High-rise backed by Chinese investors planned for Denny Triangle

by: David Ham Updated:

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SEATTLE - Up to 100 Chinese investors are planning to back a 42-story high rise that is planned for the Denny Triangle in downtown Seattle at Stewart Street and Minor Avenue. 

The plan calls for 78 hotel rooms and 95 condominium units.

The 400-foot tall high-rise is called "The Daola." It translates to "you have arrived" in Mandarin.

"We're a small niche product, so we think we will fill a nice spot in this market in Seattle," said Eugene Gershman of GIS International, the developer. His company is also partnered with Chinese-based company RBF Property Group.

"There's been no condominium project proposed for a number of years ever since the recession of 2008-2009," Gershman added. 

The Chinese investors will not only become commercial property owners, but they'll also be eligible to gain temporary U.S. residence through the federal government's EB-5 visa program, which provides green cards to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in projects that create 10 jobs or more. 

"I think it's a mixed bag on the opinion of an EB-5 project. I think in this one it's a lot easier to get an EB-5 project approved when you have (a) hotel component rather than having (a) straightforward residential project," Matthew Gardner, a land use consultant for Gardner Economics said. "The need is to prove a sustainable amount of economic growth, but job growth which is created from that project." 

Gardner said he wouldn't be surprised if more Asian investors targeted Seattle for big building projects. 

"We have substantial economic ties to Asia, our proximity to Asia is obviously important as well," said Gardner. 

"EB-5 visas is definitely a huge attraction to international investors and the Chinese specifically. That's not the only advantage of the project," Gershman added, "I think this is the perfect time for both the hotel and residential market in Seattle." 

The developers will present the plans for the project on June 3rd to city planners. 

If approved, Gershman said construction could begin as early as next year. The tower would take two years to build.