The Madrona Company’s new four-story mixed-use residential development The Valley has filled its ground-floor retail spaces and plans to start welcoming residents in May.
Construction on the 41-unit apartment building at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and East Union Street started in February 2016.
“For this one, we were thinking we would have a little vacation,” said Madrona Company owner Marty Liebowitz, the developer designing The Valley Building but then tapping Express Construction as the general contractor.
That vacation didn’t last, as Express Construction went bankrupt, so The Madrona Company stepped in to finish the development.
“We gave them a lot of money on purpose,” Liebowitz said, “so we could avoid the stress.”
But Liebowitz believes The Madrona Company taking over actually resulted in a more solid final product.
Union Street Dental was the first business to open on the ground floor of The Valley Building, and will soon be joined by Velopez pro bike shop, a hair salon, health insurance office, independent post office and The Cheese Platter and More.
The Central District’s iconic Cappy’s Boxing Gym is relocating to a new gym space in The Valley’s basement.
The residences range from studios to two-bedroom, two-bath units. A studio will range from $1,300-$1,650, a one-bedroom at $1,700-$2,000 and a two-bedroom at $2,300-$3,000.
The Madrona Company participated in the city’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption program, and 12 of the units are priced at affordability levels — studios at 50-65 percent of area median income, one-bedrooms at 75 percent and two-bedrooms at 85 percent, said Liebowitz’s son, Max, who pushed his father to take on the new development.
“We’ve built units like this before,” Liebowitz said, “but for this one we made minor changes.”
The developer said some employees from Cappy’s and the Grocery Outlet across the street plan to move into The Valley, and The Madrona Company is also in talks with Uncle Ike’s about filling some units with staff from the Central District location, Liebowitz said.
The Valley has two parking garages, and every resident is provided with a storage unit.
The lobby will double as an art gallery space. Liebowitz said The Valley Gallery will be used to host a monthly art show for residents.
The entire development is lighted with LEDs, which should keep electrical costs for residents to less than $50 a month, he said.
Before The Madrona Company stepped in, the lot had long been vacant.
“We just thought it was a great site, because you have that pedestrian corridor downtown from Union,” Liebowitz said.
The sidewalk on East Union was significantly widened to provide greenscaping that includes the planting of several birch trees that will reach 40 feet over time.
“This is going to be very lush,” Liebowitz said, “like walking through a forest.”
The second floor features a courtyard with mostly edible plantings, the middle section dedicated for all residents and planters on the outer perimeter designated for specific units.
“It’s all irrigated,” Liebowitz said. “Just some pruning and some maintenance.”
The rooftop space includes a greenhouse for residents that will also be used by The Cheese Platter and More to grow herbs and vegetables.
People interested in learning more about The Valley Building, 2719 E. Union St., can contact The Madrona Company at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-325-0422.