AvalonBay Communities, the Arlington, VA-based developer of apartment communities received a green light last September to commence its proposed Belltown development located at 210 Wall Street in Seattle. The 24-story, mixed-use building, which started construction at the end of last year, will have a total of 275 units upon completion. The company announced yesterday in its 2016 operating results and 2017 financial outlook presentation that it is spending $146.9 million in total capital cost, or just over $534,000 per unit, for the highrise structure with initial occupancy expected for the third quarter of 2019.
The development is planning to bring a new and modern look to Belltown. The Ankrom Moisan-designed building, with its tiered levels will feature two green roofs, a deck at the top level and views of Seattle that will engender envy from neighboring buildings. The developers are also proposing an installment of public art that they hope will become a landmark feature of the neighborhood and a pedestrian experience that will create vibrant plantings and art features that display water conveyance, with water collected at the building’s roofs.
“I’m actually really proud of this design, the team’s work and how they’ve incorporated the guidance from the board and staff into the final package,” said Derek Bottles, vice president of development at AvalonBay during the September 2016 Seattle Downtown Design Review Board meeting. “I think we have a fresh and modern looking building that fits really well into Belltown, and it fits really well with the historic buildings in Belltown.”
The development is one 6 highrise communities AvalonBay has under construction across the country, with another 20 mid-rise and garden communities, totaling $3.9 billion in capital costs. The company stated that it is expecting an average rent per home in the Belltown project to be at $3,510, which is even higher than two other highrise communities under construction for the company in Washington, DC and Brooklyn, NY. Those are expected to average $2,535 and $3,255 in Washington, DC and Brooklyn, respectively.
Apartment vacancy in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood is roughly 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.