I stopped by the Highbury a week ago to check out the townhouses on Capitol Hill, and to see the water fountain that runs down the middle of the complex. Unfortunately for me, the fountain that collects, stores, and recirculates rainwater was temporarily turned off as a final water-tight seal was applied to the surrounding patio.
Regardless, I received a tour of three of the five layouts, and learned more about the other green aspects of the townhouses (besides the rainwater-collecting fountain). Here’s how it all breaks down.
The Whole Community
The Highbury is a community of 10 new construction townhouses that is located on 13th Ave E between John and Denny. The five different 2-bedroom layouts range from 1,138 to 1,475 sq ft in size and sit atop a shared, below-grade parking garage. After a recent round of reductions, prices now start at $449K and go up to $559K.
Things I noted:
- It’s Green. It is 4-star Built Green certified and all that the designation entails, including low flow water fixtures, radiant heat flooring, recycled tile, and rainwater collection.
- Actually, It’s Green+Noise Resistant. Units are well insulated with double drywall which not only helps retain heat in the colder months, but also shields from neighbor noise.
- You Can Make It More Green. The rooftop decks have been constructed so that the homeowner can replace the concrete floor tiles with green rooftop if they so choose (not included).
- No HOA, but CC&R is $25/mo. As townhouses, there is not an HOA but there is a $25/mo contribution to the CC&R to cover energy costs for the common area lighting and to run the water fixture. Any extra can be saved for future needs that may come up such as repairs or landscaping.
- About The Views. Properties to the west of the development are currently older, 2-story buildings with rental apartments. The area is zoned for 3-story height so views cannot be guaranteed; however the rentals are full and profitable so redevelopment is not likely. Once completed, the light rail station will make Highbury views slightly more in-city, territorial.
Besides the rainwater collecting fountain and the abundance of green features, there were two things that stood out about this development. First, the townhouses are built to stimulate interaction among the community. Highbury is not a row of townhouses on a street, but rather a community of homes that a resident wanders through to get to their front door, or where one can wave to their neighbor from the balcony or rooftop deck.
Second, this development is a blank slate for enterprising homeowners with container landscaping skills. A small selection of potted plants are present in the abundance of ground level community space, but there’s more space to fill in with potted, lush greenery if a homeowner (or the community) is inspired to do so.
In a tour of the layouts themselves, I found each had unique selling points:
The two units that face 13th Ave uniquely feature a private fenced patio out front and a spiral staircase up the final level to the rooftop deck. Also unique to this layout is a mud room space inside the front door that also serves as the entrance to the ground floor bedroom (or office).
The other four units are interior to the lot, have rooftop decks, and balconies with views of the rainwater-fed fountain or the shared courtyard. The model unit (109A) I looked at was conservative in square footage and had a true stairway, separate from the living areas and master suite on the upper floor – so you don’t have to invade the privacy of the master to get to these rooftop views:
The 4 townhouses that face west (towards the alley) don’t have rooftop decks, but they do have an extra amount of storage at ground level – perfect for storing all that muddy stuff like mountain bikes, skis, etc. And probably gardening equipment, because there’s a fair amount of balcony and community patio space that homeowners can fill with potted landscaping.