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BURLINGTON — A 140-unit apartment complex with commercial space is in the works for Burlington Boulevard.

Called Grafton Place Apartments, the Burlington project gets its name from nearby Grafton Park, said Rex Orkney, one of three developers working on the project.

The 3.3-acre property is located at 961 S. Burlington Boulevard, across the street from Fred Meyer and south of the park, he said.

Orkney said there will be a mix of unit sizes, including smaller studios and one-bedroom apartments that are in short supply in Skagit County.

Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton said these smaller, less expensive units are starting to become more prominent, as developers and governments respond to increasing demand for cheaper housing.

“That’s what developers are finding,” he said. “The demand is more for the studios.”

Sexton said Grafton Place is one of several complexes planned for the city that will include smaller units.

There are 550 apartment units in permitting or in construction in Burlington, which Sexton said will go a long way toward meeting the need for more — and more affordable — housing.

Orkney said projects that combine residential and commercial space have become especially appealing to him, calling such projects “the way of the future.”

Locating housing and businesses in the same complex saves space, provides a safer investment than commercial-only development, and the businesses have a built-in clientele, he said.

Orkney said his team plans to close on the property Aug. 21. Demolition of the existing single-family home, barn and coffee stand will begin after that.

Construction should take about 18 months, but Orkney said he wouldn’t be surprised if the COVID-19 pandemic extends the timeline to about two years.

“It’s a big unknown,” he said.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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