Saturday morning, April 10, 2010, the lobby and leasing office of the Centennial Tower and Court, a pet-friendly apartment complex, was packed like cordwood with people looking frantically for a new apartment home. Buzzing with distressed urban dwellers, many of whom had pets, the word was just out that the McGuire, a 25-story, 250+ apartment complex, had informed renters that they have to move. As an incentive to move quickly, the owners of the building were offering move incentives to those who could move quickly. In speaking with several people who were waiting to find out if there were apartments available for rent by the middle of May, McGuire residents said they were told that those who move out by May 15 will receive three times their monthly rent, plus a moving allowance ranging from $1,500 to $2,500. The stimulus to assist with the move will be phased out to zero by June 30th one of the applicants said.
The McGuire has had scaffolding surrounding it for many months as renters continue to move in (and out), walk their dogs, and see life as normal being surrounded by workers hammering and sawing 8-10 hours a day. The noise in the neighborhood has been unending for a very long time from the efforts to repair the building. Now it seems too costly to save the building from demolition. And so it will come down. Lawsuits are plentiful and more than 250 people are looking for new homes - many for them and their pets.
As a pet owner and renter in Belltown, I know this will be driven by the laws of supply and demand. The meager advantage that renters saw in the fall and early winter for a decrease in the exorbitant Belltown rents is dribbling away as landlords fill their empty apartments and start to garner lucrative rents fed by the McGuire's closing.
If you are a pet-friendly landlord, now would be a good time to welcome a new renter. If you are a renter with pet and have a good landlord, add some doggie biscuits or catnip the next time you pay your rent. Maybe they won't raise your rent the next time you renew your lease!
There are many things to talk about when it comes to living with pets in Belltown.
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