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November 29, 2016

Lennar eyes taller plans for MidTown Center site

Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce

Brian Miller

Lennar Multifamily Communities is now considering an even larger development scheme for the full block at 23rd and Union known as MidTown Center, although it doesn't yet own the site.

In July, the company proposed 405 residential units and more than 50,000 square feet of commercial space for the 2.44-acre site. There would also be about 482 parking spaces below grade.

Now Lennar is asking the city for a contract rezone to 85 feet (up from 40 feet) to allow a seven-story project with 440 units, plus commercial space and parking.

Encore Architects prepared a preliminary site plan for Lennar. Encore also designed Lennar's 226-unit Axle apartments currently underway in Interbay.

The site is bounded by East Spring and Union streets, and 23rd and 24th avenues. Four retail buildings there would be demolished.

The property has long been owned by the Bangasser family, and is in an area the city is expected to approve for an upzone next year.

Earlier this year, an ongoing intra-family lawsuit thwarted Legacy Partners' $23.5 million bid for the property, which is still represented by Jason Rosauer and Rob Anderson of Kidder Mathews. Hoping to land a grocer as an anchor tenant, Legacy had planned to ask for a contract rezone to 65 feet.

Calls to Lennar weren't returned by deadline. It's currently unclear if the Bangasser lawsuit has been settled or if a purchase-and-sale agreement is still in place. The 106,000-square-foot property is still listed with Kidder Mathews.

Other mixed-use projects are at varying phases of development around 23rd and Union, some requesting contract rezones to match the anticipated new zoning. They include Capitol Hill Housing's Liberty Bank Building and three complexes by Lake Union Partners: Central, Stencil and East Union.

Lennar's MidTown Center project will have its first design-guidance meeting at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4 at Seattle University.

© 2016 Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. All rights reserved.

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