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Arrivé under construction, May 2018.jpg
Under construction in May 2018
Arrivé is located in Seattle WA Downtown
Location within downtown Seattle
Former namesPotala Tower, Cinema Tower
General information
TypeResidential and hotel
Address2116 4th Avenue
Seattle, Washington
Coordinates47°36′51.91″N 122°20′30.24″W / 47.6144194°N 122.3417333°W / 47.6144194; -122.3417333Coordinates: 47°36′51.91″N 122°20′30.24″W / 47.6144194°N 122.3417333°W / 47.6144194; -122.3417333
GroundbreakingAugust 28, 2014
Construction startedApril 2015
Construction stoppedAugust 2015 – October 2016
Topped-outMay 2018
OpenedFebruary 12, 2019
Cost$190 million[1]
Roof440 ft (130 m)
Technical details
Floor count41
Floor area530,000 sq ft (49,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architecture firmWeber Thompson
DeveloperBinjiang Tower Corp and Molasky Group
Main contractorPCL Construction
Other information
Number of units344 apartments, 142 hotel rooms
Parking329 stalls

Arrivé (/ɑːrˈv/ ah-ree-VAY)[5] is a 440-foot (130 m), 41-story skyscraper in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. The $190 million project, originally named Potala Tower after the Potala Palace in Tibet, was designed by Weber Thompson and consists of 342 apartments and a 142-room hotel. It was financed partially by Chinese nationals through the EB-5 visa program and began construction in April 2015.

Construction was put on hold in August 2015, when the assets of project developer Lobsang Dargey were frozen by a court order after a civil fraud suit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC alleges that Dargey diverted funds from the project for his own personal uses, including the purchase of his Bellevue home and gambling. The project was then transferred to a court-appointed receiver and later stripped of its EB-5 eligibility. In May 2016, the presiding judge approved a plan by two firms to buy out Dargey's share of the project and restart construction, pending approval from EB-5 investors; in October, the two companies signed an agreement to restart construction and re-brand the project. The tower was completed and opened in February 2019.

Design and architecture[edit]

Arrivé was designed by Seattle architecture firm Weber Thompson with elements referencing the Seattle Cinerama movie theater, located adjacent to the property.[4] The project was originally called "Cinema Tower",[6] prior to its transfer to Dargey Development.[7]

The tower itself is 41 stories, including 2,743 square feet (254.8 m2) of retail space at ground level, 329 parking spaces, 142 hotel rooms, and 344 apartments comprising floors 11 through 41.[4] Amenities include a 7th floor deck for the hotel and a rooftop terrace for apartment residents;[8] the original design for the rooftop deck included an outdoor movie theater.[4][6] The Sound Hotel operates within the tower, occupying floors 2 through 10, and includes a lounge, meeting spaces, a fitness center, and a bistro. The apartments range from 520-square-foot (48 m2) studio to a 1,869-square-foot (173.6 m2) penthouse.[9]

The project is seeking a LEED Silver certification.[4]


Planning and construction[edit]

The 13-acre (0.13 ha) site, facing 4th Avenue between Blanchard and Lenora streets and located adjacent to the Seattle Cinerama theater in Belltown, was bought by HAL Real Estate Investments in 2008 for $5 million. HAL applied for permits to build a 38-story building with 365 apartments, called the "Cinema Tower".[6][7][10]

In 2013, developer Lobsang Dargey bought the property from HAL for $11.5 million, and announced his intention to build a mixed-use tower on the site. Dargey, a former Tibetan Buddhist monk who immigrated to Seattle in 1997,[11] planned to finance the project with EB-5 visas through his company, Path America.[7] The project's approach to EB-5 financing was also promoted by Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen during a state trip to Shanghai in 2014.[12][13] The proposed tower, now named "Potala Tower" after the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, was unveiled in July 2014; Hotel Indigo was identified as the operator of the 142-hotel in the tower.[14] Construction on the project was scheduled to begin later that year and end by 2017.[8][15]

Dargey was joined by Mayor Ed Murray and actor Tom Skerritt, a personal friend of his, at a groundbreaking ceremony for the project on August 28, 2014. The ceremony, which included a blessing from Buddhist monks and participants wearing traditional khatas (a type of ceremonial Buddhist scarf), marked the beginning of demolition for the Dean Transmissions building on the site.[16] Site excavation, marking the actual start of construction, began the following April under the direction of PCL Construction.[17][18] A construction permit to build the tower was issued on August 17, 2015.[19]

Halt in construction[edit]

On August 24, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed in a civil securities fraud complaint in the U.S. District Court against Dargey and Path America, the company managing the EB-5 financing of the Potala Tower project and several others in the region.[20] The following day, Dargey's assets were seized, forcing construction on the tower to halt;[21] by then, excavation had reached a depth of 60 feet (18 m) and PCL announced that it would stop construction.[22][23] The SEC alleged that Dargey diverted $17.6 million of at least $125 million raised through the EB-5 program and misused them on himself, including the purchase of his Bellevue home, transfers between projects, and gambling at casinos as far away as Las Vegas.[24]

In October, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart ordered that Path America and its assets be removed from Dargey's control and placed into receivership, including the Potala Tower project.[25] A recovery plan was filed in January by the court receiver, proposing to sell all of Path America's projects,[26] which Dargey and several investors opposed on the grounds of possible loss of EB-5 eligibility.[27] United States Citizenship and Immigration Services instead revoked the Potala Tower project of EB-5 eligibility in March 2016, closing the possibility of granting green cards for project investors. The receiver was granted partial approval to sell the project in April; 13 bids were received for the property and/or project, including from local firm Vulcan Real Estate, Las Vegas-based Molasky Group, and Chinese developer Binjiang Tower Corporation (an original investor in the project). On May 20, 2016, Judge James Robart approved a plan submitted by the receiver on behalf of Molasky and Binjiang, committing $30 million to the project and allowing for construction to resume pending final approval by foreign investors; Dargey approved the plan after a deal was struck with the new developers to pay $1.8 million of the attorney fees he had accrued during the trial.[28][29]

Resumption of construction[edit]

On October 6, Molasky and Binjiang signed an agreement to restart construction of the project, which would be renamed and rebranded.[30] Work on the project resumed later that month, and is scheduled to be completed in January 2019.[31][32] In February 2017, Molasky and Binjiang announced that the project had raised $325 million in funds to continue work on the project.[33] The project was rebranded as "Arrivé" in May 2017 and was topped out the following year.[5][34] The hotel portion, operated by Hilton Worldwide under their Tapestry Collection brand as The Sound Hotel,[35] opened on February 12, 2019.[9] The project's construction loan was retired in September 2021 and allowed to regain its EB-5 eligibility under a new financing agreement for $102.7 million by Gantry.[36]


  1. ^ Rosenberg, Mike (March 10, 2017). "Record construction frenzy sweeps downtown Seattle; more building to come". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "Arrivé". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  3. ^ "Emporis building ID 1235868". Emporis.[dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e "Potala Tower, Seattle, WA". Weber Thompson. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "High Rise Under Construction Gets New Name And Brand" (Press release). The Molasky Group. May 8, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2017 – via PR Newswire.
  6. ^ a b c Stiles, Marc (May 13, 2011). "These days, former condo towers switch to apartments". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c "Dargey buys Belltown land for $12M, plans mixed-use project". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. October 18, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Porter, Lynn (July 1, 2014). "Dargey Development preparing to start 41-story tower this year". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Arrivé has arrived: New tower in Belltown". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  10. ^ "2116 4th Avenue Early Design Guidance" (PDF). Seattle Department of Planning and Development. September 9, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  11. ^ Ervin, Keith (July 15, 2012). "Developer with roots as Tibetan monk firmly planted in capitalism". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  12. ^ Owen, Brad (May 17, 2014). "Seattle Potala Tower EB-5 Project, Shanghai Film Plaza Conference Center" (PDF). Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Washington. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 21, 2016. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  13. ^ Jenkins, Austin (August 26, 2015). "Washington Lt. Governor Touted Company At Center Of SEC Investigation". Northwest News Network. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  14. ^ "Groundbreaking soon for 4th Avenue tower". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. August 18, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  15. ^ Parkhurst, Emily (August 15, 2014). "Boutique hotel, 342-unit tower begins construction in Belltown". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  16. ^ Stiles, Marc (August 28, 2014). "Chanting monks, chiming bells and Tom Skerritt kick off Seattle high-rise". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  17. ^ "PCL Construction Contributes to Seattle Building Boom" (Press release). PCL Construction. April 14, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  18. ^ Stiles, Marc (April 14, 2015). "Construction finally starts on 41-story Potala Tower in Seattle". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  19. ^ "Permit & Complaint Status: Project #6423027". Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  20. ^ "SEC Announces Asset Freeze Against Alleged EB-5 Fraudster in Seattle Area" (Press release). U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. August 25, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  21. ^ Levy, Nat (August 27, 2015). "3 Path America projects halted after SEC action". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  22. ^ Bhatt, Sanjay (August 26, 2015). "Fraud investigation halts Potala Tower, endangers Othello project". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  23. ^ Grunbaum, Rami (May 17, 2016). "Proposed deal would revive Potala Tower, stalled by SEC fraud suit". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  24. ^ Bhatt, Sanjay (August 24, 2015). "SEC says local developer cheated immigrant investors, spent money on himself". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  25. ^ Bhatt, Sanjay (October 23, 2015). "Developer Dargey loses control of Everett company over fraud charges". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  26. ^ Bhatt, Sanjay (January 20, 2016). "Receiver wants to sell Dargey's Potala Tower, other projects". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  27. ^ Bhatt, Sanjay (February 16, 2016). "Dargey, allies seek to keep Potala Tower project going". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  28. ^ Stiles, Marc (May 17, 2016). "Chinese firm competes with Vulcan to take over scandal-plagued Belltown tower project". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  29. ^ Rosenberg, Mike (May 23, 2016). "Judge OKs plan to restart stalled Belltown tower". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  30. ^ "Joint Venture Triggers Construction Of New Tower In Downtown Seattle" (Press release). The Molasky Group. October 6, 2016. Retrieved October 8, 2016 – via PR Newswire.
  31. ^ Stiles, Marc (October 24, 2016). "Work resumes on Belltown high-rise tied to EB-5 fraud charges". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  32. ^ "Work restarts on Belltown tower". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. October 28, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  33. ^ "Newmark raises funds to restart Potala". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. February 2, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  34. ^ "43-story Arrive tower tops out in Belltown". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. May 9, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  35. ^ "The Hotel Group Selected to Manage The Sound Hotel Seattle Belltown - Tapestry Collection by Hilton" (Press release). January 22, 2018. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  36. ^ Stiles, Marc (October 5, 2021). "Dargey tower reinstated as EB-5 project, lands $103M in permanent financing". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved October 6, 2021.

External links[edit]