The Buzz: Going Green, Capitol Hill Development, Industrial Vacancy, and more

Welcome to The Buzz, where we break down this month’s rental real estate news into delicious bite-sized morsels. Enjoy!

1. Going green in the units you own isn’t as hard as you might think.

The Seattle Times has released a new list of ways to go green, and the good news is, they’re easy to do! Among the advice is keeping air filters clean, changing lightbulbs (compact fluorescent is still the green standard, but check out the new LED bulbs as well), emphasizing natural sunlight in the units you show (which also makes them very appealing), and replacing old ceiling fans with newer, more efficient ones. For even more tips, check out the full article here.

2. Two new apartment buildings are about to join the mix on Capitol Hill–and more are on the way.

The new Citizen apartments were developed by Wallace Properties and hold 107 units in the converted, mixed-use building. Meanwhile, Lawrence Lofts has just started leasing its 131 units; management is cultivating a community feel with a local art show. Could all of these openings lead to a glut? Perhaps…at some point. For now, Seattle apartment construction actually has to make up for lost time–according to Dupre+Scott, “Developers opened fewer than 1,800 units last year.” Check out the new buildings here.

3. Industrial vacancy is dropping in Seattle–and that’s good news for the apartment market, too.

While the national industrial vacancy rate is ringing in at 9.3%, the Seattle rate dropped to 6.6% in 2012’s first quarter. That’s according to the CoStar Group, which specializes in commercial real estate. With Amazon’s proposed office towers and plenty of other commercial projects in the works, Seattle’s strong tech, startup, and industry culture is self-sustaining nicely these days–and that makes Seattle a destination for job seekers and their families. Check out CoStar’s numbers here.

4. There’s about to be a little bit of Seattle in Washington D.C.

Ever been to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.? The iconic area is about to be redesigned, and Seattle-based landscape architecture firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol are 1/2 of the team that’s been hired to do the redeveloping (the other half of the team, Davis Brody Bond, are from New York). The Seattle firm won out over a myriad of others with an original design that “dramatically rethinks the use of water— operating with just 10 percent of the water of the current fountain.” Conservation and smart thinking? Yup, that sounds Seattle-like. Check out the full article here.

5. Are foodie-friendly apartments the new must-have among renters?

New York City: it’s like a test kitchen for must-have apartments. And the most recent  amenity-of-the-moment coming out of NY? Foodie Friendly apartments. That’s right–the Mantena building has the only 3-Michelin-Star restaurant oustide of Manhattan (it’s in Brooklyn), and it’s leasing faster than anything else around. Know any Michelin-calibre chefs you could hire to set up shop on your ground floor? Check out the full article here.


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