We tend to talk a lot about the big mixed-use development that's overtaking Seattle's downtown core a lot but there's another kind of development that's been just as popular around town: the good ol' fashion apartment building. Because there's so many going up, each one is trying everything and anything to catch your eye and attention. There's only so many rock walls and bike shops you can install so sometimes you have to rely one major factor to convince Seattleites that paying $1,600/month for your open 1-BR is their best option. The name of the building. It's something KUOW has been exploring for a few weeks and they sat down with Wexley School for Girls advertising agency founder Cal McAllister to run through a couple standouts to find out why they might have been chosen and if they actually do a good job telling the right story.
The (now-defunct) Undre Arms: "It doesn't give beautiful imagery and it doesn't sound like a place that I would really wanna spend the night."
Aspira: "They might have just found an available domain name. It may be about starting your life and what you aspire to do next...It sounds like a car name...it sounds like a sweetener."
The Joey Ray: "It's kinda fun to say and even though I don't know Joey Ray, I kinda get a vision and kinda create a personality around it."
The Whittaker: "The neighborhood didn't want it in...and [Jim] Whittaker was the first American to summit Mount Everest, so, a lot like our friend Bertha it's hard to hate a person. A lot of times you'll use names...because you want to have that story come automatically."
Ultimately McAllister says naming an apartment complex matters "a little bit." It's what's going on inside the building that matters most. Remember that when you're scrolling through Seattle apartment listings and wonder what the hell Cielo, Alcyone, Moda or Rianna mean.
Answers: "Sky" in Italian, a Greek goddess, "fashion" or "style" in Italian & Spanish, "goddess" in Gaelic.
· Seattle's Unique Apartment Names: Undre Arms, Aspira, Joey Ray [KUOW]
· What $1,600/Month Can Rent You in Seattle Right Now [CS]