By Jack Stubbs
On Wednesday September 13th, the 32-unit Craft Apartments sold for $14.75 million, or close to $460,936 per unit, according to public records filed with King County. The buyer was Wesmar Investments, a Mercer Island-based property management company. The property was sold by Revolve Development, a Pioneer Square-based company that redesigns and repositions underutilized properties in Seattle’s urban core.
Located at 1315 E Jefferson St. in the First Hill neighborhood, Craft Apartments are located just a mile northeast of Seattle’s International District. Completed in 2016, the Craft Apartments is a 29,500 square foot mixed-use property set on almost 5,000 square feet of land. The transaction for the property included two parcels of land, the first of which is a 2,500 square foot parking lot, the second of which is The Craft Apartment complex.
The apartment development is comprised both of studio and one-bedroom apartments, with both sizes allowing access to a rooftop patio and street-level retail on East Jefferson street. The property’s web site describes the space as a “modern, connected living experience with smart layouts, sleek finishes and an abundance of modern convenience.” The web site also emphasizes the communal nature of the property, describing Craft as an “engaged community [where] residents gather in open, inviting spaces.”
Revolve completed the residential development in 2016, at which point they placed an emphasis on attracting creative retailers and restaurateurs to the space. In a description of the project on their website, Revolve notes that they work closely with neighborhood advocates in order to identify retailers that would be a compatible fit with the First Hill neighborhood. French restaurant L’Oursin began its operations on the street-level of the property in late 2016.
The company prioritizes the development of high-quality, sustainable projects that serve to enhance the characteristics of the surrounding neighborhoods. This particular strategy—integration into the neighborhood context—was particularly evident with Craft Apartments, according to Dugan Earl, principal at Revolve. “One of the features that’s unique to [Craft Apartments] is that we really were careful in creating a high-quality storefront and street presence with our retail,” Earl said. This emphasis on a street-level presence served to better integrate the residential property into the First Hill neighborhood as well. “I think that helped produce a better presentation for the building and also a better experience for the residents [and] for the community,” Earl added.
Some of Revolve’s past projects include Yardhouse, a 35-unit apartment property located in Capitol Hill; and Seven Seas, the renovation of a 125-year-old building in Downtown that will result in a 43-room hotel, with 6,500 square feet dedicated to a restaurant and event space. This project is set to be completed in 2018.
For Wesmar Investments, the purchase of Craft Apartments represents a new chapter in the company’s history, according to manager Nick Westlund. “We’re a commercial real estate holder primarily … and this is our first foray into residential [real estate],” he said.