The First Modern Multistory Logistics Building in North America

Winter 2017/2018 Issue
By: Dan Letter, managing director, Prologis
Prologis Georgetown Crossroads, now under construction in Seattle, will be the first modern three-story industrial warehouse in the U.S. It will feature truck ramps leading to loading docks on the second level and a third floor, served via forklift-accessible freight elevators, for lighter-scale operations. Rendering courtesy of Prologis

Prologis Georgetown Crossroads, a three-story, 590,000-square-foot logistics building, is now under construction in the heart of Seattle’s transportation network.

IN THE FUTURE, goods will flow much more quickly than they do now. Same-day delivery is already morphing into same-hour delivery in some places. In lockstep with this trend, consumers are insisting on a broader selection and availability of goods.

In this environment of “faster and broader,” supply chains will become increasingly important. With “last-touch” delivery foremost on retailers’ minds, logistics real estate has evolved into a business-critical decision that favors prime locations in or near dense urban centers.

To outpace the competition, solve for selection and service, and maximize efficiency, retail and logistics companies must operate from locations much closer to the end consumer. There’s a hitch, however: How can they do this in land-constrained cities, where available land is virtually nonexistent? The solution: Go vertical.

Although population density and land scarcity have made the multistory warehouse commonplace in Asia, it’s a brand-new concept in the 21st-century U.S.

Bolstered by state-of-the-art innovation and a long-term view of consumption patterns, Prologis is bringing the multistory warehouse stateside with Prologis Georgetown Crossroads, designed by Craft Architects and now under construction near downtown Seattle. The first of its kind in the U.S., Georgetown Crossroads will be a three-story, 590,000-square-foot fulfillment center in the heart of the city’s transportation network. Prologis broke ground in April 2017 and anticipates completion in summer 2018.

Prologis’ goal for Georgetown Crossroads was ambitious: to build a multistory logistics building with the functionality to service a variety of customer needs. The company faced some challenges unique to multistory construction required in the U.S. Floor loading was one; ground-floor loading capacity had to be replicated on the upper floors. Prologis also had to solve on-site traffic issues; a long truck and trailer must be able to access the second story, and this meant adding gradual ramps. Truck courts also needed ample depth to allow for turning and maneuvering into the bays of both the ground and second floors.

Levels one and two will feature 239,000 and 170,000 square feet of fulfillment space, respectively, with 50 by 45-foot column spacing and ESFR sprinkler systems. Both floors offer the potential for build-to-suit office space in several locations. Level one will have up to 62 dock-high doors and two drive-in doors, a 28-foot clear height ceiling, and 130-foot truck courts with 60-foot concrete aprons. Level two will have up to 38 dock-high doors and two drive-in doors; a 24-foot clear height ceiling; and an elevated, 130-foot truck court served by two ramps designed to accommodate full-size 53-foot-long trailers.

Level three will feature 180,000 square feet of “maker space” suitable for light manufacturing, creative office, laboratory and/or production uses, with a 16-foot clear height ceiling and wide corridors. Two shared exterior loading docks will be served by three freight elevators with forklift capabilities.

As an owner/operator of Class A logistics buildings around the world, Prologis is confident in this new model for logistics real estate in urban centers. It chose to develop this project in Seattle because of the city’s affluent consumer base. Down the line, other cities will also see a rise in multistory logistics facilities; think San Francisco, New York/New Jersey, parts of Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami.

With consumption patterns and consumer habits showing no signs of shifting course, multistory industrial will play a central role in the future flow of goods.

Note: For a virtual tour of this project, see