Vela is technically a remodeling job: the Lake Street Apartments had existed for years as a two-story mixed-use building. But by the time Compass and building owner Continental Properties finish, the building will bear little semblance to its original.
To start, we’ve added three new floors above the existing two, which required a retrofit of the entire building’s support system. We installed new footings, new steel, and new columns to support the extra weight. We also added three levels of underground parking (enough for every resident to have two spaces, or to provide public parking for area shoppers). To achieve this, we excavated as far as 33 feet below Lake Washington.
A notable feature of the new building is its rooftop deck and private balcony system. Waterfront views were a priority design feature of Vela — Continental was even comfortable limiting the number of apartment units to create more room for expansive views. Both the roof and private balconies use bolt-on decks up to four times larger than the standard 4×5. Thanks to some inventive engineering, residents of Vela’s 141 units won’t have far to walk for a breathtaking view.