About As Good As It Gets For Market Rate, Mid-rise Multifamily

Not too shabby, this Brix condo building on Broadway.  Clean, well-proportioned, legible design; no extraneous decoration, and not afraid to let one style run the entire height and length of the facade; big but not monstrous; scaled down on the back side of the block with ground-related entries.   Even the retail tenants — Broadway institutions Dillitante and Vivace — are about as good as a building could hope for.  Well done, Mithun and Schnitzer West.

Of course, you get what you pay for, and this is not a cheap building.  The price tag on the smallest units — 550 square foot “open one bedrooms” — is about $300k (needless to say, sales have slowed as of late).  This is the reality of market rate multifamily housing:  good buildings are expensive to construct, and the cost gets passed on to the buyer.

Even if it had been designed to be “affordable” housing, the cost picture wouldn’t be much different, because the guts of the mid-rise multifamily buildings are typically all about the same — it’s only the facades and finishes that vary. So if we hope to keep our densifying neighborhoods like Capitol Hill economically diverse, we ought to be pushing for more programs like the proposed Seattle housing levy renewal — serious market intervention is the only way it’s going to happen.

[ The guts of Brix, under construction in December 2007 ]

And one more thing about the architecture of Brix:  hmm, do I detect a bit of a Mithuny signature?  Check out Gallery condos in the photo below:

[ Gallery condos on 2nd Ave in Belltown ]

Now, take three floors of Gallery for your base, turn Brix sideways and stack it on top, borrow the rooftop spoiler from the NBBJ Federal Courthouse, et voila: Mosler Lofts!

[ Mosler Lofts ]