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SEATTLE-A $26-million residential-over-retail project by locally based Lorig Associates LLC the non-profit Central Area Development Association is coming to fruition over the next four months at the busy intersection of 23rd Avenue South and South Jackson Street.

The first of three buildings that comprise the 162-unit project will be ready for occupancy next month, with the remainder coming online in January 2004. The commercial space, located on the buildings’ ground floors, totals 18,000 sf. Washington Mutual is the first retailer to commit, leasing 2,500 sf in one of the two buildings being delivered in January. The space is being marketed by Lorig at annualized triple-net rates ranging from $15 to $23 per sf. Lorig Management Services, the property manager for the project, says it is in negotiations with tenants for approximately 80% of the space.

The 162 apartments include 49 studios with alcoves, 32 one-bedroom, 25 one-bedroom with den and 56 two-bedroom units. The secured buildings feature extensive landscaping and two levels of underground parking. Two pieces of art were commissioned and will be installed in public areas of the project. “We expect to see this project lease quickly,” says Lorig Partner/Founder Bruce Lorig. “The apartments are close to Downtown, Seattle University and the medical facilities on First Hill, and a majority of them also have spectacular, unobstructable views of the Cascades, Mount Rainier and Puget Sound.”

The project began in 1999 when CADA purchased a portion of the land from the City of Seattle under its Urban Renewal Act. It then expanded to include land under the longstanding Welch Hardware Store via a long-term ground lease with the Welch Family. Construction financing for the project is provided by Bank of America plus private equity investment and $2.3 million in low-interest loans and grants from the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development and Office of Housing. As a result of the city’s involvement, 34 units in the development will be affordable for families with incomes lower than 80% of the median income level and seven apartments will be available for families at 50% of the median income level.

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