True North / Holland Partner Group
Conor Musgrave True North / Holland Partner Group

Think developers have run out of new amenity bait? Hardly. Holland Partner Group’s new, 286-unit True North showcases several novel amenities that relate to enjoying the outdoors, especially for those who are adventurous and athletic.

 Since Holland was founded 14 years ago, it has committed itself to quality development and property management, sustainability, and designs that reflect clients’ needs. When it took on the challenge of building True North in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, the firm asked itself what an apartment community would look like if the client were REI, the well-known outdoors-oriented retailer, because the Northwest is a magnet for this cohort.

 The resulting eight-story design, built on a hilly urban infill site, also pays homage to an Italian hill town, with multiple façade colors. But it’s the amenities inside that reel in the tenants:

  • A “Base Camp” for the gearhead, with bike-tuning stands, a work table for waxing skis or snowboards, a wide-screen TV, storage for paddleboards and kayaks, and a kitchenette;
  • A “Bouldering Wall” with a 14-foot-high indoor climbing wall in a fitness center with routes from beginner to advanced;
  • Outdoor terraces on four levels, with spectacular views and options to grill outdoors, dine communally, sit by a fireplace, lounge in a hammock, cook in a pizza oven, and play arcade games;
  • A “Trailhead Room” to plan excursions, with comfortable seating and a good supply of useful books and maps; and
  • The “Pups’ Peak,” for dogs and their owners, with agility equipment for pets and covered seating for their owners.

 Appreciation for nature continues in the units, which have 9-foot-high ceilings, big windows, natural-stone countertops, and energy-efficient appliances. Such choices helped the building earn LEED Silver certification, as did its walkability to mass transportation and jobs, including Amazon’s headquarters two blocks away. In addition, for every tenant who signs a lease, Holland purchases and plants a tree through its partnership with Forterra, a large conservation and community building organization.

 A ground-floor restaurant, Mollus is a nice addition for those working up an appetite. Its menu centers around Southeast Asian curries, providing yet another (culinary) adventure.