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Attention millennials: More apartments and ‘micro units’ on the way for Tacoma

The Napoleon Apartments will begin construction this week. Hebert Construction is building the structure on a vacant lot at 1515 Tacoma Avenue South.
The Napoleon Apartments will begin construction this week. Hebert Construction is building the structure on a vacant lot at 1515 Tacoma Avenue South. Hebert Construction

Yet another apartment complex is planned for Tacoma, this time on the edge of downtown.

When it opens in late 2017 at 1515 Tacoma Ave. S, Napoleon Apartments will have 135 apartments ranging from 421-square-foot studios to 1,149-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath units. Of those, 26 will fit the city’s definition for a micro unit, or “efficiency multifamily dwelling” in planner speak, at less than 450 square feet.

Groundbreaking for the project is set for Thursday ( Aug. 25).

Napoleon will have five residential floors, commercial on the street-level and three parking levels on what is now a vacant lot.

On a clear day, the area’s steep slopes will give residents sweeping views of Mount Rainier and the working waterfront from its perch a few blocks from the University of Washington Tacoma campus.

The property will include a fitness center, building-wide Wi-Fi, a lounge, business center and a private dog run on the roof.

The project aims to attract millennials seeking a downtown apartment location, according to project manager Jim Summers with Hebert Construction.

Rents for the smallest units could start at $1,111 a month, but Summers said rents could adjust depending on market conditions when it opens.

The Napoleon will cost roughly $30 million to construct. Part of that financing comes from the federal government’s Immigrant Investor Program, also known as EB-5. Sixteen investors have pledged at least $500,000 each, Summers said. Each investor can then receive a permanent visa as part of the government’s job creation mandate.

In a news release, the company said the Napoleon is the first phase of the company’s plan to open more than 800 units in Tacoma in the coming years. Summers said via email that those projects could be completed within five to seven years after the Napoleon opens, on more than 3 acres combined that the company owns in the area.

Later this year, Hebert Construction is moving its corporate office from Auburn to a building it owns, the Financier Building at 1507 Fawcett Ave. in Tacoma.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542, @KateReports

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