Bremer Apartments Wins Renovation Award

2022 Preservation Award winners 

Historic Seattle announced the winners of its 2022 Preservation Awards. This year’s recipients are: Frye Hotel and Bremer Apartments (Outstanding Stewardship, both affordable housing projects); The Soul Pole (Preserving Neighborhood Character); University National Bank (Community Investment); Dr. James W. Washington Jr. and Mrs. Janie Rogella Washington Foundation (Community Advocacy); Lorne McConachie (Beth Chave Award for Preservation Champion); and Queen Anne Exchange (Best Preservation Project). This year’s recipients were selected by Historic Seattle’s Benefits Committee from nominations submitted by the community. The Community Advocacy Award winner receives a $3,000 prize to fund their work.

Historic Seattle also announced that it will be hosting a 2022 Preservation Celebration Benefit on Sept. 21 in historic Washington Hall. At the Preservation Celebration, Historic Seattle will recognize the 2022 award winners and projects. The Preservation Celebration will also feature a special performance by singer, songwriter and producer Daniel Pak. Tickets and tables are now on sale for the celebration, with proceeds supporting Historic Seattle’s mission of saving meaningful places to foster lively communities. Sponsorships and benefit journal ads are also available. See The Preservation Celebration for more information.

6.8.22 DJC

Renovations nearly complete at Bremer Apartments 

Renovation work began on the historic Bremer Apartments, at 2905 First Ave. in Belltown, in February 2021. Community Roots Housing owns and operates the apartments as affordable housing.

The public development authority recently shared that work is set to be complete in May.

The renovation has been extensive. Community Roots said that the building has been “gutted down to its studs” and completely re-rehabilitated. While the historic structure and facade remain the same, inside, it is essentially a new building.

Improvements include environmental, safety, and cosmetic upgrades. The building has entirely new water, heating, electric, and plumbing systems and has undergone a full seismic retrofit. Work also included cosmetic refurbishment in common areas and units have been fitted with new kitchens and bathrooms and low-flow fixtures and EnergyStar appliances.

The Bremer is now fully compliant with both seismic and environmental codes.

This is the second rehabilitation project of a 90-plus-year-old building undertaken by Community Roots Housing, the first being the El-Nor apartments in the Central District, which were built in 1907. That renovation was completed in 2020.

The Bremer Apartments building dates back to 1924 and has 49-units over three stories. Residents have access to a shared courtyard and on-site laundry.

During seismic upgrades and initial construction work residents were relocated to other Community Roots properties and to market-rate units not owned by Community Roots within 5-miles of the Bremer. Residents were relocated for around a year and have now all moved back to the Bremer as final cosmetic upgrades near completion.

Buchanan General Contracting Company is the general contractor. SMR is the project architect. The project team also includes All Wire Electric, electrical engineer; Clearview Mechanical, plumbing; Swenson Say Faget, structural engineer; and Washington Heating and Air Conditioning.

(Editor’s note: This article has been changed to add firms to the project team list, and to clarify Community Roots’ identity as a public development authority.)

Community Roots said that it is committed to rehabilitating its existing stock of old buildings, citing the environmental benefits of doing so, in addition to developing new construction for affordable housing.

4.21.22 DJC, Emma Hinchliffe

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Emma Hinchliffe, SMR Architects, and DAHP


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