July 15, 2002
Grand opening for Greenbrier
By Bronwyn Wilson
Senior Staff Reporter
Since April, the construction site at Northeast Woodinville Way and 144th Northeast has pulsed with activity. Amidst a chorus of whining saws and pinging hammers, CamWest Development of Kirkland has been on the job building Greenbrier, an affordable housing community made up of seventy homes and one hundred rental units. Beginning next month the site will have a new type of activity as occupants begin to move into the newly built homes. At that time, Greenbrier will become a neighborhood where children play, grandmas garden and dads barbeque. And though Greenbrier will seem like any other neighborhood in Woodinville, it does have one unique difference. The housing development offers ownership and rental opportunities for those who might not otherwise have the financial means to reside in Woodinville.
Greenbrier's development is the result of a concerted partnership between CamWest, the City of Woodinville, King County and ARCH (A Regional Coalition for Housing). On July 20th, the public housing development will celebrate it's grand opening after years of planning, designing and coordinating by the partners to make it happen. Housing construction of the seventy homes will spread out over a year with the first homes ready for occupancy in August 2002 and the last set of homes completed in the spring of 2003. Each house comes with an alluring price tag, beginning at $115,000 for a one-bedroom cottage up to $230,580 for a four-bedroom house. The two-story detached homes will sell in three categories with caps on maximum annual incomes for homes purchased in categories 1 and 2. As an example, category 2 has nine 3 and 4 bedroom single-family homes priced at $166,500 and $182,500 with an additional limit on person occupancy. To purchase the 3-bedroom home, for instance, the buyer must have an annual household income below $70,110 and agree to a minimum two-person occupancy. Household or income restrictions don't apply in category 3, however. All fifty 3 and 4 bedroom homes in this category have one price locked at $230,580. "We cannot move the price," says Carolyn Gladwell, marketing and sales vice president for Cam West who has received numerous phone calls from potential buyers wondering why the 3 and 4 bedroom homes have the same purchase price. She mentions another immovable condition, stating, "All homes must be owner occupied." This deters an investor from buying up a block of homes with dreams of a lucrative profit. Greenbrier's affordable community, says Gladwell, has the homeowner-not the profiteerŅin mind.
That said, CamWest doesn't scrimp on materials to maintain Greenbrier's quaint personality throughout the development, right down to the Victorian-esque street lamps. Cedar shake siding, stone features, overhanging roofs and covered entries boost its charming appeal.
Gladwell describes the architectural style as 'craftsman' and explains, "There's a lot of Victorian elements in 'craftsman.' That's the inspiration of these homes." Two different colors of paint finish each house. "We have grays, greens, beiges, even a seaside blue," she says, adding that a classic soft white trim completes the exterior's attractive contrast. Says Gladwell, "With five different floor plans and eight exterior color schemes, that in itself lends to the uniqueness of your individual home."
In addition, the 3 and 4 bedroom homes have 2-car garages, but the tiny cottages do not. Owners will park a short walking distance away in a nearby lot. That doesn't mean the cottages are without amenities. Each has a front porch, to name one. "They're just adorable," says Gladwell of the cottages. "And you own it...you have the pride of ownership which is a great thing."
A community central park, as well as adjacent wetlands with interpretive trails, adds greenery to the cheery Greenbrier landscape.
Arthur Sullivan, program manager for ARCH, says that Greenbrier will serve a variety of housing needs for those with low or moderate incomes. As an illustration, he points to the rental units, with fifty apartments designated for families and fifty for seniors. According to Sullivan, the senior rentals will provide a housing choice for elderly citizens who want to stay in the community but can't afford the steep rents in other locations. The same can be said for those seeking home ownership and Sullivan notes that the average Woodinville homeowner lives in a home priced at $300,000-plus. "A certain portion of the work force can't afford homes over $300,000," he says and explains that Greenbrier offers homes below average market value. Buyers of homes in categories 1 and 2 go through an income screening process. "They sign an agreement based on a formula that restricts the increase in future values in order to maintain the below market level. But they do get an appreciation," he says.
Funding for the Greenbrier project comes from a wide range of sources, including King County and Washington State Housing Programs, tax credits through Washington Housing Finance Commission, fees waived by the City of Woodinville, land cost reduction due to density bonuses and direct financial assistance through the Arch Trust Fund.
CamWest invites the public to view one fully furnished model starting at 11 am on Saturday July 20th to mark Greenbrier's grand opening. The model and sales office will also open on July 21, 27 and 28.
For further information on the seventy Greenbrier homes, contact CamWest representative, Randy Reeves at 206-947-9971 or visit www.camwest.com. To contact ARCH, call 425-861-3676 or register online at www.archhousing.org .