Chinese Developer Plans 26-Story Apartment Building in SLU

Chinese real estate developer Create World America recently purchased the property at 427 9th Ave. N in South Lake Union for $16.25 million. They bought the property from Wilshire Capital Partners, who originally paid $5.85 million in late 2013, and spent the last few years acquiring permits for a 26-story apartment building.

Now Create World America will be taking over the project, and hopes to begin construction in October of this year. CEO Lili Lu told the Puget Sound Business Journal that the project should cost approximately $120 million, and is a joint effort with another Chinese company, Modern Land Co., and VIA Architecture.  

This 26-story apartment building is conveniently situated across the street from the complex of buildings currently leased by Amazon, and will feature mid- and high-end units. In addition to the residential apartments, there will be an underground parking garage with 70 spaces.

This recent purchase is just one of Create World America’s moves into the Seattle area, with a two-phase project for apartments and condos in downtown Bellevue and a 40-story Pike Place Market condo project.

Featured photo source:, rendering from VIA Architecture

2 Bedroom Condo Available for Rent


1231 5th Ave N (unit 202), Seattle

Just a few minutes from Lake Union this spacious one bedroom plus den condo is for rent in the coveted Le Parc condominiums. Over 1,100sf with lavish master bath, walk-in closet, fireplace, and terrace with stunning Downtown Skyline and Space Needle views. Prime Queen Anne location on a quiet street overlooking Bhy Kracke Park. Secure Parking included. No smoking, no pets.

Apodments: Coming soon to East Lake Union

Apodments: Coming Soon to East Lake Union

EastlakeResidentialCommunity_bigThe new Apodment style communities in Seattle are making city living affordable for many but at a price to others. Much like micro-housing, an Apodment is a large complex that caters to low-income families, students and single residents.

Thanks to the dorm style living, residents are able to rent out a room with a private bathroom while sharing a kitchen and living space with many others who also enjoy lower monthly rent. While these structures are great for developers and students many people who are seeing them built in their home neighborhoods are not as welcoming. Most of the residents that feel these developments are intrusive voice problems with an existing parking situation that is sure to worsen. Many of these new structures do not offer any parking whatsoever.

After demolishing a 100 year old single family home and a duplex, two lots will be used to house 115 units at 2820 Eastlake Ave. This is a much higher density than what residents are used to on Eastlake according to a letter written to the city council. The letter expresses many of these local concerns in depth including the lack in ability for locals to comment on these developments and that these types of properties are not sustainable housing choices.

On the bright side, the developer of the property, Kelten Johnson, says he plans on offering “an efficient, clean, safe and affordable housing alternative to Seattle students and the workforce community” at prices ranging between $500 and $600 a month. These are significantly lower than an individual apartment in the area.

The new apodments are sure to bring changes for all in the Eastlake area and throughout Seattle. It is apparent this compact style housing is growing in popularity, with permits already issued for another handful of these complexes. Only time will reveal the true pros and cons of these apodments from a social, economical and sustainable point of view.



South Lake Union: A Developers Cash Pot

In South Lake Union Seattle developer, Mack Urban announced plans to build a 43-story tower which will house 430 apartments and 2,800 square feet of retail space at 1001 John Street. The location poses some challenges as it’s quite a steep location, but Urban told the Puget Sound Business Journal, “The plan is to create a public hill climb assist within the building.” Something that resembles the Harbor Steps, which connects Seattle’s waterfront to downtown.

The site, located at the corner of John Street and Terry Avenue North, has become a developer’s cash pot due to its close proximity to Amazon’s headquarters. Next to the Mack Urban site Holland Partner Group is planning for a 40-story apartment tower, and just last month a Beverly Hills headquartered company called, H5 Capital reviled plans to build two high rises which will go up on the same block. Via Architectures will design the high rises and will have a total of 840 residences between them.

With all the residences and office space planned for South Lake Union, it’s a wonder how much more active the development market can get, though we guess it’s not over by a long stretch.

Rent Soars Through The Roof

With Seattle’s big businesses booming the economy and population growth soaring, affordable housing is becoming increasingly rare.

The average monthly rent of a Seattle apartment is now $1,284—a $94 increase since the beginning of the year, according to the Seattle Times and Apartment Insights Washington. Rent prices jumped 4.1 percent in the second quarter of the year to total a 7.9 percent increase since the beginning of 2014. Yikes.

The Ballard neighborhood experienced the highest housing price hike of 12.3 percent, bringing its average rent to $1,628 for an apartment.

Why is this happening? There are a number of reasons. One is the Seattle City Council’s decision to increase the minimum wage to $15. Landlords know that their tenants are going to potentially make more money, so they are adjusting costs accordingly. It’s a contradictory cause and effect.

Another factor is the influx of workers moving to the city for positions at, mainly, Amazon. The population of Seattle grew 2.8 percent last year, faster than any other U.S. city, increasing demand for housing. These high-wage techies can afford to pay the price for a swanky apartment, leading to the development of mega-condo buildings popping up all over Seattle. As tenants upgrade to new housing and strive to snag the most lucrative location, landlords are able to increase rent on older housing.

Efforts to implement affordable housing are in effect, but there is no telling how promising they will be. Seattle City Council members recently held a meeting to research how other cities were approaching the issue—which is difficult to compare since no other city has ever had a minimum wage as high as $15. City leaders aim to have a plan for development of affordable housing by the end of the year to be ready for the legislative process in 2015.

Featured image found here.