31st Avenue Apartments could be trendsetter in Arlington multi-family housing

ARLINGTON – An apartment project currently under site plan review is many months away from breaking ground, but the design features provide a glimpse of where multi-family housing could be headed in Arlington.

4B Partners, Inc. of Marysville plans to build a 48-unit multi-family apartment complex called the 31st Avenue Apartments, located at 31st Avenue and 183rd Place near the Stillaguamish Senior Center.

The project will consist of four buildings each housing 12 units, with 27 one-bedroom units and 21 two-bedroom units.

“We’re pretty excited about this project,” said Marc Hayes, Community and Economic Development director. “The designs the applicants came back with were amazing.”

Three buildings are oriented around a central courtyard, designed as a communal space for tenants to gather. Low walls at the center of the courtyard create a private outdoor away space with a deck, bench seating, a garden path and lush plantings.

Entry points to the individual apartment units are from the four corners of the courtyard. The stairs are also oriented to focus tenants back to the courtyard through views.

“The courtyard is often open space that doesn’t get used,” Hayes said. “We didn’t want to separate the tenants. Social interaction between tenants is key, and it helps create community.”

Additional amenities will include a 6,200-square-foot mini-park for exercise and play and an additional 3,305 square feet of open space.

Associate Planner Amy Rusko said the builders also plan to add an exercise trail and a tot lot.

One of the ways Community Development helped the applicant was to address parking setbacks. By redistributing the apartment’s 108 parking stalls away from 31st Street, the complex’s design features, sidewalks and planting strips stand out at street level, instead of seeing a big parking lot, Hayes said.