Business

Downtown & Around Town: A sneak peek into new downtown apartments

By DeAnn Rossetti' email='DeAnn.Rossetti@mi-reporter.com

Here's the scoop on new digs in downtown Mercer Island: They aren't cheap.

Avellino Apartments, 2836 78th Ave. S.E., and Newell Court Apartments, 3011 78th Ave. S.E., are both ready for move-ins. They are two of the multiple story buildings under construction in Mercer Island's Town Center that mix apartments above ground-floor retail space and underground parking. Avellino Apartments Avellino, which bills itself as "the epitome of exceptional Mercer Island living," has 23 apartments ranging in size from 1,700 to 1,900 square feet. All apartments are two bedroom, two bath suites that have nearly the same layout, with hardwood-style floor entryway, a living room/greatroom with marble-clad gas fireplace and wool carpeting, a kitchen with hardwood-style flooring, stainless steel, high-end appliances, granite slab countertops and marble crown molding.

The ceilings in most of the apartments are nine feet high, but in the apartments on the fifth floor, the ceilings are 16 feet high with antique-replica pendant light fixtures. The sizable master bathroom, with a red, gold and white color scheme, has a raised marble tub and two raised sinks on a marble counter top. There's a walk-in shower with glass doors and a walk-in closet in the bathroom. A glass door leads onto a small deck area. The views, particularly from the top floors, are grand, and the large windows let in a great deal of light. All apartments on the fifth floor rent for between $3,500 and $3,800 per month, while apartments on the lower floors cost $2,400 to $3,800. Move-in-requires a $1,000 deposit and first month's rent, while last month's rent is free with a 12-month lease. Water, sewer and trash are the only utilities included in the rent along with one free parking space (additional parking spaces are $75 each per month). There is a utility room with a washer/dryer in each apartment and each floor has an area for extra storage. All apartments are wired for cable and high speed Internet access.

Small dogs and cats are allowed at both Avellino and Newell Court, with a $600-per-year deposit for dogs and a $400-per-year deposit for cats. All apartments at Avellino are air conditioned. The Avellino building has one 900-square-foot retail space and 1,900 square feet of office space available. The building is designed to convert to condominiums in three years, and renters have first right to negotiation or a lease-option. Newell Court Newell Court, whose motto is "Island elegance, urban convenience," has 40 apartments ranging from studios of 710 square feet to two-bedroom townhouse-style apartments of 1,380 square feet. There are "flat" style one- and two-bedroom apartments with anywhere from 823 square feet to 1,051 square feet. The building has keyless entry with credit-card-sized cards, as in many hotels, for building entry. There is a plum, red, sand and forest green color scheme to the building, which has an art deco look with stylized balcony rails and port-hole size moon-shaped interior lights that give off a warm glow in the hallways and in the apartments. Each apartment has ivory walls and ivory/sand colored carpeting, a full size washer and dryer and a marble-covered electric fireplace.

The large windows in the apartments are divided-light with six to 12 panes of glass. In the downstairs living room area of the townhome-style apartments, the sliding-glass door to the 8-foot-by-4-foot deck is also divided-light style. Most floor plans have small study or den areas, and there's recessed lighting in the 20-foot-high ceilings in the townhome-style apartments.

The studio apartments are worth special mention because they've got a clever floor plan and alcove-style sleeping area with doors instead of walls on two sides. Each studio has a sizable 7-foot-by-20-foot deck just begging for a potted garden. Studios run $995 per month, while one bedrooms are anywhere from $1,295 to $1,550, and two bedrooms are $1,595 to $2,395. Water, sewer and trash are included, but parking isn't, and each parking space is $75 per month. Small dogs and cats are allowed for the same monthly fees as at Avellino. Newell Court does not have air conditioning. There are two retail spaces in Newell Court of 1,200 square feet and two 350-square-foot office spaces available. "I really think Roger Newell (architect) has done a nice job," said owner George Ma. "That's why the building is named in his honor." Both Ma and his counterpart, W.T. Cheung, owner of Avellino, are from Hong Kong, but have lived on the Island for years. "A lady from down the street walked up to me the other day and said she thought the building was spectacular," laughed Ma. "I think it's nice, and has a warm feeling."

Newell Court should have completed all its cosmetic alterations within two weeks.

Allie Learn of Pacific Crest Property Management will be the on-site leasing agent for the Avellino and Newell Court. She can be reached at 230-0238 or 232-8089 for more information.

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