Seattle-based Spectrum Development Solutions has completed construction and opened the doors to new tenants on its most recent residential project, The Publix, a redeveloped historic building built in 1927 that was once a hotel. The renovation, according to a report by the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA), cost $24 million. The local developer was unavailable for comment.
Located at 504 5th Avenue South in Seattle, the seven-story 125-unit apartment building was completely renovated from the ground up. It now offers living spaces between 319 to 1,094 square feet with rental rates ranging from $1,175 to $2,975, according to Buzz Buzz Homes, which comes out to around $3.20 per square foot. Twenty percent of the apartments are available to households making between 65 to 85 percent of the area’s median income, between $46,605 and $60,945 per year for a family of two, according to Spectrum Development’s Web site.
Even though the neighborhood and this site sit on top of the city’s biggest transit hub, until recently, market rate housing has lagged and is now in high demand
The apartment units offer features such as barn-style doors, kitchen islands, pantry storage and Mosaic tile backsplashes and bathroom floors. Some of the amenities include a rooftop deck with grills, outdoor lounge, kitchenette and dog area, and a historic lobby with high ceilings, wood paneling, marble detailing and an ornate staircase and nearly 12,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.
“The neighborhood has always needed more housing,” said Don Blakeney, the vice president of advocacy and economic development for DSA. “Even though the neighborhood and this site sit on top of the city’s biggest transit hub -the largest transit hub north of SF in the U.S.- until recently, market rate housing has lagged and is now in high demand.”
“This site will activate this transit hub of more than 5,000 linear feet surrounding it, even though only a few hundred are activated with retail,” added Blakeney. “The Publix development will bring an entire block face of new vibrant retail to this hub.”
The Publix is positioned near the International District and the historic Pioneer Square neighborhoods as well as downtown Seattle. This location is south of the city’s retail core and near the waterfront, and is rich in history and culture of the city’s original downtown, according to another DSA report. The accessibility to many areas of the city is a benefit for those traveling to work.
Marcus & Millichap’s 2016 first quarter Multifamily Research Market Report shows that strong job growth is attracting young professionals into the metro area. During 2015, the population grew by nearly 60,000, with about one quarter were in the prime renting ages of 20 to 34, which generated a demand for more apartments. Increased competition for existing homes pushed the median home price in the Seattle area up to almost $400,000 at the end of last year, which was a 9.5 percent increase from the previous 12 months, says the report. The report also states that an annual household income of $89,000 is needed to qualify for a this type of mortgage, however, the median income is $12,500 below this amount which makes it difficult to make that transition to homeownership for many renters.
Population growth and rising home prices will continue to provide a robust renter pool, concludes the report. The affordability of housing, however, will remain a concern throughout the Greater Seattle area, as the current increase in home prices and rental rates is double last year’s increase.