Heron and PagodaBack in 2007/2008 a project called the Heron and Pagoda Towers (original rendering at right) was set to be developed on the lot right across the street from the Westin and just east of Escala on 5th Avenue between Stewart St and Virginia St. It was planned as 2 large towers containing condos, a hotel, office space and ground floor retail. The land for the block-long development was purchased for $30 million in 2007.

Obviously, the market took a dive after this project was planned and the project was put on hold like many others in the Seattle area. The lots were foreclosed upon and the surface lot section at the south end of the block on the corner of 5th Avenue and Stewart St just sold for $16.75 million to Stanford Hotels Corp. So, it appears that, at least for now, the Icon Grill will remain in its location at the north end of this block and a hotel will be built on the south end of this block. Heron and Pagoda is officially dead it seems.

Escala owners will be happy to hear that the remaining lots to the north end of that site will not be built on at this time, or as a part of this current proposed hotel development, keeping their views to the east intact. However, those facing south and those on the south end of the east side of Escala will be affected by the future construction and their outlook will likely change.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.