After about three years in the making, a new apartment complex is officially open and held its ribbon cutting on Jan. 8.
The Monarch Apartments has rooted itself on 238th Street in the Four Corners area of Maple Valley.
According to Matt Torpey, community development manager of Maple Valley, the process started in 2015 because the city was updating its comprehensive plan as required by state law.
He said the discussion started at the planning commission level, about whether or not the city should allow mixed use apartment-style buildings in the commercial area of the city.
And as it turns out, the vote was, “yes,” mixed use would be allowed.
“It’s called horizontal mixed use and the requirement would be that 25 percent of the footprint of the buildings would have to be commercial. So that’s why you see the commercial on the highway side of the project,” Torpey said.
Laura Philpot, Maple Valley city manager, said there’s going to be Crocketts coming to town, a Jersey Mike’s that’s already open and a few other commercial businesses to come.
Torpey also said the idea of developing a multifamily living space was generally well received by the community, the planning commission and the Maple Valley City Council.
He said the council adopted the idea in 2016 with a 6-1 vote. Shortly after, the Monarch and the Ascend Apartments (located near the Four Corners Safeway) applied for a building permit and design review.
According to Brett Jacobsen, a managing member of Palladium Real Estate Services who oversees Monarch, they chose to build their next apartment complex in Maple Valley because they saw a need in the community.
“The ownership group, which is comprised of locals, the majority of whom live and have businesses in the vicinity, saw a demand and need for a residential mixed use community in the Maple Valley area. We wanted to create a high-end residential and retail community that fits with the city’s vision for the future, which is to have a great living environment with convenience and walkability to neighboring shops, schools and community attributes. In short, we wanted to create something that we, along with the Maple Valley community, could be proud of while providing housing opportunities not available here before,” Jacobsen said.
Monarch has 200 residential apartments, a “state of the art” lounge building and exercise facilities and three neighboring retail buildings, Jacobsen said.
He also said the apartments have been filling up fast, but they restrict the speed because he said they set high screening standards for future residents.
Philpot said the new apartments will be good for the community.
“It’s important I think for any community to have a diversity in their housing stock. There’s not a lot of options. I think the planning commission and council, when they adopted the comprehensive plan and the zoning, they were looking at, ‘Could there be some additional housing stock options,’” Philpot explained. “For example, some of the families in town, maybe they have kids and they want to move out, but not far away. Or there new teachers coming that are looking for housing temporarily.”
She said the housing prices in Maple Valley are high, so these apartments give more opportunity for potential residents of Maple Valley.
The apartments will also be good because there will be a variety of housing stock for different income levels, and how people desire to live, Torpey said.
“Not everybody wants to take care of a lawn or maintenance of a home. Many people cannot afford to live in homes in Maple Valley. It provides housing availability for some of our employers who are not in the higher income brackets and previously we really had very limited apartments and condominiums units in Maple Valley, so a lot our local employees and people that work in stores and shops would have to live in Kent or Auburn,” he continued.
Looking forward to a possible traffic increase as the residents start moving in, Philpot said as part of the development the real estate company had to do a traffic study.
She said one of the things they had to do was some reconfiguration of the roadway in front of the complex and some striping of the road.
The company also changed the signal phasing at the intersection on the street they are located on. Philpot said there is now a left turn arrow coming off of 264th Street onto state Route 169. She said the modifications were at their cost.
For more information about renting at the Monarch Apartments, go to https://www.monarchapts.com/.
“The residential units are unlike any built before in the vicinity, as each unit is an outside corner unit, as a result they are extremely bright, open units with condo-like finish packages. All of the units have high ceilings, but the third floor units have massive cathedral ceilings and additional transom windows for an expansive feel,” Jacobsen said. “Many of the units have amazing views of Mount Rainier to the south and the mixed use concept, as well as the neighboring retail, parks, schools makes the site unlike any other in terms of convenience and lifestyle.”