Road 68’s development boom will continue this year with an 82-townhome development project at the end of Chapel Hill Boulevard, nestled against Interstate 182 off one of Pasco’s busiest roads.
Envision Northwest LLC, a Kirkland-based developer, has begun construction on 41 duplex buildings on both sides of a single road, which ends in a cul-de-sac on one of the last developable spots in west Pasco.
The townhomes are duplex units that share one wall and come in three floor plans: a 1,289-square-foot rambler, and two-story plans at 1,616 and 1,793 square feet.
The units will have three or four bedrooms and represent a chance at lower-than-market price homeownership in a competitive real estate market.
The units will be priced between $234,900 and $265,900, said Julie Lynch, the broker on the project.
That’s below the going price of a family home in the Tri-Cities. As of December 2018, the Tri-Cities Association of Realtors said the average sold price for a home in the area is $294,900. Lynch said this is one of several reasons she thinks the Chapel Hill development will be in high demand.
“They are very affordable housing in today’s market,” she said. “You don’t see that very often with new construction being that low of a price.”
Each unit has its own garage, backyard and landscaping included. Lynch said there are currently less than 100 listings in the Tri-Cities currently below $250,000 for similar housing options, with most of those consisting of manufactured homes or older homes that would require significant work. The target market for the new townhomes are first-time homebuyers or retirees, she said.
“There’s not a lot out there for first-time buyers that can’t afford homes that are (listed) at $300,000 or more, and that’s kind of what our base is in the Tri-Cities,” she said. “So I think we are going to have a huge market for it. I wouldn’t be surprised if we sell out of our development before the year-end.”
Austin Roupe, CEO of Envision Northwest LLC, which is developing the project, said the pricing and design choices on the Chapel Hill Boulevard project were intentional.
“Long story short, it was a great opportunity to bring homeownership back to the first-time homebuyer in the Tri-Cities,” Roupe said, noting how much the market has changed in the state and the region in the last decade.
Although based on the west side of the state, Envision Northwest is not new to developments in the Tri-Cities. The developer built homes along Chapel Hill Boulevard for about a decade, finishing work in 2015. Roupe said that when the company began to work in the Tri-Cities in 2006, single-family homes were selling for under $100,000. Today, plots of land alone for single-family homes are selling between $70,000 to $90,000, he said.
The Tri-Cities — and Pasco in particular — are running out of room to house residents who continue to move to the area. While the housing market does appear to be cooling, Roupe said the economic indicators across the region are still strong.
“Wages are growing; unemployment is down, and people continue to move into the area, so we think that being priced where we’re at that first-time homebuyer, that we’ll still have high demand for prices well under $300,000 for homes,” he said.
The new townhome project also is an opportunity for local investors to get involved. Lynch, noting the low real estate inventory in the area, said the Envision project is a good opportunity for investors to come in and buy units, while potentially making good profits on rent.
“Trying to find an apartment in the Tri-Cities — or trying to find an apartment, period, is really difficult but even at a good price point — and I think that based off the market, we can rent them for anywhere between $1,400 and $1,900 a month, depending on floor size,” Lynch said.
Currently, eight townhomes are 40 percent completed and under construction, including at least two of each floor plan. Lynch said these properties went on the market Jan. 1.
Roupe said potential buyers interested in a different lot on the property have the opportunity to request that as well. The model home should be done later this month, Roupe said, and construction could be done by the end of the year if demand is there.
“If demand is there, we’ll supply it,” he said.
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