Untitled 2 Panorama copy
INS historic
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INSCAPE Building Historic Renovation project

The MRJ Constructors’ team has been intimately involved in the redevelopment and historic renovation of the INSCAPE building. The building was purchased through the GSA Auction from the Federal Government.

The INS Building was designed in 1929 by James A. Wetmore, an architect and US Supreme Court Justice, for use as a US Immigration Station and Assay office. Construction of the facility was completed in 1932. The building is 77,000 gross square feet made up of four floors of office space over a daylight basement.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and still retains much of its original character. Because of the listing on the National Register, the building immediately steps over the first hurdle (Part I) in obtaining Historical Tax Credits for the project. The ownership group had hired an architect experienced in Historic Tax Credit projects and received approval for its Part II application with the National Park Service. It was the intent of the ownership group to syndicate approximately $1.68 million in net tax credits.

With upwards of 125 tenants in 77,000 square feet of historic space, INSCAPE is the largest arts and culture enclave in Seattle. Small, creative businesses, individuals and nonprofit organizations with a focus in arts and culture uses the spaces to facilitate and fabricate artistic work as well as design, build, and present creative and cultural endeavors. Artists and artisans of all disciplines are working throughout the building, bringing each individual’s dynamic energy to the space and collaborating to manifest a community born of creativity and steeped in a rich cultural history. 

Workspaces range in size from a few hundred square feet up to a few thousand, with an indeterminate amount of variation based on the configurations in place as well as the redesign of some spaces for the specific needs of tenants.

Renovations to upgrade the facility to artist spaces and office space were broken into shell and core (including exterior work) and tenant improvement work in the planned tenant spaces. Exterior shell and core work included exterior cleaning of the brick and terrazzo, and repainting of the exterior metal cladding of the window systems and miscellaneous site improvements. The interior shell and core work included restoration of the first-floor corridor areas with period lighting, new electrical distribution and restoration of the Terrazzo floors and millwork installation. Interior tenant improvement work was tenant specific but mostly included VAT and mastic abatement, stain/sealed concrete floors, new furred out walls, interior painting, additional electrical and modifications to the existing low-pressure steam radiator controls.

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