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SEATTLE, WA-The downtown neighborhood of Belltown is struggling with an oversupply of luxury apartments. Nonetheless, in the nearby area of Lower Queen Ann, Simpson Housing LP will be moving forward next spring with construction of its 222-unit luxury project, The Neptune. Located in the nearby area of Lower Queen Anne, a Simpson Housing exec says an area it says has an underserved higher-end market.

Greg Arms, head of the Seattle office of Denver-based Simpson Housing, tells GlobeSt he believes Queen Anne has an “underserved higher-end market” and that there are enough differences and distance to set The Neptune apart from Belltown. “The Queen Anne area has potential for growth and serves more of a biotech community, as opposed to the dot-com community of Belltown,” explain Arms, adding that rents here are slightly less expensive.

Another difference, Arms declares is that The Neptune will be parked “better than most if not all” Belltown apartment properties with one parking space per bedroom in the complex.

Simpson Housing selected the site at 900 Dexter Ave. says Arms “because it seemed like a good deal.” According to documents provided by the Bellevue office of First American Title, Simpson purchased The Neptune’s seven-lot site in April 2000 from Diamond Tank Transport Inc. Through an entity named 912 Dexter Avenue North LLC, the company paid $5.7 million for a total 1.26 acres, less a seven-foot strip that has been condemned for the expansion of Dexter Avenue.

Arms declined to put a total cost to the project, saying the company is still in the process of collecting bids. Groundbreaking on The Neptune will likely take place next March, even though Arms advises a general contractor has yet to be signed. Completion of the first units is expected sometime in the spring of 2003.

The Neptune’s architect is Seattle-based Webber + Thompson. A mixed-use project, the 18,800 sf of commercial and retail space will be included in the complex that will combine traditional flats and penthouse units. The primary facade is to have a “strong masonry presence, punctuated by a grand, street level courtyard,” while the backside facing Lake Union will feature “an industrial feel.”

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