Lennar Multifamily Communities, LLC, a subsidiary of Miami-based Lennar Corporation, has submitted plans to build a 405-unit residential project in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood, public records show. The developer is under contract to purchase the property located at 2301 East Union Street, confirmed Rob Anderson, an investment sales specialist from Kidder Mathews in Seattle. According to a public document, the offer is for $23.5 million. Lennar was not available for comment.
The sale of the property has been delayed due to a lawsuit between members of the Bangasser family who are fighting to sell the property, sources say. Tom Bangasser has been the general partner of the partnership for many years, and his four siblings are attempting to remove him from this position in an effort the advance the sale. Bangasser’s siblings want to sell the 2.4 acres on the corner of 23rd and East Union, however, Bangasser is protesting because he believes property ownership is key for minority-owned businesses, says the document.
Jason Wilcox, a managing director for SVN in Kent and a multifamily property owner, says there have been quite a few changes in the Central District over the last twenty years. “From what I can see the whole area is redeveloping, and I think many of the older buildings will be knocked down to make way for new,” he said.
Seattle-based Vulcan Inc. is one of the developers looking to invest in the area by planning a large residential project, featuring 570 apartments and 40,000 square feet of retail that is scheduled to be complete by October 2019, according to Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors. Vulcan purchased the site, located at 2309 South Jackson Street, for $30.9 million in February of this year, according to public records. Lake Union Partners is another developer that has three projects scheduled to deliver a total of 275 units into the Central District market along East Union Avenue.
According to Dylan Simon, a vice president for Colliers International in Seattle, there’s a desire for people to live in the urban core of Seattle, and in certain markets the rents have risen, so people are looking for more affordable options. “23rd and Union really has a neighborhood fabric, even before these new developments were there,” said Simon. “However, with new development you have more density and opportunities for people to live in the neighborhood. I think there are people who are new to Seattle that like that small neighborhood feel, and others who are moving from more dense areas.”
“Developers have realized that there is a demand for people to live in urban neighborhoods who don’t want to commute for a long time to work, and also want to live near retail,” added Simon. “The Central District is particularly unique because it has that retail corridor running from 20th to 25th, which creates a real gathering place for the community.”