Flippin’ CityView

The developer, who bought the property to build the private student dormitory, CityView, now has a very, very large white elephant on his hands.

The developer, who bought the property to build the private student dormitory, CityView, now has a very, very large white elephant on his hands.


[Update: 6/30/2023.  In the last paragraph of my article below, I stated that I would look into the expiration dates of the approvals to build the private student dormitory.  Here is the response from the city planning department:

  • Planned Development and Critical Areas decision is 5 years from April 19, 2022. Pursuant to BMC 21.10.260(C)(2), the director may grant an extension of these decisions of up to 2 years.
  • Design Review decision is 2 years from April 19, 2022. The Design Review decision does not include provisions for extending the expiration date.

So the clock is ticking, albeit with some possibility of extension in the case of the Planned Development and Critical Areas decision.  The permit, without its attachments, is posted for reference at FILES below. ]

Totally predictable.

Last year at this time, I wrote an article about the private student dormitory project called CityView, whose approval had just been gained after several years of wrangling between the developer, the city planning department, and local residents. The flippin' property is now being flipped…maybe…at a price more than double what the developer, Morgan Bartlett, paid several years ago. He is looking for a cool $5.3 million - minus, no doubt, the costs he incurred to date on the purchase and associated project approval expenditures. Check out the Zillow page on the property listing HERE

But last year I already had written this about the soon-to-be white elephant:

“All that being said, the project still faces many hurdles.  Numerous conditions have been imposed by the city and it is not altogether clear that the developer will be able to meet them all. Moreover, interest rate hikes will raise the cost of materials and construction loans at a pace we can only guess. Availability of materials through an already unstable supply chain may prove to be an obstacle that raises costs and creates delays. Labor costs and the availability of skilled construction, electric, plumbing, masonry, dry wall, and landscaping workers looms on the horizon for the foreseeable future. That the project will be phased, raises questions about the financial capacity of the developer who paid $1.8 million for the property. The possibility of a flip sale of the property cannot be ruled out. It also remains to be seen whether or not this project will attract the student renters who want to rent a bedroom in a 3-bedroom apartment unit. This ain't done yet.”

And it still ain't done yet. This project approval that he is dangling out there like a squirming worm on a hook is not going to last forever. These approvals expire. [I have asked the city for the status on this project and will report back to you in an update.] I can almost feel the swell of schadenfreude in the air among the hundreds of residents whose quiet enjoyment of their homes hung in the balance for so many years. Nor was this their first rodeo, having beaten back a similar project a decade ago, University Ridge. Carpetbagger developers from Georgia were effectively run out of town by a decision by the Hearing Examiner much to the relief of the Puget Neighborhood residents. 

Attached Files

About Dick Conoboy

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 26, 2008

Dick Conoboy is a recovering civilian federal worker and military officer who was offered and accepted an all-expense paid, one year trip to Vietnam in 1968. He is a former Army [...]

Comments by Readers

David A. Swanson

Jun 29, 2023

Nekin meistä, jotka eivät ole luonnostaan kyynisiä, myöntävät, että vahingonilo on yksi ilon muoto, ja juuri sellaista iloa tunnen tällä hetkellä.


Dick Conoboy

Jun 29, 2023

To our readers,

Our commenter above, David Swanson, forgets at times that he is not in Finland anymore.  I am not sure if he is trying to reprise Dorothy and Kansas but here is a translation of his statement. “

“However, even those of us who are not cynical naturally admit that Schadenfreude is a form of joy, and it is this sort of joy that I am feeling now.”


Carol Follett

Jul 01, 2023

Thank you for your vigilant reporting on this development project, Dick. I have been following our water issues to the best of my ability and have development on my mind in light of that. Consent for these projects is built around memes and publicity schemes and I just want to share this thought:

We look at the new water requests and  we see them a few at a time; it looks innocuous. If we look at one building project at a time, it might seem reasonable. But think about just one major “home grown” developer’s “footprint” in our city alone the RJ Group. I cannot add up the units but they have or are in the process of building, but they must be in the several hundreds just since 2019. You can try to follow it from their the RJ Group Recent Projects  and the RJ Group Current Projects.

Build and they will come. 

Not build to suit a need. 

Not build to house the unhoused.

Not build to restore community.

Not build to create better educational opportunities for children. 

Not build to create better mental and physical health. 

Not build to create sustainable employment. 

Not build to create a “living wage “

Not build to protect the environment

Builders are not building for charitable purposes. Builders are not building for neighborly relations.

They build and disrupt wildlife pathways.

They build and threaten the water supply.

They build and crowd humans into denser and denser environments.

They build and destroy mental health.

When they build, they make a few people extremely rich and do not relieve the misery in our community….

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