As The Danforth nears a July opening at Broadway and East Madison, developer Columbia Pacific Advisors is using a new marketing concept to generate buzz about the 16-story residential building and support three area nonprofits.
Construction started in September 2016 on the 265-unit luxury apartment tower, which includes a 40,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market, and The Danforth is expected to begin welcoming in new residents in late July.
Project manager Pete Aparico said Columbia Pacific Advisors team members have been involved with a number of nonprofits individually, and they felt supporting organizations that reach the Capitol Hill and First Hill neighborhoods would be a great way to introduce The Danforth to the community.
“We decided it would be kind of a perfect opportunity for us to capitalize on our beliefs and our character, as we think about our location and establishing ourselves as a community member,” Aparico said.
The Danforth will provide Seattle Humane, Country Doctor Community Health Centers and the Artist Trust each with $2,500, while prospective tenants and community members will vote to decide which nonprofit will receive an additional $2,500 in funding. The voting period lasts through mid-June, and people can place their vote at thedanforthseattle.com/contest.
Aparico said The Danforth team sat down with Capitol Hill marketing firm the Northwest Polite Society to engage with Capitol Hill and First Hill stakeholders in brainstorming community initiatives.
“I think it will be something that we definitely look forward to replicating moving forward,” he said, adding Whole Foods is also looking at where it can lend community support in the neighborhood.
People who participate in the contest will also be eligible to win one of four prize packages, which include a Frye After Dark Party at the Frye Art Museum, a whiskey blending session at OOLA Distillery and a private film screening at the Northwest Film Forum. The grand prize is a stay at the Willows Inn on Lummi Island, which includes a spa experience and Moondance Sea Kayaking Adventures.
The Danforth is taking advantage of the city’s Multifamily Tax Exemption program, and 53 of its 265 units will be priced at 55-85 percent of area median income, Aparico said.
Prospective tenants will likely have access to visit The Danforth by June, and preleasing could start sometime in May.
Amazon acquired Whole Foods in summer 2017, as The Danforth’s construction was in full swing, but that did not affect the design for the new market at 1001 Broadway, Aparico said, adding what people will likely notice from this new store are improvements to the customer experience.
“I think Whole Foods is continuing to be more creative in how they’re functioning internally, as well as what the customer experience is,” he said.
Columbia Pacific Advisors also entered a long-term ground lease with the Archdiocese of Seattle and St. James Cathedral in early 2016 to construct a 243-unit senior living high-rise in First Hill, which is expected to be completed in 2019.
Aparico said Columbia Pacific Advisors is excited about growing in the community and continuing to establish itself as a good neighbor.