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Will the New Town Center Apartments Make University Place More Walkable?

The centrally-located Clearview 100 Apartment Homes on Bridgeport Way next door to the University Place Town Center are getting close to move-in ready. Would you live there?

As University Place Town Center’s new apartment building starts to take shape behind the scaffolding, it’s interesting to imagine how the personality of Bridgeport Way will change once residents start moving in.

They’ll be mere feet from the University Place Library, city government offices and the Frog n Kiwi Café. Trader Joe’s is only a few blocks away. And then there’s the brand new retail space available on the apartment building ground floor.

Representatives from SEB Incorporated, developer for the Clearview 100 Apartment Homes, told Patch that no retailors have signed up to fill the 12,000 square feet of new business space, but that they are hoping to attract businesses that “will be useful to the tenants of the building and surrounding community.”

The 100 apartment units are scheduled to be move-in ready this July. Residents will have access to a fitness center, party room with big-screen TVs, an outdoor spa and tanning room as part of their rent. The building will also feature an outdoor BBQ party area with tables and chairs.

Studio apartment rents start at $795 and creep up to over $1625 for a two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment.

In an interview with the city's TV network show "Business in UP" that aired last October, Steve Berg from SEB said he expected the project would appeal to a mix of residents 55 years and older, as well as students. However, SEB representatives told Patch that there is no targeted demographic for this apartment building. 

Do you think the Clearview 100 will help make the Bridgeport community more walkable, or just add to the congestion? Tell us in the comments.

Kevin Davis February 20, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Color me a tad skeptical about the walkability. Green Firs has only one major pedestrian entrance from the direction of the town center and you have to go through parking lots to get there. Of course, one could brave the side street behind the HR Block & Burger King. Furthermore, it seems like we're putting the cart before the horse by expecting people to pay such a premium on a home when there's nothing truly worthwhile close at hand. There's no night life to speak of. No major employers. We're having a hard enough time keeping restaurants in town. With all due respect, UP is a suburban community with urban aspirations but a fairly murky vision of how to achieve it.
Howard and Barbara Lee February 21, 2013 at 12:15 AM
University Place taxpayers, citizens, and developer SEB Inc desperately need the Clearview project to be success. However, The Pacifica, a new apartment complex which was recently completed in Tacoma, is located one block from the Tacoma Mall. Rental prices for The Pacifica are comparable to those advertised for Clearview, while affording walkable access to many restaurants and commercial shops and stores in the mall. Also, they are a little over two blocks from a regional transportation center. I only hope that "build it and they will come" applies to Clearview! Howard
James Rand February 21, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Nobody walks in UP. 42 and rainy this AM. Also hate the way Berg's apartments dwarf the civic building. At least we got a flag.
Musique February 21, 2013 at 04:14 PM
The apartments across the street from the library are $705 a months for a one bedroom. The price of the new apartment STUDIO at almost $800.00~seems high to me (but what do I know). Because it is new (and hopefully soundproofed), it might be worth it. Street noise does not bother everyone, but Bridgeport, all day and night is a very noisy street with fire trucks, police sirens, horns, loud mufflers, booming bass from cars, etc. If I had a choice, this new place would not be my first, but people do live in more undesirable places. The close access to the freeway is the only thing I see as a plus. Crossing the street as a pedestrian from the apartments to the library and back, or from Trader Joe's to the park is VERY dangerous, many people do not stop at the red lights. Besides, I can't see too many people walking to get their groceries and as mentioned by someone else, there is no night life here at all! The best night life we HAD was Massimo's with the big TV screen. But they are gone now, Shari's is gone and the new Asian restaurant too, not that I'd call those thing good night life, but it was somewhere to go. Yippee, now we will have another bank to take the place! (yes, sarcasm) All any of us can do is wait and see and HOPE it does well! It is almost done! That in itself if exciting! I hope it does well. I really do. I just cannot see it yet. I feel a sadness for this area. Maybe if people move in, maybe things will improve.
Lauren Padgett (Editor) February 21, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Good observations, Musique. This development got me thinking about walkability, about how communities can thrive when people start using what's around them, rather than driving out of town to find it. When I lived in Seattle, I lived on Capitol Hill and didn't own a car for over two years. It was great - walking to the grocery story and only taking back what you can carry, taking the bus around instead of driving. It's a different way of life and, if you have flexibility with your job and lifestyle, I highly recommend it. But UP isn't Seattle. And you're right, there is no nightlife in the area. These apartments are expensive. But maybe some residents there will take advantage of the grocery store, of the cafe and library next door. When you compare this area to others around UP, I think this wins the walkability award. It's not perfect and it's still a work in progress, but something is better than nothing!
Wade Stewart February 21, 2013 at 06:48 PM
I think this is an improvement over the Tacoma Mall location in terms of traffic and green space. Don't forget a lovely park with tall trees just the other side of Windmill village. The restaurant choices in the same area as Trader Joe's are definitely attractive to me and I would hope to see some more draws with retail and possibly a restaurant in the retail areas of the building. On my wish list still is a mid-upscale restaurant with meeting space, and a bar or lounge both between 35th and 44th on Bridgeport. I believe we're getting there.
Christie Anderson February 21, 2013 at 10:36 PM
I have wondered why the need for more housing when the idea of incorporation was to minimize apartment/condo growth. As to a walkable community?...today's weather is a good indicator as to why that is unrealistic, IMHO. I will say that having housing so close to city hall will be a boon to city staff....they could all move in there and never have to drive. Now THAT's walkability! :-))
Lawrance Thompson February 22, 2013 at 04:46 AM
I would like to see a floor plan. I live across the street right now, 2 bed room, with DW, W/D, Refrig, wood burning Fire place, covered parking and a garage for 900. Walking to stores is OK, the little park. But there is nothing else. I was hoping for a movie theater and disapointed when the plan for an Appelbee's fell through. I assume the top floors with the best views command the big bucks? When can we get a tour?
Jesica Davis February 24, 2013 at 07:41 PM
I have also wondered who would live in that location. Perhaps it would be a good choice for long time UP residents who are older and downsizing, but as for younger people...I can't really see anyone moving to UP and choosing a condo that looks like it would be more at home in downtown Tacoma. It's certainly a strange idea...we shall see. And of course I hope for the best because I love UP.
Musique March 06, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Living next door to work would be awesome! Good point Chris!
Musique March 06, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Yes, I'd like to see more of a night life here too Lawrance. A theater and restaurant that is open all night would be a good start. Plus it would give people jobs that live in this area.
Musique March 06, 2013 at 04:38 PM
It is a bit of a monstrosity isn't it! It is expensive too! How many people make enough money to afford the mortgage/rent. The people with the city jobs can, but do they already own homes? I'd like to see the floor plan as well. How many sq feet has it? I am looking forward to the open house!

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