AvalonBay Adds to Project Pipeline; Connell Eyes Early 2012 Completion for Rebooted Condos

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor  Seattle has been one of the brighter spots of the real estate market’s gradual recuperation over the past few years, and the region’s multi-family development trend is adding to that luster. At least 14 apartment projects [...]

Seattle has been one of the brighter spots of the real estate market’s gradual recuperation over the past few years, and the region’s multi-family development trend is adding to that luster. At least 14 apartment projects are in the local pipeline, the Seattle Times reported, including three from AvalonBay Communities.

The developer has disclosed plans to build a 265-unit complex on the site of Sunset Bowl, a bowling alley that was razed in 2010. The six-story project will feature underground parking plus 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. AvalonBay is also readying a 204-unit complex for opening in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, and expects to kick off construction of a third project in the University district in early 2011.

Even in Seattle, however, multifamily projects are not without their bumps. Following a developer’s default on a construction loan, last March East West bank foreclosed on the 85 percent complete Volta condominium project in Belltown, the Seattle Times reported Sept. 12.  

After sitting dormant, the 34-unit, eight-story property was acquired from East West by Berkeley Heights, N.J.-based Connell Real Estate & Development Co. in an $8 million deal.  According to information on the Connell Web site, the purchase price was less than half the amount spent on the project before foreclosure. Connell added that it expects to complete construction by the first quarter of 2012 and intends to market Volta as a high-end apartment property.