Call it an iHome or maybe a really big Lego.
In any case, the modular apartments Unico Properties plans to build -- make that, install -- in Seattle are different.
"This is the iPhone equivalent for housing," Unico Vice President Jonas Sylvester said Wednesday afternoon, while standing in one of two stacked homes the company built at a Burlington factory, trucked to downtown Seattle and lifted by crane onto the rooftop park at Rainier Square.
Here's the idea. Construction costs have gotten so high that it's hard to build housing for people making typical incomes without a subsidy. Modular apartments are faster to build and less expensive.
Unico executives would not say how much cheaper the modular homes are -- "That's proprietary," Unico President and Chief Executive Dale Sperling said. But they said going modular cuts the total time of a project, from securing a site to when people move in, about in half.
Unico's target market for the Inhabit apartments are young professionals who are mobile, educated, adept with technology and like something environmentally responsible with design flair. The model units feature modern lines and fixtures, accented with touches such as a porcelain dog resting on a lime shag rug under a glass-and-chrome coffee table in front of a white vinyl couch. [Read Full Article]