BUILD recently attended the Urban Trees opening party at 19th Ave E & Yesler and we were delighted to see an urban project that is very much addressing our BUILDblog “Raising the Bar” series. Developed by gprojects and designed by b9 architects the project includes eleven townhomes and a generous shared courtyard. Five of the townhomes are live-work with storefronts facing Yesler. We could go on and on about the modern lines, the cool gritty reclaimed materials used in conjunction with clean sleek finishes, the pleasant city views, but we’d like to focus on something even more important; the sense of community this project is developing. During the party, the shared courtyard was large enough to host a band, dozens of people had the space and atmosphere to meet, talk, soak up some sunshine and enjoy the eats provided by Skillet (thanks for the dog and fries!)


This project has established a necessity of urban design that the 4-pack cookie cutter models don’t even touch. It’s easy to imagine shared BBQs, bocce games, and the quality of casual interactions in the courtyard space. Strategically it’s been designed inwardly to maintain a sense of privacy.




Okay, onto the numbers. BUILD took a quick look at average costs per square foot in the Seattle area for the crapsman 4-packs we so despise and came up with about $350-$400 per square foot in highly desired areas like Queen Anne, Ravenna, Wallingford, etc. For a neighborhood like Yesler & 19th we came up with around $275 to $350 per square foot. The residential units at Urban Trees range between $298 to $336 per square foot, the live-work spaces range between $259 up to $283 per square foot. We think that’s pretty friggin’ great, especially given the caliber of design. Keep in mind – we’ve compared the pricing of Urban Trees to the cheap cookie cutter models. The two models are a world apart design-wise.



We chose one of the units to analyze a bit further. Home 3 (107A) is 3 levels and 1,607 square feet with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and a media room. It’s on the market for $480,000 which comes out to just under $300/sf.

[Image courtesy of b9architects]

The compromise of good, modern architecture with a cost-effective price tag is that its not on Queen Anne.  But developing community is about taking places that need a little love and making them better. We should all be playing a role in that endeavor – not just the forward-thinking developers.


gprojects tag line is “Contemporary Homes With A Conscience,” and they seem to be delivering just that. Hats off to gprojects & b9architects. The realtors are Mark and Kim Hobbs of Windermere and if you’re looking for a home in Seattle you should go check it out.

[All photos by BUILD LLC]