Look inside latest apartment building to hit Capitol Hill rental market, get a sneak peek at the next

"$1550 / 1br - 555ft² - Leave Traffic Behind. Live Here. Walk Everywhere. (Capitol Hill)" -- says the ad

“$1550 / 1br – 555ft² – Leave Traffic Behind. Live Here. Walk Everywhere. (Capitol Hill)” — says the ad

Eventually, those big cranes towering above Capitol Hill will produce buildings. And people will live inside. The most recent fruition of this particular Capitol Hill circle of life has taken place down near Melrose where the Pine + Minor apartments building now rises. CHS noted the building’s color earlier this summer.

The dedicated real estate bloggers at urbnlivn.com went inside:

The blogger like the mailroom (Image: Urbanlivn)

The blogger liked the mailroom (Image: Urbanlivn)

While the style and location (right next to the foodie paradise that is Melrose Market) are top-notch, this LEED Platinum certified project is not for everybody. For one thing, the 120 units start out at 385 square feet and max out at 655. If you want the largest apartment with one of the limited parking spaces and you have a pet or need extra storage, you will have to pay more than $2,300 a month. That’s $2,300 a month for 655 sq ft.

Even at those lofty rates, Urbanlivn said the project was more than half-leased by late August.

Craigslist has several listings for available units in the building including this “Open 2 Bed: Perfect for Friendly Roommates”

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 12.41.56 PM

CHS wrote about the development of the seven-story building here.

(Image: 19th and Mercer)

(Image: 19th and Mercer)

Meanwhile, Saturday you can check out the next of Capitol Hill’s new apartment projects as the 19th and Mercer building does preview tours in advance of its planned October opening:

[H]ard hat tours are going to start next week. People can visit the website and sign up for more details/tour www.19mercer.com. There are 50 apartments ranging from studio, open 1, 1 bed, and 2 bed floor plans around a central courtyard with BBQs and semi-private alcoves to hang out.

CHS wrote about the four-story development’s passage through the design phase here. We’ve also been busy covering the interesting mix of retail tenants coming together including Linda Derschang’s next restaurant project, cookie bakery Hello Robin and a Molly Moon’s.

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37 thoughts on “Look inside latest apartment building to hit Capitol Hill rental market, get a sneak peek at the next

  1. With ridiculous stipulations comes ridiculous prices. These buildings are all under 10 stories when they could be much higher. A limited supply of housing is the opposite of what Seattle needs. It seems like the people who are causing this to happen can’t get what they want so they restrict building heights causing a limited supply and these crazy numbers making everyone suffer. They don’t like what the developers are doing and the developers can’t get what they want so what is created is a limited supply for the massive demand for housing. The short building are a waste of space!

    • I doubt that taller buildings would mean lower rents. It would only mean that the developer would make more money by renting out more apartments, or selling more condos.

      Do we really want a neighborhood of high-rises?

      • Right now there is a bidding war of renters, people pay more because if they don’t someone else will. With more supply what happens is owners compete for renters by lowering the prices and offering months of free rent. What advantages does a short building have? You imply there is something wrong with a tall building, what is that?

        I’ll take high rises over rent rises any day!

      • Yes, I am sure these buildings will fill up with the people working in Capitol Hill’s coffee shops and clothing stores. (sarcasm) Developers try to turn everything into the Upper West Side, even the people presently living at Yesler Terrace are going to get screwed and the city isn’t looking out for their interest enough in the development there. Will the new “affordable” rent on Capitol Hill be $1500 a month for a studio apartment?

      • tower 801, you can have a real 1br and ~640 square feet for under $1500. it’s on pine.. and sure it’s a 5 minute walk to bauhaus and it’s not technically on the hill, but it’s pretty much the same thing.

      • Buildings would have to be substantially higher in order to translate into lower rents. We see the phenomenon of six-story buildings sprouting everywhere because that’s as high as you can build with “stick” (i.e. wood frame) construction. Any higher and you’d have to use poured concrete and steel, which is substantially more expensive.

      • I doubt the builders are concerned with construction costs. The land is probably 90% of the value of the property. Height restrictions are set by the city for reasons that make absolutely no sense to me. The builders understand that having a better product and more of that product is a good thing. Builders are not allowed to go over the short height restrictions. Are you the P’F”P from CD?

  2. Maybe it’s just me but the prices per square foot are getting ridiculous. $2,300 a month for 655 sqft is $3.51 per sqft. My apartment on Cap Hill is costing me $1.52 per sqft, and it’s bigger than that rabbit hutch. What kind of salary do you have to be on to consider this a reasonable rent?
    As for “Ideal for two roommates looking to split rent” Translation: Way too expensive for one average person to afford.

    • And apodments are in the $5-$8/square foot range which only escalates prices even more. Yes, we are getting a ton of new housing, but each new building opens to even higher prices. All this does is cause existing housing to raise their prices to match market.

      I’ve lived on Capitol Hill/First Hill/Pine-Pike for 24 years, and there have been a few times of excess housing available (during the recession of the early 90s, for example). Buildings offered a month’s free rent, or reduced parking for a year, or a gift certificate, and prices may have remained static during that time. But never, EVER, did prices drop.

      Once all the current buildings are done, we may have excess housing again, and we may see some incentives offered, but housing prices will NEVER go down.

      • motab said: “Buildings offered a month’s free rent, or reduced parking for a year, or a gift certificate, and prices may have remained static during that time. But never, EVER, did prices drop.”

        Uhhhhh…that means prices did drop. Landlords took in less money when they offered various forms of discounts. Free month rent translates to 8.3% drop.

  3. I agree that rent isn’t going to drop. But I do think in the older buildings that a lot more vacancies will open up once all this construction is over and they in general are several hundred dollars less than the new construction stuff. The cost for these new units is unbelievable and frankly I don’t understand who can afford them.

    I saw my rent for a large 1 bedroom in an old brick building go from around 825 in 2005 to 975 in 2009. Not a huge increase over 4 years, but enough. Then it went up to 1175 in 2011. And when lease renegotiation came last year it was going to be 1550. Nearly double what it once was. No longer living there. Priced out of the unit.

    • And that should be a criminal offense. Pricing people out like that destroys the human mosaic of a neighborhood and pulls the rug out from under good working people who do the sort of jobs that are not over paid techy managers. There are still some reasonable landlords but you have to hunt for them. People point to San Francisco as an example of what cities need to avoid, pricing EVERYONE out of living in the actual city unless they are executives or the highest paid tech workers. Unfortunately developers have long standing favor at city hall. If you have any activists leanings fair housing pricing would be a worthy pursuit.

      • Hogwash. There is so much low income housing in our neighborhood and all of Seattle, there is no risk to any human mosaic. The apartments could be $4000+ a month and you will still have “families & those in need” living in a top floor unit with a city view that will never be avalable to rent.

      • wow, you’re just an idiot! There is NOT “so much low income housing” There’s a serious shortage of affordable housing. The irony to me is the city’s definition of “Affordable” is still upwards of $1200 a month in some buildings.

      • No, ERF is not an idiot. On Capitol Hill, there are many possibilities for affordable and low-income housing. Are you not aware of the three Seattle Housing Authority buildings?….each with many units. And the two Seattle Senior Housing buildings? And the many Capitol Hill Housing buildings? And, as much as I hate them, the apodments? And, the many affordable apartments (40% of the total) which will be in the light rail development.

        When people complain about the lack of affordable housing in our neighborhood, what they mean is either 1) they don’t want to live in the places that are for lower-income people; and/or 2) they are too lazy to do the leg work to find places with more reasonable rents, and conscientious landlords.

      • I should apologize. I may have been unclear when I responded to Sean. The article is about retail prices of apartments. Sean made a comment that only the wealthy could afford to live in the neighborhood.
        Capitol Hill would only be filled with computer programmers and the homeless.
        I was responding with the fact there are several section-8/low-income/government paid buildings as well as individual apartments and condos throughout Seattle that make Sean’s statement completely incorrect.
        Many people/families living in those units do not have jobs or earn so little there is no way they could keep everyone together and live in one place anywhere. If you have a job and single, more than likely you don’t qualify to get on the two year waiting list for low-income housing. Those units that are government controlled are not available to rent for any price.
        That is different from having to move further away from the city to afford a roof over your head. However, by affordable housing what you seem to be saying is that you would like someone to force prices to be what you think they should be. I don’t agree with that line of thought so I wasn’t commenting on it.

      • It is the preservationists and their ilk who curry favor with the city. They are destroying opportunity and progress with height restrictions. If you wer to subscribe to their mentality, we would all still be living in caves. San Francisco is a prime example little tiny houses everywhere. There is nowhere for people to live so housing goes to the highest bidder.

        Supply and demand is what set prices. Above $4.00 per gallon is where people start changing their driving habits. So the price is set to keep where it is comfortable. Housing is highest bidder.

  4. Roommates sharing a spacious 624 square feet. Cheek to jowl for only $1950/mo.! Adjacent to the relentless noise of I-5 and the douchebag-clogged streets of Pike-Pine. What’s not to love?

    • And they are “open” bedrooms meaning they don’t have doors, only an opening into an alcove that they call a bedroom. In fact, looking at the floor plans for all the various apartments in this building, it looks like all the bedrooms are “open.” When there’s no wall between the “bedroom” and the rest of the apartment, I don’t know how they get away calling these bedrooms rather and studio apartments.

  5. There was a recent article (I believe it was Seattle Times) that said adding more housing won’t lower rents because of two things: 1) All of the new housing is high-end housing 2) Amazon and other tech companies are putting in so many jobs/importing so many workers that they’ll just take all the new apartments. To the people who say we have a ton of low-income housing, that’s nonsense. A lot of what is considered low-income is still very expensive and the truly low-income housing is for people on disability or families with kids. There is little for your average person who is low income.

    • Well said and the issue is affordable housing for average non-tech wage earners. (The people who operate the shops, services, and neighborhood mosaic let alone students who don’t want to commute from Renton or Everett) Filling an area with high end housing is not any sort of solution. Then what do you get? A small collection of tech execs surveying their within-walking-distance options and going “Do you want to walk to Subway sandwiches or the dry cleaners? Unless you want to walk to one of the 60 bars.”

    • Sorry, your comment is just not accurate. You do not need a disability, or children, to rent an apartment in Seattle Housing, Seattle Senior Housing, or section 8 (federal) housing. 40% of the new units above the light rail station will be reserved for those with incomes 50% of the median income, so those will be quite inexpensive. I’m not real familiar with Capitol Hill Housing, but I think their rents are based on a person’s income.

      People keep repeating that there is a “two-year wait” for Seattle Housing. Is this really true? …..I am doubtful, because all together the 3 buildings on Capitol Hill comprise hundreds of units.

      There is not “a ton” of low income housing in our neighborhood, but there is quite a bit.

      • Just for info, the wait list for a Seattle Housing Section 8 or public housing unit is years long. In fact, the wait list has been closed for a long time because they already have so many names that they cannot get through. Please know your facts before you make statements like this.

        In general these units are for the very very poor – seniors, disabled, new refugees, low income single parents, etc. Basically those with very little income or ability to work.

        CHH has a different kind of housing (mostly) which is for the working low income, and while they own a ton of buildings on Cap Hill I wouldn’t say that it adds up to that many units. Most buildings are smaller than 30 units. And every time new luxury units get built, that balance shifts a bit more. Basically, there isn’t enough subsidy to keep up with the shift of poorer folks priced out of the hill. I think there are just so many high income new workers in Seattle – Cap Hill is the new suburb of SOuth lake union.

      • Section 8 is a federal subsidy program, and for those who qualify they can rent an apartment in a privately-owned building, pay 30% of their income in rent, the rest paid for by the subsidy. I have heard that there is a long wait list for Section 8, but I don’t know for a fact that this is true.

        Seattle Housing and Seattle Senior Housing are entirely separate programs from Section 8. To my knowledge, there is not a long wait to get into one of these buildings….you may not be able to move immediately into your preferred building, but an apartment would be available somewhere in the city. Can you cite a source for your claim that the waiting time is “years long?”

      • I just checked the Seattle Housing Authority site. I stand corrected and apologize….you are right that I should have gotten my facts straight.

        For Section 8, there is a wait list from 2008, and applicants are currently being processed for vouchers from that list, as they become available. A new, 2013 list has been established, but will not be used until all the 2008 applicants are processed (some will no longer be eligible).

        For Seattle Housing, an applicant must choose 1-2 buildings as their preference, and they are then added to the wait list for those. The estimated wait time for all 4 Capitol Hill buildings is 4-5 years. A single person can make up to $45,000 to qualify…2 people up to $51,500. But preference is given to those with very low incomes, so probably the chances of someone with a moderate income getting an apartment are very low.

        For Seattle Senior Housing, the wait time is “anywhere from 2 weeks to more than one year.”

        But still, I would say that these various programs are providing affordable apartments for hundreds of people who would otherwise be priced out of our neighborhood.

      • With all due respect, the difficulty is finding affordable housing if your income falls between 50% and 90% of median income for the area. In that range, there are fewer units available on Capitol Hill and more competition. Yes, you can move out of the urban core but then you face the problem of transportation if you don’t own a car.

  6. My husband and I looked at some apartments in this building a couple of months ago, and I was pretty underwhelmed. The apartments have nice finishes, and they’re in a great area… but the price was honestly kind of outrageous for what you were getting. For an “open one bed” on the 2nd floor, we would have paid over $1800 a month including a parking spot and pet rent.

    What I’m conflicted about the most, though, is that we’re moving into another new construction at the end of the month. I would much, MUCH rather be living in an older home, but we had an incredibly hard time finding a place that would allow two very large dogs. The few that we did find were owned by big management companies that had terrible ratings on Yelp and apartmentratings.

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  10. red: warm, energetic, engaging, lucky red is everywhere poking at our platinum skies and beige palettes foisted on us by our 1970’s designers…and why did we need more monotone color, anybody? We’ve also used red in our latest urban infill project in Madrona, Pike Station, and it marks the end of the urban block, counterpart to the green park across the street. The bold quality of this project really appeals.

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