Seattle—Wood Partners announced pre-leasing has begun at its Jasper by Alta apartment community in Seattle’s unique and historic Wedgwood community. The 91-apartment community began construction in June of last year, and is expected complete this July. Pre-leasing is by Indigo Real Estate Services.
Wedgwood is a 1940s-era neighborhood in Northeast Seattle. Its developer, Albert Balch, named it for his wife’s favorite maker of fine British China. Balch was a direct descendent of 17th Century New England settler John Balch, and honored his ancestor by giving Wedgwood’s houses a distinctive Cape Cod style. The name Jasper in Jasper by Alta carries on the clever wordplay, referring to Jasperware, a stoneware first developed by Josiah Wedgwood.
Wedgwood is home to an array of popular local restaurants and pastry shops, including Wedgwood Alehouse, Wedgwood Broiler, Café Javasti, Grateful Bread and Top Pot Donuts. It also hosts such crowd-pleasing events as the Wedgwood Art Festival and the summertime Outdoor Cinema. The area is well served by mass transit and close to downtown Seattle and the University of Washington. Its one flaw is a lack of housing diversity that until the arrival of Jasper by Alta limited the types of people who could live in the neighborhood.
“Wedgwood’s a small community that has not seen a lot of multifamily development, though it‘s pretty darn close to a lot of things,” Wood Partners’ vice president of development for the Pacific Northwest, Steve Orser, tells MHN. “In Wedgwood, you’re either buying or renting a house, and many have not gotten to the place in their careers where they can do that. Either that, or you already live in the neighborhood and want to downsize for a maintenance-free lifestyle.”
Jasper by Alta will offer renters another advantage beyond a more affordable entry price point. The apartment homes in the development are larger than most of Seattle’s urban apartments, with studios, one- and two-bedroom units that extend in size from a bit less than 500 to more than 1,400 square feet.
And Wedgwood’s tranquil neighborhood feel makes this a very different community than many Seattle renters may be accustomed to, Orser reports.
“This is an opportunity to rent in a quieter, more serene environment, where you don’t feel you’re in the hectic environs of Capitol Hill, Belltown or South Lake Union,” he says. “And you’re in a real neighborhood, where you can meet neighbors and easily walk your dog.”
The site on which Jasper by Alta is being built had originally been designated for a condominium development. When the for-sale market tanked, Wood Partners jumped in, modified the design and made it appropriate for renters.
“We’ve gotten quite a bit of interest from neighborhood residents,” Orser says. “The site had been a community center that had become vacant. That is another reason the community is excited. You’re turning an eyesore and a non-active use into an attractive and active use.”