Seattle Roosevelt Neighborhood Will See Higher Buildings

Last month, I wrote about the Roosevelt neighborhood potentially seeing a commercial rezone. On Monday, the full Seattle City Council approved six-story building heights in the Roosevelt commercial area. According to the Seattle Times article, it spans about 40 blocks of the commercial core. The 85-feet high buildings are designed to add density. However, the buildings around Roosevelt High School are restricted to a 40-foot height restriction, so as to preserve views of the school. Final projects are still subject to the design review board. For more information, please visit the Seattle Times article.

Downtown Seattle Aspira Tower Will Wait to Sell

Magnolia ApartmentAccording to the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, the owners of the 37-story Aspira Tower, located in downtown Seattle at 1823 Terry Avenue, will wait to sell. Investors are eager to bid on it, as Seattle has the third strongest apartment market in the country; however, the owners of the 325-unit tower will sell at the time when leasing and the capital markets are stronger.

Currently, the Aspira Tower has an occupancy rate of 82%, with 6-7 leases per week. The average price of a unit is $2.85/sq.ft.

South Lake Union Attracting Universities

WalkabilityAlong with attracting business headquarters, South Lake Union is attracting universities, due to its high-tech job growth. City University is moving its headquarters from Bellevue to South Lake Union at 6th and Wall. Boston-based Northeastern University is looking at South Lake Union as a place for its graduate program. Finally, University of Washington is already working on three buildings in the SLU neighborhood.

It makes sense that South Lake Union is attracting universities. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, South Lake Union has seen 6.35 million sq.ft in new development from 2004-2010, at an assessed value of $1.1 billion. It’s expected to generate $6 million in tax revenue, not including the added amount of property value increase. Unfortunately, South Lake Union is facing the problem of a lack of office space available over 10,000 sq. ft.

Seattle May See Rehab-To-Rent Pilot Program

According to a Fast Company blog, Seattle may be one of the first cities in the United States to launch the pilot program, Rehab-to-Rent. Proposed as a way to handle the steady stream of foreclosures being released on the market in the future, Rehab-for-Rent would convert foreclosures into Seattle energy-efficient rentals. Suggestions include ensuring bidders have a decent track record, encourage local community organizations to bid, and offering incentives to the bidders to renovate. The full CAP report is here. An idea like this has the potential to stabilize the housing market, create jobs, and raise the current apartment inventory level; it’s certainly an upside to the housing situation we face. What are your thoughts on it?

For more details on the report, please click here.

Washington Commercial Construction Firms Optimistic

According to a Seattle Times article, Washington commercial construction firms are more optimistic than the rest of the country. According to a survey, the Washington firms boasted more positive numbers on various levels. 40% of Washington firms plan to hire new workers, while only 32% nationwide feel the same way. 2% of Washington firms plan layoffs, while 9% plan nationwide plan layoffs. Finally, 57% of Washington firms believe construction market will grow again in 2013-2014 versus 39% nationwide who feel the same way.

Is Washington State in positive economic health and likely to rebound quickly in commercial construction or do the Washington State construction firms simply wear rose-colored glasses?

Seattle Residential Real Estate: Pay Attention to the Neighbor

Seattle Real estate backyard cottageIn a buyer’s market, there’s many various factors that can affect the price; one of them is who lives by your home. A recent Seattle Time article reports that a bad neighbor can cause more than just a nuisance; it can also drive down the sales price, up to a 10% reduction! However, it is difficult to quantify, as one man’s bad neighbor may be another man’s best friend.

If you’re looking for a way to handle a bad neighbor, there are a few options available. Some include contacting the King County Dispute Resolution Center, joining forces with other neighbors, mitigating the problem, and more. The full list is located at this Seattle Times article. Read through and maybe you can get some ideas on how to have a healthy, harmonious living situation, even with a bad neighbor.


Growing Optimism in Housing Market

According to a Moody’s Analytics report via Realtor Mag, there is growing optimism in the housing market. Existing home sales, new home construction, and new home sales are all predicted to significantly rise in 2012. It’s predicted that new construction will see a 37% boost, with sales of new construction increasing 74%. Existing homes will see a 12% increase in sales.

These double-digit increase predictions are largely due to the gains in housing stocks and consumer confidence. The S&P home building index increased 38% from mid-October. Regarding consumer confidence, 71% of consumers believe it’s a good time to buy, and over 1 out of 4 people believe prices will rise.

Holland Residential Building Residential Community in South Lake Union

Magnolia ApartmentAccording to the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, Holland Residential will be starting construction in June on a six-story, 285-unit residential building on 801 Dexter Ave N. It will also include 8 live-work units, 4,400 sq. ft of retail space, and 232 parking spaces. The design will face the design review board on March 7th, at 6:30, at the Queen Anne Community Center.

It will accompany the other residential buildings being built on 717 Dexter and 907 Dexter. Holland Residential is also constructing a 300-unit complex at 1319 Dexter Ave N. and a 142-unit complex at 1201 Mercer St. This flurry of apartment building is motivated by the recent expansion of Amazon, the construction of Gates Foundation, and overall development of the South Lake Union neighborhood in Seattle.

Seattle Times – Pacific Northwest: A Take on a Backyard Cottage

Seattle Backyard CottageWith the popularity of backyard cottages in Seattle, here’s another take on one in Edison, WA, located by Samish Bay near Bellingham, WA. Architect David Hall built a 448 sq.ft economic backyard studio for $106,000. The south-facing flexible studio has floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors, which lends itself to become a detached bedroom, a guesthouse, an art studio, reading room, and even an assisted living quarters. Its flexible nature and openness to the outdoors connects the occupants with the landscape, reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright designs. Some even view it as a potential design for emergency housing during floods. To learn more, please read the Seattle Times – Pacific Northwest article.