By Jack Stubbs
As local investors and renters continue to move further north in Seattle outside of core neighborhoods, assets further afield in the Emerald City continue to attract interest.
On October 10th, in a transaction that was recently recorded, Seattle-based commercial real estate investment firm Talon Private Capital spent $15.4 million, or around $213,888 per unit, to acquire the Ballinger Estates Apartments in Lake Forest Park, a predominantly residential neighborhood just south of Mountlake Terrance and northwest of Kenmore, King County records show. The seller of the property was Half-Time III LLC, an entity based in Seattle.
Located at 2609 NE 195th St., Ballinger Estates Apartments contains 72 units and was built in 1985, according to the property listing Paragon Real Estate Advisors’ web site. The units feature spacious floor-plans, private patio/balcony and dining area, and well-landscaped grounds in a park-like setting.
Ballinger Estates represents an appealing investment opportunity for those seeking a more affordable asset at a time when rents continue to rise in Seattle. “As people are moving North in search of affordable rental units, Ballinger Estates offers an investor the opportunity to acquire a well-located, well-maintained apartment building with income upside,” Paragon’s web site states. “A new owner can increase rents to market value and reap the rewards of immediate upside and long-term appreciation or reposition the building by upgrading the finishes and adding washer and dryers to the units.”
The location of the property in the city of Lake Forest Park—which is roughly three miles from Kenmore and five miles northeast of Shoreline—is one of its primary draws, and offers an intimate neighborhood setting, according to Paragon’s description. “Lake Forest Park is situated along the shore of Lake Washington, a bedroom community by design, most of the city consists of single-family housing on medium to large-sized lots. This charming neighborhood includes numerous parks and nature preserves, convenient access to the Burke-Gilman Trail, a summertime farmer’s market, and a large used bookstore and food court holding frequent musical events.”
Town Center at Lake Forest Park Community Center, along with a local non-profit called Friends of Third Place Commons, which offers over 1,200 community events throughout the year for residents throughout the Puget Sound region, are two other attractions in Lake Forest Park.
Kenmore due south of Lake Forest Park, is another up-and-coming city that continues to be transformed by recently-completed and underway projects. In late 2017, Graham Baba Architects and the city of Kenmore announced the opening of The Hangar at Kenmore Town Greene, a multifunctional, 28,600 square foot development which now serves as the recreational, community-oriented focal point for the city.
Significant investment in public infrastructure and private mixed-use developments in Kenmore, once regarded as a ‘bedroom-community’, mean that the city continues to evolve. One such project is Daniels Real Estate and the Washington State Parks Commission restoration of The Lodge at Saint Edward Park, a seminary which will be adaptively redeveloped to ultimately include 100 guest rooms, a conference center, meeting rooms, a wellness spa and a restaurant and café. Expected to open in 2020, the project will add 10 acres onto the existing 316-acre Saint Edward State Park through a 62-year lease agreed between the city and project developer.
Earlier this year, Kirkland-based developer MainStreet Property Group LLC announced the start of construction at the Flyway, a new five-story mixed-use residential building set for completion in early 2020, which will ultimately comprise 27 townhouse-style apartment homes and 5,700 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. Projects like Flyway in Kenmore, among others, come at a dynamic time for the King County city.
“We’re thrilled to begin construction on the Flyway,” said MainStreet Property Group President Kelly Price at the time of the groundbreaking. “As Kenmore’s revitalization continues and its downtown further grows and expands, residents at our communities here are not only living—but thriving.”