Community Post

Another “Apodment” type project?

This Design Review Hearing is for a very small lot just south of the Madison Safeway. Proposed building is 45 units in a 4 story building, which will be shorter than the adjacent 6 story Safeway building.

Parking requirements described as  “Parking for 12 bicycles will be provided”. I presume from the large number of units in such a small footprint that the units will be shared kitchen apartments of the “Apodment” type that are springing up around our neighborhood.

Would be interesting to know, from the neighbors  of some of the existing similar type of buildings in the area, whether the residents do indeed typically not have cars, or  whether the buildings do result in lots more street parking.

Design features of the development can be addressed at the Design Review Hearing (Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 8 PM, Seattle University Casey Building, 901 12th Ave, Room 500E – Casey Commons) where the DPD staff member will wearily explain that the meeting is NOT a venue to address parking concerns.

A correspondent who alerted me to this project noted: “This one seems weird – it is NC2 but doesn’t have the commercial listed – they must be assuming that it would be eligible under the new optional zoning from Reg Reform?”

18 thoughts on “Another “Apodment” type project?

  1. Not much different from the old houses that people have shared for a century. But safer and more formal. I would have done this in my low income years.

  2. I love the apodment trend. I fully expect to live in one some day when my wife comes to her senses and kicks me out. Get rid of your car, abandon the effort involved in cooking, and spend your free time in a 3rd/4th space of a nearby coffee shop or pub. Most of my house is rarely used – how much money (and cleaning effort) am I wasting on all of that space?

  3. These buildings are a blight. Ugly to look at and cheaply made. Amazed there is actually demand for these shoe-boxes.

  4. The continual destroying of the historic character of Capitol Hill and the Central District by low budget developers taking advantage of lax Dept of Planning & Development rules. Something we will never get back….

  5. Uhh, what exactly is there to be preserved at that site? What will we never get back? Another vacant decrepit property that makes criminals feel welcome? This is a place where modest income singles can find a home, work in the city, and help build a better community. Young or older low income people can have a nice safe place to stay. People who want a simple life can afford their own space and not have to find a room in a basement closet. This is a good option for many people.

  6. There are several older buildings like this on our street. Some are converted houses. Others are Early 1900s apartments. Right in the middle of the old neighborhood. Only a block from you JPR. They are full of some pretty cool people. Doug that owns all the old junker cars, like that old Ford Wagon and the Winnebago. The Japanese girl with the old yellow lab. Pretty cool neigbors if you as me. The Apodments are nothing new.

  7. a block from me? a 45 unit building like this w no parking? really. i had no idea.

  8. I don’t see complaining about all the little apartment holes and cottages and various choices that have been available for centuries. Take a look at 1700 – 1800 Weller. 1600 Lane. 1700 Little old apartment houses, but, fire traps. See all the former corner stores with homes and apartments above. Look at the Judkins Cafe. Artspace lofts on Hiawatha, goofy if you ask me, but a valid choice from many. Co-housing and those new townhouses on Dearborn. Would never do that myself but those commies seem happy. Deranged lunatics in cubicles at the DESC. Why the hate for Apodments. It seems like a very narrow predjudice. Like being against having weird looking second house stuck back in the alley and a run down house on the street.

  9. I know a developer that is taking advantage of this loophole and they are making bank. They end up collecting more revenue monthly from these projects than if they built luxury apartments. Think about it, 45 units at $600 a month is $27,000 a month, $324,000 a year in rent! And they do not have to use expensive material OR spend extra on building parking. Having 6 luxury units on this same property might collect $15,000 a month total if they are really nice.

    It is a total scam and the City is consciously allowing developers to exploit this loophole under the guise of low income housing and density.

  10. God forbid that somebody makes a profit and produces a service/product that people need at the same time. I guess my company should be driven out of business as well.

  11. The mayor of NY yesterday showed the floorplan of microapartments, 300 feet square, which is a new initiative also for young, single people starting out. There’s a reason this is being moved forward in cities, the economy is exceptionally bad for those who are starting what used to be their first economically productive years, the first years out of college. It’s a net good to a community to have young, educated people come to a city and make their future by contributing to that community through rent and working. If young people are forced to the margins of a city as has happened in NY the creative capital and vibrancy they bring is lost to the heart of that city. For facts on how this works see Richard Florida’s creative-class articles or even instead the reports done by our local music industry on how much this overlooked part of the economy (usually youthful) contributes to financially to growth by attracting tourists, etc. It’s a net gain for all of us if young people can afford to live in the city. I’d rather have an apodment building in the neighborhood than a big old house stuffed to the rafters with 20 kids because the parties in the latter become a nightmare for the neighbors. It’s hard to have big parties when your allocation is 300 sp feet. I’m for it and if the people providing that service are also making good money they will continually be motivated to keep that property well managed and tended.

  12. I am almost 50 and have lived all of my life in shared housing of one form or another. I now own a home that I still share. Apodments are a more structured form of it. Have any of those complainers ever been young or struggling? do they have kids who are starting in life? This new trend is a blessing, an answer to waste and there is a demand for it. So what if it is profitable? Small is green and maybe part of the solution for the planet. Anyone who ever stayed in youth hostels for travels knows the power of their social experiences. I think it might have great community value. Keep them coming, it’s a good thing.
    As for parking, it is not a god given right. When there are too many cars to park, the pressure will command other means of transportation. Open your mind, little people and decenter yourselves

  13. JPR, you are grumpier the Grumbo. Grumbo is a ficticious grumpy character. “No Grumbo, Be Humbo”. It’s a Hawaiian saying. It’s my form of cartooning. I find it absolutely hilarious. Doesn’t bother me if others don’t.