Koz Development has broken ground on 104 units of microhousing in downtown Tacoma.
The $12.2 million project at 1554 Market St. is across the street from the University of Washington Tacoma campus, and a couple of blocks from Tacoma Link’s Convention Center light rail stop.
Joshua Scott, director design and construction at the company, said the apartments won’t be operated as student housing, but their proximity to campus is a plus.
“We had some meetings with the University of Washington Tacoma, and had heard through their staff that this is a great site for students,” he said.
Koz seeks sites that are in areas where millennial renters want to live but can’t afford market rates. Scott said the firm focuses on places that are “challenged for affordability.”
The seven-story Tacoma building will have a 1,400-square-foot retail space at the basement level — it’s on a slope — and no parking. An ideal retail tenant would be “deli-type microgrocer,” Scott said.
Units will average 255 square feet and start at around $750 a month. They’ll be equipped with Murphy beds, kitchen appliances, coffee tables and side chairs, making move-in a breeze for the unencumbered.
Scott said the company can buy furnishings below market rate because it has 1,000 units in development.
Corstone Contractors is the general contractor, and Koz designs projects in house. Both companies are based in Snohomish.
The building is on track to open next summer.
The project will be one of Tacoma’s first micro-unit developments, and likely the largest, Scott said.
The city has been “very embracing” of the project and downtown development in general, he said.
Scott pointed to a couple of advantages of the site, including a lack of parking requirements and an existing South Downtown “subarea plan” that enabled the project to bypass the environmental review process.
The developer also purchased development rights from another site so it could add one floor and 16 units to the project. In addition, Koz is taking advantage of a 12-year multifamily property tax exemption.
Koz has a second Tacoma project in the works at 304 Puyallup Ave. in the Dome District. The 152-unit building will have some one- and two-bedroom units in addition to studios. Groundbreaking is scheduled for next March or April, though no general contractor has been selected.
Koz is also planning a 140-unit development near Everett Community College. Scott said he hopes to break ground in late spring next year.
The company recently topped out a 44-unit building at 1210 Republican St. in South Lake Union, which is slated to finish this winter.
It also has six projects in development in Portland.
SSF is the structural engineer for all projects mentioned in this article.
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