Yesler Terrace Development Project Means New Low-Income Housing

Yesler Terrace, the first low-income housing development in Seattle, sits on Yesler Way in First Hill.  According to a Seattle Times article, the Seattle Housing Authority is planning to sell part of the 32 acres of Yesler Terrace and use profits to rebuild and construct new apartments and condominiums as part of a big overhaul.   Most will be in high-rise buildings, while the low-income units will remain in the mid-rise buildings.   They expect to get $150 million in sales and a matching amount from other sources.  The project is expected to take 10-20 years and will result in 661 extremely low-income units, 290 very low-income residents, 850 units for below median income and over 3,000 units at market rate.  With these numbers, the amount of affordable housing will almost triple what is currently available at Yesler Terrace.  In addition, developers wish to combine affordable and market-rate units so they are “not distinguishable” from one another, according to the development plan.  Developers will give tenants an 18 month notice to vacate, who are welcome to return as long as they comply with their current lease.  It’s nice to see that not all developments in the Seattle area are luxury, high-rise view apartments that many of us can’t afford.  Although it will be a long and costly process, I think it will be worth it. 

Full development plans can be seen here.

1918 8th Ave. in Denny Triangle For Sale

Two Schnitzer West buildings in Denny Triangle, 1918 8th and 818 Stewart, were put on the market for sale last week.  They have a combined 900,000 sf and are a total of 94% leased.  Although a selling price has not been set, the commercial market (esp. for office space) is doing much better than residential so good offers can be expected.   In addition, a Seattle Times article reported in April that demand for office space was up in the first quarter.   The 1918 building underwent a large transaction in March, leasing 406,000 sf to Amazon.com for their new headquarters, which will make the move in July.  Please refer to this article for more details on the commercial properties for sale.

Capitol Hill Commercial Space for Lease

This prime Seattle commercial space for lease is in Capitol Hill at McKinney Manor, a 90-unit residential complex.  The space, ideal for office or retail tenants, is over 2,000 sf and is divisible to a minimum of 1,000 sf.  Directly off of a main Capitol Hill thoroughfare E. Madison Street, the location is ideal for any commercial tenant.  There are two designated parking stalls for the tenant, and free parking for customers and clients in a nearby lot.  The space is move-in ready and offered at $2,875/month for the whole.  Please follow the link to find full listing details of this Seattle commercial space for lease.

RealtyTrac Reports Less Foreclosure, but No Improvement

In April, one in every 779 homes in King County faced foreclosure notices, yet RealtyTrac Inc. reports that the pace of actual repossessions decreased compared to numbers in the same month last year.  Moreover, there was a 38% drop in foreclosure auction action in King County.  However, it’s not because things are improving.  This lack of foreclosure is mostly due to the long process of foreclosure from initial steps to repossession which is almost two years because of the sheer amount of foreclosures in the nation.  Another factor is the paperwork that banks must forage through to simply move forward from some of the problems that occurred in documentation last year.  RealtyTrac expects it will take 3 or 4 years to finally catch up to the rising rate of foreclosures.   Although this is dismal housing market news, if you’re looking to buy now is a good time.  Home prices are continuing to drop and mortgage rates remain at their lowest levels of 2011.  So if you’re on the hunt, please follow the link to find Seattle Homes for sale.

New Program Has Building Owners Tracking Energy Consumption

The Seattle Department of Planning Development launched a new program this week to help commercial and multifamily residential business owners measure their building’s energy efficiency over long periods of time. Owners will use the U.S. Energy Star ratings and disclose these ratings to the city and other related parties like tenants, sellers and buyers annually and/or at request. The program is called the Seattle Building Energy Benchmarking and Reporting, and is aimed to reduce gas emissions and reduce energy consumption in Seattle’s buildings by 20%. Part of the program’s appeal is gaining results at a very low cost, and job creation in the green field. The “benchmarking” portion of the program calls for owners to calculate their rating based on actual utility bills, averaging them with number of tenants, building usage, etc. and comparing it with other local buildings. This process kind of reminds me of Microsofts Hohm website which I previously blogged about, encouraging homeowners to do the same sort of energy use tracking. This is a great way to expose owners to their building’s green footprint, and an easy thing to track. Although benchmarking for large buildings is considerably harder, utilities now have automatic applications to upload energy data to the EPA. All commercial buildings 50,000 sf or greater must comply with the program by October 3, 2011 and report annually every April 1st, and commercial buildings and multifamily building of 10,000 sf or greater must comply by April 1st of 2012, and annually report every April 1st. For more information on the Building Energy Benchmarking & Reporting program, please refer to the official website.