change then you'll like irrelevance even less.”

•   •   •   •   •

Eric Shinseki, U.S. Army

“Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

“Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

“Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

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