A new development of seven residential townhomes and one commercial space at 5501-234th St. S.W. in Mountlake Terrace is expected to be completed in mid-July.
The six multi-story, 2,200-square-foot townhomes in the development sold within two or three weeks, said co-developer and real estate agent Paul McLaughlin. Ground floor commercial space of 750 square feet at the project’s west end will be taken over by a hair salon; a residential flat above the commercial space is still on the market and listed at $289,900.
The development was originally planned for construction in 2007, but a slowdown in the economy and difficulty in securing financing caused McLaughlin and business partner David Blau to wait until this year to move on the project. “We were ready to sign when our bank, which is no longer in business, called up and said, ‘we are out of money,’” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin not only credited an improving economy for a revitalization of the project, but a change in attitude at Mountlake Terrace City Hall. He said the city “for years was not development friendly,” but with the recent Town Center revitalization plan in place developers are now attracted to the city.
The 234th Street townhomes development falls within the city’s Town Center district.
McLaughlin has plans for a similar townhomes project just a few lots south of the 234th Street townhomes on 55th Avenue West. A planned six-unit development may expand to 12 units if a neighboring parcel is obtained; a separate project consisting of six townhomes is planned for the current empty lot in the 23400 block of 55th Avenue West.
“People are realizing Mountlake Terrace has a lot to offer,” McLaughlin said. “It has great freeway access and there are tons and tons of parks in the city. People that had been looking into Seattle at one point are now looking north.” Comparable homes with two-car garages in Mountlake Terrace are often $100,000 less than what is available in Seattle, McLaughin explained.
— Story and photo by Doug Petrowski