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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 18, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Green Lake’s building blues

Ugly building doesn’t help

Development company Trammell Crow Residential blames the sluggish economy for low occupancy in its new four-story building, Circa, at Green Lake [“Green Lake bruised by building blues,” page one, May 18].

But there’s another reason Circa falls flat with prospective tenants: It is an ugly, unappealing box, more suited to a strip mall than Green Lake. Circa’s size is not the problem. The problem is the structure’s complete lack of visual appeal.

Trammell Crow spokesman Sean Hyatt calls Circa’s location “iconic.” Yet architecturally, Circa only takes from the Green Lake neighborhood. It gives nothing back in character or charm.

— Jane Lotter, Seattle

High rent prices missed the mark

The stalled rentals at Circa, the new Green Lake apartment project on the Albertson’s site, suffer from rents too high for the demographics of our community — reason I cannot feel sorry for Trammell Crow Residential’s experience. The rent levels at opening for many units require incomes beyond $75,000 per year to afford comfortably.

The hubris and lack of work force rent levels puzzled me from the start. Who did they imagine would pay $3,000 for a two-bedroom unit? Green Lake is a middle-class neighborhood still, and the slow rentals are not a sign of a bad economy as much as they are a market-miss in the pro forma by Trammel Crow.

Rock-star units, perhaps, but rock stars are not living in the Green Lake neighborhood.

— Robin Landy Amadon, Seattle

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