By Kate Snyder
A Washington firm has proposed the construction of a residential project that would establish nearly 200 micro-apartments in Bellevue. Koz Development’s Koz on BelRed is designed to bring 188 units of workforce affordable housing to the city’s BelRed district. Azari Consulting Engineers is the civil engineer on the project, and Koz appears to be acting as its own architect, project plans show.
Located at 13800 NE Bellevue-Redmond Road in the city’s BelRed subarea, the project site is a midblock area bordered on the north by NE Spring Avenue and on the south by Bellevue-Redmond Road, project plans show. The resultant geometry of the site is trapezoidal in shape and totals 32,100 square feet, or three-quarters of an acre. There are presently operating commercial businesses in a single level “strip” structure which would be demolished and replaced by the project building. The site is also transitional, situated between the blossoming Spring District and the established lower density makeup of the traditional BelRed corridor.
The 188 units would consist of 139 studios, 20 one- and 29 two-bedroom apartments. Apartments would be accessible to those making 80 percent of the area median income, and according to the proposal, the planned level of affordability is made feasible by reductions in parking quantity and common area requirements through the utilization of the recently adopted Micro-Apartments Land Use Code Amendment. A total of 37 vehicle parking stalls have been proposed for the project as well as 33 indoor and secure bicycle parking stalls.
Groundbreaking is planned for the summer of 2024.
Koz’s micro-housing projects are comprised of smaller apartments that offer a private bathroom, all-inclusive kitchen area including a sink and food preparation area, microwave, two-burner stove top and a mid-sized refrigerator as well as a living space that includes a full or queen-sized bed, chairs, table and storage area, according to the firm’s website.
“While small by U.S. standards, micro-apartments are not unusual in urban centers throughout the world where density has historically exceeded that of American cities,” the website states. “In urban areas across the United States, micro-housing is becoming an answer for individuals seeking affordability and access to neighborhoods where they could not otherwise obtain or afford housing.”
Formed in 2014, Koz Development is a Snohomish-based private real estate development and management firm focused on delivering multifamily residential properties targeting individuals that make 60 percent to 80 percent of the local area median income. According to the firm’s website, its projects are environmentally friendly and intentionally located near public transit. Koz also self-manages its projects.
The firm has been active for years throughout the Puget Sound region.
One of the firm’s developments, Koz on Weaver Road, is a 100-unit senior housing community located just outside of downtown Snohomish. The property was recently completed in 2020. Located at 1925 Weaver Road, the five-story, 100-unit property offers a variety of floor plans comprising 40 studios, 40 one- and 20 two-bedroom units. The community has been designed with gathering spaces on each floor and 130 on-site parking spaces. The property was refinanced earlier this year.
Another project, Koz on MLK Way, is a newly-built, 161-unit multifamily property in Tacoma that opened in May 2022. Located at 824 Martin Luther King Junior Way, the six-story property consists of a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging 395 rentable square feet. The property also includes 6,370 square feet of ground floor retail space. On-site residential amenities include a furnished courtyard space equipped with barbecue uses and lounge seating, on-site and in-unit laundry and private balconies for select apartments.