Wood Partners Begins 298-Unit M-F High-Rise in Seattle

Wood Partners will begin construction of a close to 300-unit high-rise in the heart of the city's bustling Belltown neighborhood.

The Seattle apartment market is ready and so is Wood Partners. The developer is primed to commence construction of Third & Cedar, a 298-unit high-rise that will sprout up in the city’s bustling Belltown neighborhood.

It’s all systems go. Prudential is onboard as equity partner for Third & Cedar and JPM Chase have come through with financing. The 27-story tower, designed by architectural firm Hewitt, boasts a prime location near South Lake Union and it will offer something more than the much-coveted Class A residences. Third & Cedar will also feature 3,800 square-feet of ground-level commercial space and a six-level underground parking facility.

It’s a big project, but not too big. Seattle’s apartment market is among the tightest in the country. At the close of the second quarter, the average occupancy level for Class A apartments was 96.8 percent in Seattle, according to apartment research firm Axiometrics, compared to 96.5 in New York City, 96 percent in Washington, D.C., and 95.8 percent in Los Angeles. It’s all about jobs.

“Tech hiring by firms such as Amazon and Microsoft foster a vibrant up-scale living environment in the core of Seattle,” as noted in a report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services. “Young professionals attracted to the high-end culture and effortless commute will drive demand for Class A units, triggering the lowest metro-wide vacancy rate since 2001, and higher average revenue.”

Demand is particularly strong–and growing stronger–in the South Lake Union area, where Amazon is attracting a lot of attention with its relocation and plans for a new office development. Builders are taking heed. Pine Street Group L.L.C.’s 654-unit Via6 is edging closer toward completion, with crews having recently topped out the $200 million development. In July, Holland Partner Group and Capstone Partners L.L.C broke ground on the $41 million apartment tower at 901 Dexter Ave., which will add 284 rentals to the neighborhood.

Wood Partners, however, is undeterred by the increasing number of additions to the pipeline.

“Despite the fact that some new residential units have been added to the neighborhood, there is still not enough housing to meet the demand created by the employment growth,” said Steve Orser, Wood Partners’ vice president of development for the Pacific Northwest. “The Third & Cedar project is an ideal location to capitalize on this imbalance.”