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Spaces We Love: Substantial’s One-of-a-Kind Seattle Workspace

By Derek Pedersen

Substantial’s centrally located Capitol Hill office is truly one-of-a-kind, and arguably one of the most unique and creative spaces we’ve ever seen!

Situated at the gateway to the Pike & Pine neighborhood and resting on the busy corner of Cal Anderson Park to the east, Seattle Central College to the west, and the urban arbor along Pine St., Substantial’s office sits above the fray with a calming view full of light. We can’t forget to mention the rooftop deck overlooking Cal Anderson Park, which is an absolutely beautiful way to take in on a hot summer day, and as you’ll see in many photos, their space is also dog friendly.

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Located at 900 E Pine St, and built in 1925, the building is just under one hundred years old and is part of Capitol Hill’s auto row heritage, built originally as a Chrysler dealership (the ramp to get vehicles upstairs is still present in the crawl space).

Founded in 2006, Substantial is a full-service digital product studio, a collection of 40+ creative developers, designers and strategists headquartered in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. They also offer space in their historic office for other teams to sublease. The team at Substantial helps their clients design, build and optimize whatever they envision, whether that’s consumer apps, engaging games, intelligently connected devices, or something else entirely!

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Walking into the entrance off Pine St, the neighboring tenant directly downstairs, Sugarpill, is a surprising part of the experience as you look into the retail space on your way up the stairs, or smell the herbal remedies being prepared by the apothecary that specializes in handmade teas, fine foods and more. As you approach, visitors are greeted with a 20-foot-long custom reception desk, which reuses Substantial’s iconic former steel entry door.

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In 2017, with the help of architect and design firm, goCstudio, Substantial took the opportunity to expand within the building when additional space opened up. One of the most significant aspects of Substantial’s narrative is the hosting of public and private events. Creating a large social space that could function for a variety of purposes was an important factor in the design of the expansion, according to goCstudio.

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The 14,000 square foot office takes full advantage of the natural character of the building, including exposed brick walls and old growth Douglas Fir beams. A massive skylight adjacent to the entry staircase, allows an abundance of natural light to flow into the space throughout the entire day, allowing people to assemble in the heart of the building. Breathtaking warehouse style windows also let natural light pour into the space.

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With four conference rooms throughout the space, each room has large steel-and-glass doors in the style of the industrial warehouses of the same era as the original building. These openings to the forum allow enclosed spaces to flow into a common space, where team members can meet and collaborate!

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Created using large CLT (cross laminated timber) planks, the 25-foot-long kitchen island and 16-foot-long bar island allow for an easy transformation into a busy full-service event space, as well as a great co-working atmosphere for those employees who enjoy a more flexible work setting. According to goCstudio, “Music and creative expressions have always been a thread that ties together the owners of Substantial and an important aspect within the office. The floating DJ booth that lived in the original office space was retained as a focal point on the east side of the space to be used during events.”

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The finished product is an absolute masterpiece that will continue to be a long-term jewel in the heart of one of Seattle’s most iconic neighborhoods. Congratulations to Substantial on the amazing success of their business and a phenomenal office space!

Derek Pedersen is a senior vice president of Hughes Marino, a global corporate real estate advisory firm that exclusively represents tenants and buyers. Contact Derek at 1-844-662-6635 or derek@hughesmarino.com to learn more.

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