Who are the Developers behind the Microhousing Projects?

Given the number of projects that have been built or are to be built, the number of developers turns out to be just a few individuals:

  • Dirk and Gary Mulhair (Calhoun Properties)
  • Jim Potter
  • Randall Spaan
  • Tyler Carr
  • Kelten Johnson
  • Kevinne Wilkins (CPA in Snohomish, WA who has notarized a number of microhousing project documents)
  • Robert Pantley
  • Paul J. Bellarte
  • Hugh Schaeffer
  • Scott Shapiro
  • Robert Dedon
  • Eric Friedland
  • Alex Dejneka
  • Michael J. Swindling

The field has been dominated by the first five individuals or corporations on the list above, with Jim Potter and the Mulhairs doing the lion’s share of these projects. The Mulhairs are the public face of microhousing, having received substantial media coverage for bringing a number of these projects to market, and  being credited with being the creators of microhousing. The typical corporate structure for microhousing projects is a limited liability corporation (LLC). Potter has frequently been involved in Mulhair LLCs, either as a managing member or with a 48% interest in the project. Potter has also been involved in some of Kelten Johnson’s projects, as well as those of Randall Spaan.

Mulhair – Calhoun Properties Microhousing

A list of this organization’s twelve properties on Capitol Hill and in the University District can be found here.  Visit the website and observe the difference between early Calhoun projects, such as Pine North and South on Capitol Hill, and Portage Bay North and South, and the later projects with more fashionable names, stories, and units.

Although I was only able to discover partial information for some projects, what I did find is instructive as to ownership interests.

Centro, LLC was the developer of the microhousing project at 1304 E. John Street on Capitol Hill. Its members were Jim Potter, Kevinne Wilkins and another LLC, 23rd LLC, of which Gary Mulhair was a member. POD Development , LLC is listed on the drawings for this project. I was not able to find a POD Development, LLC registered in the State of Washington, but I did find a POD Investments, LLC, whose managing members are James Potter and 23rd Ave Partners, LLC. The managing members of 23rd Ave Partners, are Dirk and Sandra Mulhair. Other members are Gary and Katie Mulhair. I was surprised that Jim Potter, during his interview on KUOW, said that 1304 E. John was not one of his projects, as he was clearly involved in its development.

Terrazza, LLC was the developer of the project at 413 11th Avenue in Seattle. JIm Potter, Mulhair, Randall Spaan (designer), and Joseph M. Lucia (professional engineer) were involved with this project. Kevinne Wilkins wrote a check to them from POD Investments, LLC.

Alturra, LLC was the developer of the project at 306 Summit Avenue East on Capitol Hill. Its members were Jim Potter (48% interest), Kevinne Wilkins (2% interest) and 23rd Ave Partners, LLC (50% interest).

Venetia, LLC, according to project drawings, was the owner of the development at 4324 & 4328 8th Avenue NE. Microhousing is frequently built in a pair of buildings on a project. Its members are Gary and Sandra Mulhair and Michael Swindling. Gary Mulhair was the managing member. Michael Swindling made a loan to Lucca Partners, LLC, whose members are Gary and Sandra Mulhair. Gary and Sandra Mulhair were the guarantors of the loan. The Venetia project was a Built Green project.

The Cortena microhousing project at 227 Boylston Avenue East on Capitol Hill is being done by Cortena, LLC. The members of Cortena, LLC are Whitebark, LLC (Mike Galgon), and Lucca Partners, LLC, (Gary and Sandra Mulhair).

Randall Spaan Microhousing Projects

Spaan’s presence hasn’t been quite as widespread as Jim Potter’s but his presence is notable.

He has two of his own projects at 3266 Southwest Avalon Way in West Seattle and 310 17th Avenue in the Central District. Both projects were done by Cypress Equities, LLC. Cypress Equities, LLC has Jim Potter as an agent and member. For the 17th Avenue project, Jim Potter had a 55% interest, Paul J. Bellarte, owner’s representative, had a 45% interest and Kevinne Wilikns had a 5% interest.

Spaan was involved in three other projects: 1728 East Olive Street (see Brad Easton below), the Terrazza (mentioned above), and 1811 20th Avenue (see below).

The 1728 East Olive Street microhousing project has an interesting history. Brad Easton, the project’s original developer was originally incorporated in Wyoming as Coastal Properties, LLC when he applied for the project. Later he switched his registration to South Dakota as Simply Believe, LLC, of which he was the only member. Randall Spaan also worked on this project.

It appears from an online post made by Randall Spaan, that he also worked on Robert Dedon’s project at 1811 20th Avenue, called Madison Two-O. This project was done by 1811 Partners, LLC, whose managers are Edgar Escandar and Barton Flora. Members are Alexander and Sofia Escandar.

Tyler Carr Microhousing Projects

Tyler Carr tends to focus on Built green projects.

The Cal Park II project at 1812 12th Avenue on Capitol Hill is being done by Micro Housing, LLC. Jim Potter is  managing member on this and has a 50% interest. Other members are Tyler Carr, Kelten Johnson, Tanis K. Scannell, with a 20% interest, and Kevinne Wilkins. Micro Housing, LLC is also involved with the project sat 422 11th Avenue East and 4516 Meridian Avenue North.

Kelten Johnson Projects

The microhousing project at 2371 Franklin Avenue E., in the Eastlake neighborhood, owned by Kelten Johnson, is being done by Franklin Studios, LLC, whose managing member is  Jim Potter.

The microhousing project at 220 10th Avenue is being done by Johnson & Carr, LLC. Tyler Carr and Kelten Johnson are members of the LLC.

Paul J. Bellarte

Bellarte was involved with the microhousing project at 4047 8th Avenue NE. He is a member of two LLCs: LaBellarte Development LLC and Hassen LaBellarte Investments, LLC.

Robert Pantley

The microhousing project at 315 10th Avenue is a project  of Natural and Built Environments, LLC. Pantley is the manager/member of this organization.

The microhousing project at 621 12th Avenue East is Sedona Holdings, LLC, whose managers are Jim Potter and Robert Pantley. Sedona Holdings’ registered agent is La Serena Holdings, LLC, whose registered agent, now appears to have changed its name to La Serena Holdings, Inc., whose President and Vice President is James Potter, and whose Secretary Treasurer is Kevinne Wilkins.

Scott Shapiro

Shapiro has a proposal for a microhousing project at 116 13th Avenue on Capitol Hill to be developed by 11613, LLC, of which he appears to be the only member. Kevinne Wilkins notarized some of the documents for this project.