On July 22nd and 23rd representatives of Da-Li DevelopmentRealogics Sotheby’s International Realty and KMD Architects co-hosted a design preview for KODA Condominiums – a proposed, 200+ unit high-rise community coming soon to the corner of 5th Avenue and South Main Street in Seattle’s historic International District. The well-attended event was the first public showcase of the design direction for the inspired community and included several architectural alternatives being explored with the building’s massing and retail expression. The final design for KODA Condominiums will consider comments by a special review board for the City of Seattle.

“It was my observation that KODA is very much a welcomed addition to the neighborhood,” said Dean Jones, President and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “Beyond the architectural merits and economic impact to the community, I sense that existing residents, community stakeholders and real estate brokers are eager to add attainably priced ownership opportunities in the International District.”

Once approved, KODA is anticipated to add more than 200 efficiently-scaled condominiums ranging in prices from the low $300,000s to more than $1 million with a targeted groundbreaking in Q2-2018 and occupancy by Q3-2020. Jones encourages prospective homebuyers to register online at www.OwnKODA.com to learn about upcoming reservations for priority presales.

Among the key observations and opportunities presented during the open house was the potential to enhance the sense of community for Japantown or “Nihonmachi” by establishing a more defined gateway at the intersection of 5th Avenue and South Main Street where currently three of the four corners are undeveloped and could be coordinated with street improvements and signage.

Richard Jee, a Seattle-based representative of Da-Li Development paraphrased several meaningful conversations with guests that reinforced the demand for homeownership in Japantown:

Guest #1 – “Being a few years away from retirement and living in the city, there isn’t much inventory on the market that is attainable. I am interested to see the development progress and opportunity it provides for a future retiree that is wanting to establish myself in the urban setting.”

Guest #2 – “As a former resident of Japantown and having since moved away, I know that Japanese Americans struggled to obtain ownership of property due to their status in the early 1900’s. It was only when they had children, which would be American citizens, that they were able to obtain ownership in the neighborhood. I am excited about this development and what it brings, this is another opportunity to own property in Japantown of the Chinatown International District.”

“As a new steward of the International District, I was especially pleased to learn of these real case studies directly from the consumer perspective,” said Jee. “While our design preview open house was largely about architectural planning, it was equally rewarding to know that our goals appear to be well aligned with the community.”

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Many prospective homebuyers also attended the design preview event hoping to learn more about impending project. To be sure, the International District is experiencing a renaissance of activity given its vibrant sense of community, close-proximity to the Central Business District and enviable access to the regional transportation network. In fact, the current design plans call for just 77 parking stalls for the 200+ units to be built.

“A growing majority of downtown residents already enjoy life without dependency on a car,” adds Jones. “In fact, for some their pathway to homeownership is afforded because they don’t have the expense or hassle of owning a car in one of the most walkable cities in the US.”

Jones points to the rapid light rail expansion of Sound Transit 3, which will soon connect the International District with many regional cities north, east and south of downtown Seattle to which he calls “a game changer” for development sites near these stations.

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