The 606 Apartments in Bremerton was the first project to make use of the city’s mutli-family tax exemption program, as I noted in a Sunday story.
PJ Santos, whose Lorax Partners company developed the 606, was off on vacation last week when I put the story together, but called Monday to give me his thoughts on the program.
Put plainly, Santos said the apartments couldn’t have been built without the incentive, which exempts to value of new apartment buildings from property taxes for up to 12 years.
“The project would not have happened if we didn’t have the abatement,” Santos said. “It was absolutely critical to make it viable.”
Rents in Kitsap are much lower than in Seattle, but construction costs are just as high. Santos aid the tax exemption, which saved 606 owners roughly $25,000 in 2016, made the project pencil out.
He noted cities are still able to tax the improvements as new construction once the exemption expires. But the delay in taxing the full value provides a much-needed boost for building Bremerton.
“It helps kick start development,” Santos said.