Bosa development agreement for Civic Square

With the news from developer Bosa this morning that it is delaying construction on its construction project in the apparently cursed “pit from hell” lot across the street from City Hall, here is the purchase and development agreement that Bosa signed with the City of Seattle in 2017 to buy the lot and develop it into a commercial/residential tower with a public-access plaza.

Bosa owns the property outright, and pays property taxes on it (approximately $540,000 this year); it also made an MHA payment in advance of $5.7 million dollars. Under the terms of the contract:

  • Bosa may not sell or transfer the property until the construction project is completed.
  • Bosa is required to complete the project by specific deadlines; missing the final completion deadline accrues payments to the city of up to $5,000 per day.
  • Bosa may assert “force majeure” (aka an act of God) or “adverse market conditions” to delay the project — but only for a maximum of 12 months. Asserting adverse market conditions requires Bosa to make additional payments to the city:
  • The city does not have the right to reclaim the property from Bosa if it defaults; the monetary payments are its only recourse.

Bosa was issued a shoring and excavation permit in March of this year, and began shoring and excavation shortly after that; that triggers the “commencement of construction” milestone in the agreement. That means that Bosa now has 48 months to complete construction of the plaza, and 72 months to complete construction of the tower, before it is in default of the contract and required to make the payments listed above.

For completeness, here is King County’s property record on the lot. Seattle SDCI’s records on the construction project can be found here (search for 601 4th Ave).


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