By Meghan Hall
Seattle’s University District has experienced tremendous growth over the past several years, thanks in large part to its budding student population, public transportation and easy access to downtown. Property owners are planning for further densification, and two university district development sites have hit the market. Together, the properties are entitled for 164-units and will be brought to market unpriced.
Dylan Simon, Jerrid Anderson and Matt Laird of Kidder Mathews have been hired to market the property for sale. Kidder Mathews declined to comment on potential pricing for the two properties.
The assets are located at 5253 and 5500 University. While the two properties are not contiguous, they are about a block apart. 5253 University is entitled for a six-story residential building with 90 units. The units would average about 313 square feet in size. 5500 University is entitled for a five-story, 74-unit development, where the units would average 335 square feet. Both buildings have been designed by Seattle-based Neiman Taber and will include a mix of SEDUs and one-bedroom apartments. Master Use Permit and Building Permit issuance is expected for the fourth quarter of this year.
“The University District is experiencing a renaissance: the University of Washington’s exponential growth over the past decade—particularly in the engineering, computer science, and life sciences fields—attracts top minds to the University and to the area,” states Kidder Mathews’ website. “The neighborhood is reaping the benefits of the University’s growth. Recently approved upzoning will increase density in the area, while a new light rail station will cut commutes in half. The U District has long been a beloved haunt for students in search of books, coffee, and food, and in the next five to ten years it will continue evolving into the city’s next tech hot spot.”
About 59,000 people live within one mile of the property, and the average household income for those residents comes in at about $87,500 per year. 74 percent of units in the immediate vicinity are also renter-occupied, providing strong fundamentals for a potential new property owner and developer.
Projects that contain SEDUs are gaining increasing popularity amongst both developers and investors across Seattle. Pryde Development is working to construct an 18-story residential development in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood, which is expected to include as many as 135 units. About half of the units will be SEDUs. Isola Homes is working on a project in the Othello neighborhood; totaling 114 units, the project will be a mixture of both SEDUS, efficiency dwelling units (EDUs) and one-bedrooms.
Buildings with micro-units are also gaining traction; last week, Kidder Mathews announced it had sold two micro apartment buildings within Seattle. The Footprint West Seattle Micros sold for $7 million, while the Westward Micros sold for $2.6 million. The latter property saw its value appreciate 30 percent in three years, a positive sign for developers and investors taking similar routes in the market.