By Meghan Hall
Bellevue-based Terrene Homes is gearing up to break ground on its highly-anticipated 135-unit condominium project in Kirkland, Wash., this year, adding much needed for-purchase multifamily inventory to the Puget Sound real estate market. The region, which has seen an explosion of apartment development in recent years, has seen a dearth in condominium construction due to the increased liability and insurance cost involved with producing condominium developments.
“Condominium development overcorrected since the last housing cycle as developers overwhelmingly preferred to build apartments for rent amidst rising rents thanks to high job growth and in-bound housing demand,” said Dean Jones, president and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty—the listing firm for the development in a statement. “It makes sense that new residents will first seek to rent, but many of them have been living in these expensive rental communities for years and seek to build equity in a home they own. That’s been the challenge at the more affordable price points, until now.”
Terrene Homes project—called Jade Condominiums—is located at 11903 NE 128th St., in the Totem Lake neighborhood right off of Interstate 405. Terrene Homes purchased the property from a private owner for $5.8 million. Currently, the site is occupied by a medical and dental building built in the 1980s, which will be demolished. The five-level complex is also near the Totem Lake Mall, which is slated to be redeveloped into a mixed-use development with 850 apartments and a 400,000 square foot lifestyle center and Evergreen Health Medical Center. Three levels of below grade parking and a ground level retail podium are also part of the project plans.
The development, which is designed by Johnson Braund Architects, will feature nine-foot ceilings, large windows and balconies. European-modeled cabinets, quartz cabinets and amenities such as a coworking lounge, clubroom with a catering kitchen, fitness center and rooftop terrace complete with a BBQ station and fireside patio are also planned. A conference room and business center will also be available to residents.
The residences will be a mix of studio, urban one-, one- and two-bedroom condominiums. The units will be between 500 to 1,100 square feet and range in price from $400,000 to $1,000,000, adding to the lack of inventory in what real estate professionals dub the “middle market.” According to planning documents, around 13 of those units will be classified as affordable. To quality for affordable homes, prospective buyers must earn 85 percent of King county median income.
“We are excited to introduce an opportunity for attainable homeownership within one the region’s fastest-growing submarkets,” said Wade Metz, manager of Terrene Ventures in a November statement, after announcing the land purchase and listing agreement for the project along with Sotheby’s International Realty. “New housing development in Kirkland has been dominated by either single-family or townhomes for sale or multifamily apartments for rent. The opportunity for a new home at price points below $1 million have been anemic and non-existent when seeking a single-level residence with access to common area amenities and walkable to urban attractions. Jade Condominiums will help address this unmet demand.”
Currently, the project’s zoning application and design are under review and will need to be completed before Terrene Homes can break ground in the spring. Anticipated completion and resident move-in is slated for late 2020, according to the development’s website.