Thousands of tiny apartments, often called “apodments”, have been built in Seattle over the past several years, and they haven’t been a huge hit with many neighbors who live near them. More akin to dorm rooms than to traditional apartments, many of the units are only 150 square feet – about the size of a parking space – and occupy tall, narrow buildings that are often out of scale with the neighborhood and usually don’t provide any parking for residents, even in densely populated areas of the city such as Capitol Hill.
Micro Apartment sketch from Biz Journal
But the Puget Sound Business Journal is reporting that a new bill proposed by a Seattle City Council committee would put in place new regulations that could dramatically curtail this type of building. Under the new legislation, micro-housing would be subject to the Design Review Board, which can cost developers an extra $200,000 (currently they do not have to go through the design review process); units would have to be a minimum of 220 square feet; and builders would have to provide some parking spaces and possibly bicycle parking areas. The council vote on the new legislation is scheduled for October 6.
Hundreds of newly built rental units opened up this past year in Seattle, but the demand for more inventory and rental prices have continued to rise, with little to no signs of slowing down. Many renters and homeowners are having to reevaluate their lifestyle changes to keep up with the market today. According to the Seattle Times, wealthy folks are helping to revitalize different neighborhood business districts, but many renters are tied down by mediocre wages, and are being forced to reevaluate their lifestyle, or move out of the city altogether to make ends meet. With low inventory and a growing young tech community of employees, the time to buy a home is altered, and has contributed to the increase in rent through Seattle and the surrounding areas.
Photo credit: www.third-estate.com
According to the Times, the cost in renting a studio apartment over the last two years has risen $434 in Wallingford, $419 in Capitol Hill, and $306 in Ballard. The increase in rent is also being fueled by development. With a majority of new development geared for wealthy renters, the increase in inventory will not come to the aid of those just barely scraping by. Many Seattle renter are frustrated with the rise in costs, and are concerned they may not ever be able to save up enough money to buy a home. Many are worried that by the time prices calm down, the Seattle metro area will have a very different look and feel then when they moved to the city. For more information on Seattle Rentals, contact your local Real Estate agent today.
Puget Sound Reprographics has occupied the space located at 3601 Greenwood Ave N for some time, but since Ewing & Clark assisted selling the space last month, different plans have been floating around for the space, including a proposal for a 67 unit apartment building. According to the Daily Journal of Commerce, an LLC registered to John Graham of Graham Capital Group filed a proposal with the city seeking a 4 story apartment building, which would include 67 units, and 3,500 sf of commercial retail space.
The current building that sits on Greenwood Ave would be demolished with this plan, there will be a design review meeting that will take place on July 22nd in the Ballard Library. If you’d like more information on the property, visit the Daily Journal of Commerce.
If you’re renting an apartment, the reality of dealing with possible altercations from neighbors is always a possibility, and the reality of having to deal with a noisy neighbor at some point is very likely. Here are some helpful tips to dealing with the noise:
Confront your neighbor directly- and nicely- that you can hear their late night noise through your walls, and that you would appreciate it if they could keep the noise at a comfortable level after hours. It’s likely that your neighbor might not even know that they are being loud, and by bringing it to their attention, might resolve the issue right then and there. If you feel comfortable bringing it to their attention, it’s a good idea to come up with a compromise, so that you both feel comfortable for the outcome. Give them a heads up of your schedule, and when you’d like quiet hours, and ask them what their schedule looks like too so it feels like a two way deal. If you don’t feel comfortable confronting your neighbor directly, contact your management- if the noise is too much for you to deal with, it is a responsible decision to leave it to them to resolve the issue; after all, your landlord is the only one authorized to fix the situation. You should also check your lease, as most apartments have quiet hours in the evenings, and if your neighbors are breaking those rules, you’ll have even the more claim to contacting management. For more information on Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.