The plan had been to tear down the existing Villa Marina apartment building (1928 43rd Avenue E.) and the building directly to the north of it, replacing both with a new three-story, ten-unit condo building. The owner, Lakeside Capital Management, filed an application for the project as recently as February. But the “Proposed Land Use Action” sign came down today in recognition of the fact that the project has become the victim of changing market conditions. Lakeside’s managing partner, Dennis Daugs, confirmed that the project is on hold.
To say that there is currently an oversupply of condos in the Puget Sound region would be putting it mildly. Just down the street at 1611 43rd Avenue E. the developer there has been unable to unload three high-end condos during the year since that building was completed. In real estate, as in so many other endeavors, timing is everything.
Regarding the Villa Marina apartments Daugs had this to say: “We work next door and have become accustomed to the old building. It certainly is closer to the end of its life than its beginning, but we have spent a lot on deferred maintenance since we acquired it a few years ago and will continue to improve it any way we can.”
The Madison Park Community Council had hoped to work closely with Lakeside on the Council’s long-term plan to close the E. Madison Street road end to cars (see Park to extend into Madison Street road end). If the Villa Marina project had needed any variances, the community might have had some additional leverage in the negotiations. Daugs told me, however, that Lakeside remains committed to improving pedestrian traffic around the site and to improving the streets and sidewalks of nearby businesses. During the ten years that the company has owned the Villa Marina, Lakeside has spent over $50,000 on maintenance of the Madison Street road end, including the removal of two overgrown trees, he noted.
While the Villa Marina project may be on long-term hold, the project could still someday be revived. I understand that rather than being destroyed, the land-use sign is being stored in the basement.