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Developer plans big project in Seattle’s U District

Sun., March 13, 2011

One of the nation’s largest apartment developers has filed preliminary paperwork with Seattle planners for a big project on a sprawling site near the University of Washington in Seattle that’s now mostly parking lot.

The 1.3-acre property is south of Northeast 47th Street on 11th and 12th Avenues Northeast, between Interstate 5 and the U District’s retail hub on University Way Northeast.

Avalon Bay Communities has proposed two seven-story buildings there with a total of 385 apartments, 12,000 square feet of retail, and underground parking for 400 cars, according to the city’s Department of Planning and Development.

The Northeast Design Review Board, an advisory group, is tentatively scheduled to review Avalon Bay’s plans April 4. Company officials were not immediately available for comment.

The property is owned by University District Parking Associates, which has been marketing it for more than a year as a transit-oriented development opportunity, according to the Commercial Brokers Association database.

It is three blocks from Sound Transit’s planned light-rail station at Brooklyn Avenue Northeast and Northeast 45th Street.

While most of the site is parking, it also includes two century-old buildings, according to county property records: an eight-unit apartment building and a former church, now a yoga center.

Developers have been rushing to build new apartment projects in recent months, spurred by a spike in demand and a shortage of new supply.

Avalon Bay owns or holds interests in more than 50,000 apartments around the country, according to its website. It has 13 projects in the Seattle area and more in the pipeline, including a complex now under construction on lower Queen Anne on the site of the old Mountaineers Building.


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