The University of Washington is creating a dynamic and interdisciplinary urban community on the west side of the Seattle campus. Portage Bay Crossing will merge education and student life with cutting-edge research, pioneering public/nonprofit institutions and private companies.
The vision for Portage Bay Crossing is to create a place where student and faculty experts across multiple fields — including public health, engineering, life sciences, social work, public policy, the humanities, physical sciences and environmental studies — can partner with business, government, nonprofit organizations and the Seattle community to solve critical challenges.
The development of Portage Bay Crossing will serve as a bridge between the traditional main UW campus and the ever-growing city surrounding it. Portage Bay Crossing will be a lively urban environment with a robust mixture of arts and culture, retail and gathering spaces that allow students, researchers and partners to interact. It also aims to be exemplary in design quality in the spirit of the Pacific Northwest and best practices of this type of district development.
The first new building in Portage Bay Crossing is Site W27, which will focus on clean energy science and technologies and other innovations for a sustainable future. The W27 building will be approximately 340,000 square feet and will include space for UW research and education, as well as market-rate leasable spaces for UW mission-aligned partners.
There will be three UW anchor tenants in the building:
- Washington Clean Energy Testbeds was created by the UW Clean Energy Institute to accelerate the development, scale-up and adoption of new technologies in solar harvesting, energy storage and system integration. This open-access facility, founded on the principle that users retain all intellectual property, offers customized training and use of instruments for fabricating prototypes, testing devices and modules, and integrating systems. The facility also houses meeting and office space where users from academia and business work and collaborate. The testbeds are an active gathering space for climate tech innovators and investors.
- The Institute for Protein Design (IPD) is creating a new world of proteins to address 21st-century challenges in medicine, energy and technology. Its scientists are developing new catalysts for chemical reactions, potent vaccine candidates and experimental therapies for diseases such as COVID-19.
- The Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine (BBI) was founded in November 2017 by UW Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children’s. The goal of BBI is to foster collaborative work among researchers at the three partner institutions. BBI takes advantage of Seattle’s culture of collaboration in technology and the health sciences, and its leadership in genomics, bioinformatics and data science. BBI scientists are contributing to basic biomedical research as well as patient outcomes through the development and application of precision approaches to healthcare.
A competitive RFP process was completed in March 2021. The UW selected Wexford Science + Technology as its preferred developer for W27. The UW Board of Regents approved the project plan at its March 2022 meeting.