Home Commercial AvalonBay Brings New Apartment Tower to Seattle’s Belltown

AvalonBay Brings New Apartment Tower to Seattle’s Belltown

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By Kristin Bentley

Luxury apartment builder AvalonBay Communities is planning a 330-unit, 25-story apartment tower on a vacant lot at the corner of Second Avenue and Wall Street in the trendy Belltown neighborhood of Seattle.

The Downtown Design Review Board approved the design for the new tower at 210 Wall Street in February. The project, referred to in planning documents as “Second and Wall”, is now in the process of applying for a Master Use Permit.

“Avalon has a tradition of success.”

The property will be built on the site of the former McGuire Building, which was demolished six years ago due to structural failures. After clearing the lot, AvalonBay will build a 24-story tower containing 330 apartment units above 9,500 square feet of retail space, according to the project proposal. The retail units are designed with recessed entry bays that allow space for sidewalk use. The property will include below-grade parking for 249 cars. AvalonBay expects to complete construction by December 2018.

Portland-based architect Ankrom Moisan is designing the tower. The firm has designed apartment communities throughout the western U.S., including the 396-unit Avalon Towers in Bellevue.

“Avalon has a tradition of success,” said David Young, a managing director for JLL in Seattle. “They’re very well-thought-out and mechanical in their development. They do a lot of it so they know exactly what they’re doing, which is evident based on the number of projects. It’s an extremely well-run REIT, [and Vice President of Development] Brian Fritz is one of the best developers in the city.”

Arlington, Va.-based AvalonBay is the seventh largest apartment developer in the country according to the National Multifamily Housing Council). The publicly traded REIT specializes in upscale properties in high barrier-to-entry markets in cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington. The company owns about 180 apartment communities with more than 53,000 units across the U.S. Twenty-one of them are in the Puget Sound region, a total of 5,780 units, according to Young.

The company did not respond to calls for comment on the Second and Wall project.

Apartment vacancy in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood is 4.4 percent, well below the citywide rate of 5.7 percent, according to Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors. The Puget Sound apartment market was the first sector to recover from the recession, according to a recent Kidder Mathews report on the metro apartment market. Deliveries jumped from 7,900 to 11,146 new units in 2015, with a slightly higher number planned for 2016 and a forecasted 16,052 units for 2017. A total of 46,753 units are planned for delivery from 2016 through 2019, according to the firm.

AvalonBay’s portion of that pipeline includes 2,809 units over nine projects across the Puget Sound region that are recently finished, under construction, or planned, according to Dupre + Scott. In January the developer completed the 249-unit AVA Capitol Hill Apartments on Belmont Avenue in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.