Hub City apartments

Building plans showing the location of the proposed mixed-used building.

Includes 72 apartments, ground-floor retail space

BURLINGTON — A new project called “Hub City Apartments” is planned for East George Hopper Road and will include 72 units as well as ground-floor retail space.

BYK Construction of Sedro-Woolley is proposing to build the development, which owner Paul Woodmansee describes as market-rate apartments with a “posh hotel feel.”

There will be 36 studio, 24 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartments, 3,300 feet of commercial space facing East George Hopper Road and a parking garage, he said.

Construction could begin this summer or fall after receiving final building permits, Woodmansee said.

He said he hopes the project will offer some more affordable rental options.

“(The development) is affordable by the type of housing,” he said. “It is not low-income housing.”

A recent market report on apartment affordability from the University of Washington found that Skagit County has an apartment shortage, with a vacancy rate of 0.4%, tied with Whatcom County for worst in the state.

The three-story building will be constructed on a vacant commercial-zoned lot, Woodmansee said.

“(Burlington) is so commercialized,” he said. “There’s a need for workforce housing.”

What factors influence a project’s feasibility?

Woodmansee said they include a flexible building code, enthusiasm from city council and staff, support from neighbors, the availability of land and labor, and developer fees.

Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton said he likes mixed-use projects because they can share a parking lot, making efficient use of limited land.

It’s the kind of development the city was looking for when it passed its comprehensive plan update, he said.

“There’s a big demand for it,” Sexton said. “I’m hoping to see (development) that meets the market needs and provides people with an opportunity to find some more affordable housing options.”

Brad Johnson, Burlington’s community development director, said other multifamily housing projects are under review or construction.

They include a 69-unit building with three commercial tenant spaces proposed for a vacant lot on Gilkey Road; townhouses in the River’s Edge Subdivision, also proposed by BYK; and duplex and townhouse units being built at Oak Street and Hazel Avenue.

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison: jallison@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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