New 107-unit apartment building opens near Bainbridge ferry terminal

Source: Kitsap Sun
By: Nathan Pilling
Posted: July 14th, 2019

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND – What’s thought to be the largest apartment building on Bainbridge Island has opened its doors.

The centerpiece of the new BLIS development — which sits a short walk from the Winslow ferry terminal, between Cave and Ferncliff avenues — is a four-story building home to 107 rental units. On the same property, seven townhomes south of the larger building are also going up for rent, and construction is underway on a series of 18 townhomes that will be sold.

During planning and construction, the development was known by the name Bainbridge Landing. The project is a joint venture between two of Kitsap’s biggest developers, Olympic Property Group and Sound West Group.

Sound West Group CEO Wes Larson said the development caters to three markets: those looking to find a place to live in a multi-family complex, the senior “move down” population and green commuters who want to live near the ferry terminal.

“We did design the building with that in mind, that a big piece of the population would be people without a car,” he said. “There’s a major transportation center within steps and the ability to be downtown and walk and bike to stuff that you want to do.”

The apartment building, has studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units, and prices range from $1,700 up to $4,500 a month, said Shelly Litreal, a property manager for the building. Residents began moving in late last month, and the building is currently around 30 percent occupied, she said.

“A lot of people that are coming through here are natives, they’ve been here for 30-plus years, a lot of people selling their homes just to rent with us,” she said. “We do have a lot of people coming from Seattle also, getting rid of their apartments because they’re paying less here.”

Other amenities include a bike storage room on the ground level, community gathering and food preparation areas and outdoor decks with views of Eagle Harbor, Mount Rainier and over into Seattle. A small park will eventually open next to the building along Ferncliff Avenue.

The building is thought to be the largest apartment building to open on Bainbridge Island. Research by the city of Bainbridge Island’s Planning and Community Development Department didn’t find any larger projects in Winslow, and Larson said his understanding is that the BLIS apartment building is the largest on the island.

In an email to the Kitsap Sun, OPG president Jon Rose said the development fits with the city’s goals of putting residential density in a location that is near ferry access, shopping and other services.

“Although the project is not subsidized by any government agency, it will have an impact on island affordability, which is primarily driven by the supply of housing,” Rose said. “The project contains 107 rental units, a significant increase to the island’s rental pool.”

The developers touted the building’s design to achieve LEED Gold certification and low carbon footprint.

“The water savings are tremendous,” Larson said. “It’s about as good as it gets.”