The number of Washington residents packing up and moving from Seattle to Tacoma for better prices on housing has been on the rise. Between that and the growth of the University of Washington-Tacoma, there is a demand for affordable, well-located housing in Tacoma.
The university dorms – Court 17 at Market Street – are regularly at capacity. Consequently, many students have sought housing close to campus, but outside of the dormitory. Cathy Reines, president and CEO of Koz Development, explained that this is why her company decided to break ground last September on a micro-unit complex right outside of the university’s city footprint.
They chose the location, she explained, to complement Court 17. Reines said that it is meant to provide a housing option for students who didn’t want to live in a dorm, or couldn’t due to a lack of available rooms.
The complex is made up of 104 separate micro-units, or small studio apartments. It was engineered to cater to the needs of students and young professionals. Depending on whether you choose a street-level apartment or one with a view of the waterfront or Mount Rainier, the price will fluctuate between approximately $850 and $900 a unit.
They wanted an efficient, yet reasonable option for students who wish to live outside of the dorms, so utilities are marketed as one of their top-selling points. Sewage, electricity, water, personal wi-fi, etc. are included in the initial rent.
Cathy Reines said that Koz Development is “happy to offer housing students wanting to live near campus,” and that they view this as a “great win-win for everybody” involved. They are hoping to be open in the fall, but by winter quarter at the latest, and are launching a website for leasing most likely in the next 30 days so that if students want to reserve a room, it’s available for them.
Koz Development is also working on two more apartment developments in Tacoma. Their new program on Puyallup Avenue is set to begin breaking ground in 30 days. While it is additionally set to provide student housing as well, it will not just be made up of studio apartments. They are constructing larger apartments in the hope of attracting families to live in the building. Since it is near a street car stop, it is set to be far more mixed demographically, rather than being primarily composed of college students.
Koz’s other project is on Martin Luther King Jr. Way, set to begin construction in early 2019. Like the project on Puyallup Avenue, it is likely to see more diverse demographics and even young families living in the building.