If you’re a renter, newer apartments in South Lake Union don’t come cheap. Advertised rates start at $1,520 for a studio at the 11-year-old Cairns and go up from there.
That can be a problem for people who work in the neighborhood, but don’t bring home the salaries that software development engineers at Amazon do.
A microhousing developer called Koz Development wants to help by offering lower-cost housing choices in dense neighborhoods where cars are optional.
The Snohomish-based firm plans to build a seven-story, 44-unit apartment building at 1210 Republican St. in South Lake Union.
“With rents rising fast in market-rate apartments, affordability is becoming a critical issue in Seattle,” said CEO Cathy Reines in a statement. “We are pleased to provide apartments that are both affordable and high quality.”
The building would have small efficiency dwelling units that average around 220 square feet, with a private bathroom and a kitchen area that includes a sink, storage, mid-size fridge and a microwave and/or two-burner stove.
Residents will share a 740-square-foot rooftop plaza with a grill and dog run.
No parking is planned.
The two-parcel site is just 3,600 square feet. The ground floor would hold a lobby, mail room, bike storage, laundry room, utility spaces and a lone unit.
Koz acquired the land last year for $1.5 million with Amstar, a Denver-based private equity firm. The project received design approval from the city of Seattle in April.
Koz is working to hire a general contractor.
The company did not reply to messages seeking more information about its plans.
On its website, Koz says it designs, develops and constructs microhousing in urban infill locations. (“Koz” means to make oneself cozy, the firm says.)
Reines, a co-founder, was a business partner of Seattle microhousing pioneer Jim Potter, who died in 2014. Koz Development filed for incorporation the same year.
Josh Scott, the other co-founder, leads design and construction for Koz. He was a principal at Mosaic Architecture and owned a design-build company called Craft LLC.
Koz has projects in development in Everett and Portland, but the South Lake Union project would be its first in Seattle.
The Everett project is student housing for Everett Community College.
Koz says on its website that it strives to keep base rents at around 60 to 70 percent of a comparable studio unit, though it offers loft spaces for a higher rate. Rents at Koz are all-inclusive, with no additional charges for utilities or internet access.
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