Olympia developer Walker John and his partners recently brought Thurston First Bank, Three Magnets Brewing Co. and 19 market-rate apartments to a redeveloped state office building at Legion Way and Franklin Street.
Now, John is embarking on his next project on an adjacent lot.
Work is expected to begin in August on the 321 Lofts, a three-story building of market-rate apartments that will occupy a portion of the parking lot that already serves the bank and Three Magnets.
“It really speaks to the potential of downtown,” Jim Haley, president and chief executive of Thurston First Bank, said about John’s latest project.
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Thurston First co-financed the redevelopment of the former state Department of Personnel building, which is now known as the Thurston First Bank Building. The bank hopes to play a role in financing the new project, Haley said. John also is a client of the bank, he said.
Architect Ron Thomas of Thomas Architecture Studio of Olympia has created new renderings of the building design. The building, which will have 36 apartments, is expected to open in July 2016, Thomas said. Each floor will have 12 apartments: one two-bedroom apartment; four studio apartments; and seven one-bedroom apartments.
Apartment sizes will range from 476 square feet to 1,040 square feet, with rents ranging from $800 to a little more than $1,100, Thomas said.
Parking for 29 vehicles will be provided under the building — but not underground — and it also will have long-term bicycle storage.
Other design elements include exterior vertical walls of flowering plants and other greenery, both around the building and between it and the Thurston First Bank Building, he said. Although the new building will occupy a portion of the parking lot, 71 spaces will still be available for Three Magnets and the bank.
Haley is bullish on downtown, using words such as “revitalization” to describe what has happened so far on that block.
Thomas added that the redevelopment of the former state office building is a good example of “adaptive reuse,” and a sign of a maturing city. More market-rate housing also means more choices for those who want to live downtown, he said.
Since the Thurston First Bank Building opened, the apartments are all occupied, Three Magnets is busy and Thurston First Bank’s deposit base is growing at $1 million per month, Haley said.
The Rants Group will handle the apartment leases at the 321 Lofts. Property manager and managing broker Teri Haglund expects the apartments to go fast, she said.
The Thurston First Bank Building apartments opened in November and were leased by March, she said.