BDR Urban And Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty Break Ground On 96-Unit Condominium ‘Encore At Columbia Station’ On Expanding Link Light Rail, Announce Presales For Fall 2019

By Alyssa Morrison |

Attainable Transit-Oriented Housing for Sale in Columbia City Amidst Anemic Supply, Rising Demand to Own

SEATTLE, WA (August 27, 2019) – Executives of BDR Urban and Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) jointly announce the official groundbreaking for Encore at Columbia Station Condominiums—a planned 96-unit condominium community located at 4689 Martin Luther King Jr. Way South in Columbia City. The neighborhood’s first-of-its-kind offered for presale on a transit line, these efficiently-scaled homes will be comprised of studios, urban 1-bedrooms, 1-bedrooms, 1-bedroom plus den, and 2-bedrooms (344-966 sq. ft.), which will be offered for presale this fall, 2019, with introductory prices from the low $300,000’s to more than $700,000.

“We are elated to commence construction today on Encore at Columbia Station,” said Todd Bennett, President of BDR Urban, LLC. “Our next stop is attainable homeownership! We congratulate our many reservation holders who will soon secure their future home with low down payment options and monthly mortgage payments that feel like rent.”

Located immediately adjacent to the Columbia City Station, prospective buyers will enjoy quick commutes to urban job centers on the existing Link Light Rail system, which is currently expanding to the Eastside and soon to offer 116 miles of connected communities (five times longer than today). On a very limited release of homes, more than two dozen reservations for priority presales on a very limited release of homes indicates the market has been waiting for this opportunity. Observers say the development is well-timed given rising rental rates, lower interest rates, and increasing traffic congestion. According to a 2019 Urban Mobility Report by Texas A&M University’s Transportation Institute, Seattle ranks seventh in the U.S. for the most time spent in traffic, totaling 78 hours of wasted time each year.

“Most consumers can afford to live in less space, but they can’t pay more than their budget allows, nor can they afford to spend hours a day commuting to affordability,” said Matt Van Damm, Vice President of New Developments for RSIR. “Outside of Encore at Columbia Station, there are currently very few attainable homes available for purchase in this popular neighborhood. This opportunity is just what the market has been waiting for.”

Van Damm recently relocated to Seattle from New York City and acknowledges the importance of transit-oriented development (TOD), where residents can live adjacent to commuter trains or subways to access the city and enjoy life without a car.

“Virtually all the existing supply for ownership in Columbia City is either single-family or three-level townhome formats, which requires more space and forces up the price points,” adds Van Damm. “Other alternatives include rental apartments, which are fetching values similar to downtown Seattle, yet our introductory values, for now, are 25 percent less than the high-rise peer group in the city.”

According to data from NWMLS, there are currently only six residential opportunities priced between $300,000 and $900,000 within a half-mile walking distance of the Columbia City Station, while another six homes are pending, averaging just 23 days on market. Not to mention, 55 subject homes have sold and closed since January 1, 2019, with a median price of $625,000.

As a creative response to Seattle’s affordability challenges, prospective buyers will have an option to rent from BDR Urban’s Sonata Apartments directly across the street from Encore at Columbia Station, with a portion of the lease payment to be credited towards the future purchase price of a condominium.  As a two-part transaction, the first 12 qualified homebuyers that reserve and later purchase at Encore at Columbia Station will be granted the opportunity to rent at Sonata Apartments with up to 15 percent of the lease payment being credited back to the homebuyer at closing. These reservation holders can watch their condominium being built across the street while renting at Sonata.

Built by Synergy Contractors Group, the four-story community will feature robust amenities, including controlled-access underground parking, concierge services, a co-working lounge, a fitness center, a great room with exhibition kitchen, and an adjacent patio. Above all, an expansive rooftop terrace will feature an outdoor barbecue area, an in-building dog park, wrap-around terraces with fireside seating areas, and an outdoor theater. The rooftop terrace and many of the homes offer spectacular views of Mt. Rainier. The designer-curated homes boast voluminous ceiling heights, expansive window walls, and engineered hardwood flooring throughout and a European-inspired kitchen with quartz countertops and Bertazzoni stainless steel appliances. Parking is available but sold separately with pricing from $30,000.

Prospective buyers are invited to preview Encore at Columbia Station during a scheduled public “pop up” open house within the Sonata Apartments located at 3000 S. Alaska Street Way in Columbia City at 5 p.m., immediately following the groundbreaking ceremony today at 4 p.m. During the event, a limited collection of homes will be offered for unit-specific reservations with set price ranges in exchange for a $2,500 fully-refundable deposit. Reservations will be converted to Purchase and Sale Agreements when the Sales Center opens in Fall 2019.

For more information on Encore at Columbia Station, visit: