Revitalizing Old Properties on Capitol Hill and First Hill

A husband-and-wife development team proves good homes can come in compact packages
Architect David Neiman of Neiman Tabor, part of the design team for The Summit Inn renovations on Capitol Hill, will create 49 new micro units with interiors modeled after the modern, small spaces of Seattle University housing community, The Yobi Apartmen

In a city sprouting towers of new residential construction all around town, Lauren and Bradley Padden are thinking small. “The cornerstone of our company is we are looking at heritage buildings, buildings of character…and renovating the inside to create micro units,” says Lauren, who, with her husband and business partners David and Sara Sharkey, started Seattle-based Anew Apartments development group. In the past two years, the Paddens have purchased two properties, The Summit Inn on Capitol Hill and The Broadmore Apartments on First Hill, which they plan to renovate and convert into compact residences with shared living spaces and small efficiency dwelling units (SEDUs), resulting in a greater number of apartments.

After moving to Washington four years ago, the Paddens fell in love with the Pacific Northwest landscape, but felt the challenges of finding affordable housing in Seattle. “We were looking at the lovely neighborhoods, and people just can’t afford to get into any of them,” Lauren says. “Working in residential real estate, we feel this [crunch], too, as we try to maintain the historic character of our projects while preserving affordability in our renovations.”

Anew Apartments’ team works within the existing framework of each building, maintaining as much of the original construction and making key updates such as installing full-service kitchens and enhancing a building’s structure. “Adaptive reuse and repositioning: I’m a great believer in that, and so is my group,” says Lauren. For example, at the Broadmore building, they’ll maintain the original brick exterior and repurpose wood from the Summit building to construct a community table.

The Summit Inn, a 115-year-old building, has long been home to an artistic community attracted by low rents. The original building has 23 units; when the renovation is completed next spring, there will be 49 units. The renovation is one of the first of its kind on the Hill. With rising rental costs, the projected rents for both The Summit Inn and The Broadmore—between $975 and $1,500—will be in the affordable range for the area, where the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,580, according to a Dupre and Scott Apartment Advisors survey from March 2016.

Renovations on The Broadmore apartment building, a 105-year-old, ivy-covered brick building on Terry Avenue near Harborview Medical Center, began in September. Its existing 33 residential units will become 112 microunits. 

The Summit Inn

Construction start date: March 2016
Original number of units: 23
Number of units,
post-renovation: 49
Type of units: Microhousing and loft units
Average square footage: 225–450 square feet
Average rent: $975–$1,500
Move-in date: Spring 2017

The exterior of the 115-year-old Summit Inn on Capitol Hill

The Broadmore
Construction start date: September 2016
Original number of units: 33
Number of units,
post-renovation: 112
Type of units: Microhousing and SEDUs
Average square footage: 225–450 square feet
Average rent: $975–$1,500
Move-in date: Fall 2017

Renovations on The Broadmore Apartments on First Hill will preserve the charming brick and ivy-covered exterior

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