This Urban Tree House Is Upping Seattle’s Apartment Game

By Sydney Gladu

August 29, 2019

The first community tree house opens its doors to residents at South Lake Union's Sitka Apartments

This article originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of Seattle Magazine.

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Image Credit: 

Alex Crook


This article appears in print in the September 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Picture your childhood tree house. Now, scratch the rope ladder and add a fireplace, kitchenette and living roof. Perched 20 feet above street level in South Lake Union, the Island Treehouse is a grown-up version of that childhood hideout: a unique 235-square-foot communal space at Sitka Apartments (1255 Harrison St.; 206.466.2432), a 384-unit complex that welcomed its first residents last November. The rustic, wilderness-inspired tree house structure, decked in wood paneling and accessible via a skybridge, was designed by Daniel Mihalyo of Seattle’s Lead Pencil Studio, who says it’s the first community tree house in an apartment complex. Unfortunately, it’s only open to residents and their guests—no interlopers allowed.

Rocky Rochon’s keen eye for space and color has transformed everything from penthouses to townhomes. At age 67, he’s not done yet.