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Shoreline resident defies developers, building his own apartment complex

Seattle, Shoreline, and other neighboring communities have recently experienced a rush of radical upzoning — when cities rewrite zoning codes to allow for larger, taller buildings. Part of this is because the region is expanding light rail service and allowing larger development near new stations.

Some people have chosen to make lemonade out of the lemons that they’ve been given with all of the new development in their neighborhoods.

One such person is Tiko Sandoval, a Shoreline resident who said no to the big developers, decided to not sell his house, and instead build an apartment complex with neighbors.

“I just decided that instead of selling out to a developer — which is what a lot of the neighbors that I live around have decided to do — I kind of just took the bull by the horns and decided to basically become a developer for my property, and convinced my neighbors to deal with me,” he told the Candy, Mike and Todd Show.

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“So we created an LLC to create a development project that hopefully will become a very lucrative endeavor.”

Sandoval approached several of his neighbors, and initially imagined an 125-unit place — which then became a 300-unit building — and worked to draw up plans and figure out costs and zoning details. The process is by no means a quick one, and he’s still learning as he goes along.

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“Literally, within the last 23 weeks we just finally signed our LLC paperwork … Our timelines have been pushed back quite a bit. But in that time, we’ve also found some people who are experts at building projects, consultants who can basically help you navigate the investment side of things for how to fund it,” he said.

“We’re now looking at 300, maybe even closer to 400 units. We’re looking at a $60 million build. That’s not the kind of money I have access to,” he said, laughing. “That’s really where I get a little bit uneasy in regards to: How do we actually fund this thing? How do we make this thing actually happen?”

Listen to The Candy, Mike, and Todd Show weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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