April 5, 2024

303 Battery has its TCO, begins leasing its 112 units

Real Estate Editor


Photo by Brian Miller [enlarge]

Pictured early last month, the construction fencing has since come down.

Newly dubbed 3zero3, the “kit of parts” apartment tower at 303 Battery St. has been a tough slog for the ambitious local developer Sustainable Living Innovations. With its patented, factory-made, flat-pack units — akin to modular construction — erected within a steel exoskeleton, the 15-story, 112-unit project was supposed to be a quick build, with SLI initially acting as its own general contractor. (CollinsWoerman was the architect.)

Things did not go as planned. Demolition and ground work began in early 2021; the formal groundbreaking followed that summer; then came the concrete strike, and lingering effects of the pandemic; plus supply-chain issues, multiple liens and construction difficulties; and finally receivership last summer.

But the city issued a series of temporary certificates of occupancy this week, and the leasing website for 3zero3 is now active. Featured units include a two-bed with 898 square feet that rents for $3,850 per month. A 348-square-foot studio goes for as little as $1,895. Rents are lower for selected units under the city’s multifamily tax exemption program and Mandatory Housing Affordability provisions.

Avenue5 Residential now manages the building. The team also included builders Swinerton, By Design Steel Services and UMC; Supreme Steel of Canada; Otis, elevators; DCI, structural engineer; Berg Electric and Q-Tran, lighting; Stantec, mechanical and plumbing engineer; Wood Harbinger, electrical; KPFF, civil; Weisman Design Group, landscape architect; Riley Group, geotechnical engineer; and Maxim Crane Works. Late in the game, crews from Exxel Pacific joined the construction effort.

Photo via Sustainable Living Innovations [enlarge]

Inside, kitchens and apartments are sleek and modern.

Financial backing came from construction lenders JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs (the latter initially providing $36.6 million); Renova Capital of Denver, an initial partner in the project; MultiGreen; Moss Construction; Hunt Cos.; and Equity Residential, which was also supposed to buy the project upon completion.

Instead, SLI founder Arlan Collins told Puget Sound Business Journal in February that SLI will retain the project. A future sale could still follow, once the building is fully leased. A final certificate of occupancy still awaits for the ground-floor retail and a few wheelchair-accessible units.

Goldman Sachs nudged the project into receivership last year, as the DJC first reported. That was long beyond the original project timeline. In the summer of 2021, Collins had anticipated that the building would open the following summer.

The project launched with the expectation that SLI would eventually merge with a special acquisition company (or SPAC) created by Churchill Capital. That was still the plan last year, but it subsequently fell through, Collins told PSBJ. SLI now plans to be a building product provider, he said, not a developer.

As the DJC has previously reported, SLI’s plans in Roosevelt, on First Hill, at Yesler Terrace and in South Lake Union have all gone dormant. CollinsWoerman is and was an entirely separate entity.

The 3zero3 project includes no parking, but tenants will have 100 bike stalls. About 2,000 square feet of retail/commercial space is planned in a bay on the corner of Third Avenue, now being used for construction staging. There’s no broker’s sign yet in the window. The lobby and mailroom are certainly done; though a Wednesday visit found no building signage or leasing banners.

The building is festooned with some 622 solar panels, which will help it achieve net-zero energy use. It’s participating in the city’s Living Building Pilot Program. Other green features include floor-to-ceiling sliding doors for ventilation, radiant heat flooring, graywater recycling, tankless toilets, Ecobee smart thermostats, all-electric appliances and automatic window blinds.

Tenants will also have a 1,470-square-foot roof deck with landscaping and barbecue stations.

The 895 panels were made in SLI’s Tacoma factory, as they were for the recently opened Burbridge Place, an affordable housing project in North Seattle for Downtown Emergency Service Center. That was SLI’s first completed project. The 2015 pilot project was the University District’s six-story, 24-unit 47+7, before SLI was founded.

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