LYNNWOOD — A Seattle developer has proposed erecting 350 apartments in a transit-centric complex in Lynnwood, with bike storage, co-working space, an expansive courtyard, rooftop terraces, a virtual games suite and even a dog spa.
Trent Development applied for early permits to transform the 2½-acre property at 19888 40th Ave. W, which has a one-story strip mall on it now.
The site sits a couple of blocks northeast of the Sound Transit Lynnwood City Center light rail station under construction. Over the next few years, the area could become a dense housing hub.
Trent Development, which also is redeveloping the former downtown Everett YMCA into about 270 apartments, estimates the Lynnwood project’s cost between $110 million and $120 million and wants it to open in time for the city’s first light rail station in 2024.
Studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments are planned for seven- and eight-story buildings. The development would be the first along the 198th Street SW pedestrian promenade under development.
“People can live there, people can work there and people can play there,” said Lynnwood City Center Manager Karl Almgren. “It’s a great example of what great development will continue to come into the city of Lynnwood.”
The development is proposed as two L-shaped buildings with housing and street-level retail, and one rectangular parking structure with 65 free bike stalls and 265 paid parking stalls.
Of the apartment buildings Trent Development has constructed in the past eight years, Trent Development President Trent Mummery said, the company hasn’t had any with a 1:1 parking-to-housing ratio.
“It’s really just a reality of the urbanization of the way people live,” he said. “If we weren’t in such close proximity to the light rail station, we’d have to have more parking spaces.”
Tenants will be able to check out building-branded electric bikes and electric cargo bikes as part of their base rent, Mummery said.
Designed between the buildings is an open-air courtyard. At almost an acre, Almgren said, it “significantly exceeded” the city’s open space requirement for developments like this. It is envisioned with pathways, fire pits, overhead festive lighting, overhangs with heaters, grills, water features, a children’s playground and benches, Mummery said.
“A park-like setting in this urban location,” he said.
In the past five years, land value around Lynnwood City Center has doubled as real estate prices across the county have soared. Apartment development near the City Center station has increased in recent years, as well.
It’s part of why the city is working on a Housing Action Plan to assess the needs now and ahead, including a projected demand for 10,000 more units by 2044.
“We still have a lack of supply of housing,” said Lynnwood development and business services senior planner Kristen Holdsworth. “Housing keeps getting expensive because demand keeps outpacing our supply.”
Early last year, the city approved the seven-story, 239-unit Kinect@Alderwood project at 4100 Alderwood Mall Blvd., less than a half-mile from the light rail station. Current development requirements have a cap of 350 feet in height in the core of City Center. The height cap decreases toward the perimeter, where it tapers to three stories, or about 30 feet.
The new project could portend what’s to come for Lynnwood, as well as Everett, where a light rail extension is expected to open in 2036.
Snohomish County’s planning department has been gathering input on the kinds of housing people want near two light rail stations (and an unfunded but possible third) within their jurisdiction.
Everett’s ReThink Housing and ReThink Transit planning efforts are looking at input about both issues, with light rail’s arrival in 15 years factored into the future for both.
“Multifamily, multi-stories housing near transit stations is a great way to increase the housing stock in the city of Lynnwood or throughout the county,” said Mark Smith, executive director of the Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County.
Trent Development is using Lynnwood’s multiple unit housing property tax exemption, which limits the amount of new taxes assessed to housing construction value for at least eight years. In exchange, about 70 units must be at a “more affordable rate” for people who earn between 80% and 120% area median income. At the lower range, the Seattle-Bellevue area’s income for a household of four would be $95,250, according to U.S. Housing and Urban Development data.
“It’s a common incentive that we see in multiple jurisdictions,” Mummery said. “It’s not the driving force, but it certainly factors into the unit mix and overall calculus.”
Snohomish County household median income was projected to be $88,118 in 2019, according to the state Office of Financial Management.
That could be helpful for young professionals and maybe small families but won’t address the affordable housing need for people earning 50% and below area median income, Smith said.
“That’s not to say it’s a bad project by any stretch of the imagination,” he said. “The success of light rail depends on ridership; and low-income households typically ride at a higher rate than middle- or higher-income households.”
As for the canine amenities, the dog spa will be available for tenants to “pamper your pet” with washing and drying stations, grooming tools and a lounge, with shampoo, toys and treats for sale, Mummery said. It’s similar to what the company did at the Paceline complex in Shoreline.
“We’ve always had dog relief areas and doggy run zones, but the washing stations and the progression to an outright dog spa has evolved over time,” he said.
City staff are reviewing the early permits. The developer hopes to begin demolition and construction by summer.
Ben Watanabe: firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3037; Twitter @benwatanabe.