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New market-rate apartments planned near Wright Park

Rendering showing the front side of the new apartments proposed for Tacoma Avenue near Wright Park. At this stage, the design could still change depending on the city’s approval process.
Rendering showing the front side of the new apartments proposed for Tacoma Avenue near Wright Park. At this stage, the design could still change depending on the city’s approval process.

New market-rate apartments are coming to Tacoma Avenue near Wright Park.

An eight-year, multifamily housing property tax exemption agreement for the project was approved Jan. 8 by the Tacoma City Council. The project is being developed in Tacoma’s downtown regional growth center.

Glasshouse Two, LLC, based in Seattle, so far has worked with the city on permitting, but the project ultimately will be developed by Vivia Group and Lev Vel Development, both of Seattle, according to Morgan Royse of Vivia Group.

Royse told The News Tribune in a recent phone interview: “This project came across our desk, and we fell in love with the Stadium District. We love working with Tacoma; it’s a breath of fresh air compared with Seattle.”

The 131 apartments, called Lev Vel Tacoma, are planned for 308 Tacoma Ave. S. The project’s permits are under city review.

According to city documents, the estimated $24.5 million development will offer:

33, 390-square-foot studios at $1,400 expected monthly rent.

82, 450-square-foot one-bedroom/one bath apartments at $1,700.

16, 760-square-foot two-bedroom/two bath apartments at $2,100.

66 residential parking spaces on site; another lot for additional parking might be leased nearby, according to Royse.

The building also will have what she called a “wooftop” roof space, to give its residents a safe space to walk their dogs late in the evening, along with a dog-washing station.

Lev Vel Tacoma also is planned to have a small gym and club room.

Under terms of the agreement, the new construction would receive a tax break, but the value of the land would continue to be taxed through the exemption period. Projected total taxes exempted over the eight years were estimated at $3.1 million. According to the city’s action memo, an estimated $5.4 million in projected sales tax is expected to be generated over eight years from the households added as a result of the project.

Also according to the memo: “... the developer has stated that the exemption is necessary to make the project feasible.”

Construction is tentatively set to start in May or June and completed in February 2021.

Vivia Group and Lev Vel also are working on a development project in Ballard — Nesttun Ballard, (Lev Vel has it listed “in the pipeline” on its website). That project includes redeveloping five lots into a mixed-used development with apartments and live/work spaces, along with commercial space.

Debbie Cockrell has been with The News Tribune since 2009. She reports on business and development, local and regional issues.


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