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Brian Miller
Real Estate Editor

December 8, 2016

On the Block: Mercer Island single-family homebuilder launches multifamily division: SeaLevel

  • SeaLevel has five projects in the pipeline and two new executives: John Shaw, who was with Mack Urban, and Kyle Weeks, who worked at Vulcan.
  • When the Port of Everett recently announced the first phase of its 65-acre, $373 million Waterfront Place Central project, the developer of two planned four-story apartment buildings was identified as American Classic Homes.

    American Classic Homes is a family-owned Mercer Island company, run by partners Michael Gladstein, Robert Gladstein and Joel Mezistrano, and now it has launched a new multifamily brand for the Everett project and others: SeaLevel Properties.

    Along with the new name, SeaLevel has two relatively new executives: John Shaw and Kyle Weeks, who joined ACH in 2015 and 2016, respectively. ACH was then primarily known for building single-family suburban homes in Bellevue, Bothell, Issaquah, Kirkland and beyond.

    Established in 1999, ACH weathered the recession doing, then began toeing the waters of multifamily in 2013. Avaya Trails, a 162-unit complex at 10930 S.E. 172nd St. in Renton, was its first completed project.

    Weeks and Shaw both have deep experience in multifamily development. Weeks was previously at Vulcan Real Estate, while Shaw comes from Mack Urban.

    SAMM Apartments at Sammamish Town Center would have 92 units and about 15,000 square feet of ground-level retail.

    Images from SeaLevel Properties [enlarge]
    The 110-unit Vale Apartments in downtown Issaquah is set to break ground in March.

    “Our model at SeaLevel Properties is to build and hold,” said Shaw.

    Why get into the competitive multifamily sector?

    “Given the strong continued job growth in the Pacific Northwest region, there's an ongoing need for quality housing at a competitive and affordable price — not only in Seattle, but across the Puget Sound Region.”

    Will SeaLevel focus on in-city development, TODs or the suburbs?

    “We look for ‘there-there' locations,” said Shaw, “not just in Seattle but in the other Puget Sound markets as well. ‘There-there' could be a transit-oriented development site, or it could be aligned with the fact that the project is located near a Metropolitan Market. For us, it is all about our tenants' experience while living at our communities.”

    How will HALA and Sound Transit 3 enter into the company's thinking?

    “Continued investment in transit is imperative for our region to stay vibrant and competitive,” Shaw said, “and Sound Transit 3 is very key to that success. We also believe that placing jobs near housing is increasingly important as our region continues to grow.

    “Given that our region is naturally constrained by water and mountains and physically constrained by the Growth Management Act, creating housing affordability is going to be an ongoing challenge. Seattle, Bellevue and other cities are adding density, but also creatively trying to address the problem — and that's a good thing.”

    SeaLevel has five multifamily projects in the pipeline:

    The Apartments at Fisherman's Harbor, on the 5.44-acre Everett parcel it has agreed to purchase for $7 million. Those two buildings will have 250-275 units set to open in early 2019. They are part of the phased redevelopment of Everett's waterfront, which could have up to 660 units of housing, plus retail, hotels, restaurants, public amenities and improvements to the marina.



    • The 92-unit SAMM Apartments at Sammamish Town Center, with over 15,000 square feet of ground-level retail. The project address is 120 228th Ave. S.E.

    • The 110-unit Vale Apartments at 955 Seventh Ave. N.W. in downtown Issaquah, set to break ground next March.

    • An unnamed six-story, 50-unit microhousing development at 953 E. Union St. on Capitol Hill. The company hopes to break ground on that small parcel, formerly a garage, in 2018. There would be no parking for the project, but perhaps a small amount of retail.

    • An unnamed four-story, 64-unit SEDU project at 4536 20th Ave. N.E. in the U District. And again, no parking. But that's the reality of some in-city multifamily development — a long way from 1999, and a long way from American Classic Homes' origins in the suburbs.

    Got a tip? Contact DJC real estate editor Brian Miller at brian.miller@djc.com or call him at (206) 219-6517.

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