S October 08 www. bus- ex. com 39 The park bridges " like a lid" over an ugly portion of Interstate 5, as well as a large city-owned parking garage, then Eighth Avenue bridges over the 5- acre park, which itself is an unusual mixture of greenery and " brutalist" architecture, including concrete and waterfalls. Hedreen agreed to place his offi ce building on the western edge of the lot and designed a front plaza that integrates with the park, which also adjoins the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, which abridges the park with a small portion. The funding for the park was a combination of the city ( parking garage), county and state ( parkland), and federal governments ( the freeway portion), along with Hedreen as the private developer. As for the 21- story Park Place itself, initially Hedreen had two partners, and the equity arrangement was that each would own a third. " But as we went along, the concept became so complex that these partners decided not to continue, so I found a new source of equity, Family Life Insurance Company, which agreed to invest a million dollars, which bought them one- half of a 300,000- square- foot offi ce building, and I kept half; that building quickly fi lled with tenants. We managed it and got a nice cash fl ow from it." Of course, that meant more developments. One block south of Park Place, Hedreen built, without a partner, the 34- story Park Hilton Hotel ( now the Crown Plaza), which opened in 1980. In 1983, two blocks farther south on Sixth Avenue, he completed the 28- story, 553- room Renaissance Madison Hotel. Next was a project to construct a non- branded hotel called the Elliott. " It was a complicated proposal that came from the convention center; RC Hedreen Co. Risingtotheoccasion Downtown Seattle's skyline is accentuated with Dick Hedreen's high- rise accomplishments, which he describes to Gary Toushek eattle developer Richard ( Dick) Hedreen's ambitious career began simply enough after his military service was up. A civil and structural engineer by trade, he got a job back in Seattle working as an estimator and project manager with a contractor, and in 1963 he decided to establish his own development business, beginning with an 11- story upscale rental apartment building in the lower Queen Anne area of Seattle. After that he began a long stretch of primarily public works projects—" hard money jobs," he calls them— with a construction yard in Seattle and another in Alaska. At the same time he started seeking funding for new developments. " I had my own formula when I was developing, depending on the project," he says. " Sometimes I found a partner willing to fi nance a project if I put in the sweat equity." His Seattle high- rises are all in prominent downtown locations. In 1969 he built the Seattle Hilton Hotel at Sixth Avenue and University. Then he got involved in a series of projects that would establish him as a formidable hotel developer. He considers the 300,000- square- foot Park Place offi ce tower, also on Sixth Avenue, and the adjoining Freeway Park to be two of the more interesting developments he's done. " I had assembled funding to acquire half the property under the offi ce building, then an option on a 99- year ground lease on the other half. Then the city had second thoughts about development on this relatively small site; they thought maybe there should be a park next to the freeway. The architect for Park Place, Tony Callison, was a close friend, and he came up with the creative idea of Freeway Park," which became an innovative Seattle landmark with both social and environmental aspects.