SEATTLE-A new 162-unit apartment building opens this week as the first new residential development in the Cascade neighborhood. The local developers, Harbor Properties and Vulcan Inc., expect to have the development stabilized at 90% occupancy by the end of January 2005.The neighborhood is generally bounded by Eastlake and Fairview avenues on the east and west, and Mercer Street and Denny Way on the north and south. The transformation of the one-time light manufacturing area into a real neighborhood got a big boost in 1995, when the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church was razed in favor of REI’s new flagship store, which is located two blocks to the east. Several mixed-use developments are now planned for the area.Located next to Cascade Park, the eight-story Alcyone apartment building offers studios, flats, one- and two-bedroom units, and live-work lofts ranging from 772 sf to 1,203 sf. Asking rents range from $1.40 to $1.80 per sf. A sample unit opened in April and a website for the project has been up since January. Harbor Properties’ Megan Murphy tells that 10 apartments have been leased as of Tuesday morning and the goal is to average 16 new leases a month, with stabilization slated for the end of January. The lone retail space in the building has been leased to the owner of the Irish Immigrant pub in the University District, who will use the space for his second establishment, Paddy Coyne’s Irish Pub.Alcyone amenities include a community room with kitchen and entertainment facilities, a landscaped roof deck, an exercise room, underground parking and storage. The LEED-certified building includes use energy-efficient lighting, water-efficient landscaping, recycled water (for the rooftop pea-patch) environmentally friendly flooring and a hybrid Flexcar program for residents. Though currently an oasis as the only new market-rate apartment development in the neighborhood, Vulcan and Pemco Insurance are planning several mixed-use projects in the area, including 223 Yale, a 383,000-sf office, retail and residential development between Alcyone and REI. Scheduled to break ground this summer and be ready for occupancy in early 2006, the project includes 180 residential units, 165,000 sf of office space and an unknown amount of retail space. The residential units will be located in the former Richmond Laundry facility on the site. The office building will reportedly be five or six stories with ground-floor retail space. Harbor Properties, which navigated 223 Yale through the design and permitting phases, last month sold its one-third stake to Vulcan for an undisclosed price, giving Vulcan two-thirds ownership of the project and lead developer status. Harbor Properties president Denny Onslow told at that time that the transaction frees up cash for multifamily developments the company has been pursuing on First Hill and Capitol Hill.

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