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Inside scoop on the Harborside Condominiums

Although delayed by the usual Northwest weather and the nationwide real estate slump, the Harborside Condominiums are moving steadily forward on the same path they started on. Unlike their neighbors, The 400, the developer, the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority has no intentions of putting these units up for auction. The same prices they started with are the same prices that remain, with the lowest at almost $400,000 and the highest, a little over $1million.

“There are no future plans for an auction, we are on the same plan we started out on,” KCCHA Urban Development Director Gary Tusberg said.

The 78-unit complex was designed with the thought of the beautiful Northwest in mind, which is why every condo has its own unique view. Some units have what Tusberg calls “window walls,” giving the perception of “living on the water.” While the views are breathtaking, they’re no competition to the staggering real estate market and the fear it has put into many potential homebuyers.

In an attempt to shake things up, the KCCHA hired Prudential Northwest Real Estate to replace former agency, Reid Real Estate, earlier this year in hopes of attracting a broader market. Since the takeover, Prudential has been able to attract a lot of traffic but is having the same problems Reid — and the rest of the nation — faces with the real estate market.

The KCCHA doubles as the Bremerton Community Renewal Agency, and is tasked with leading the way in revitalizing the downtown area. “The City of Bremerton created the Community Renewal Agency , appointing the Housing Authority,” says KCCHA Public Affairs Specialist Victoria Brazitis. Rather than create a new organization, the City of Bremerton used the resources that already existed. “The Housing Authority Board consists of city mayors and county commissioners…We had all the staff and the tools to run the agency,” Brazitis said.

The KCCHA serving as a CRA operates differently from its main operation, and is completely financed through private sector funds. “We don’t get property taxes…no tax dollars were used,” Brazitis said. The mission of a CRA is to repair deteriorating urban communities that are impaired for growth. In partnership with the community renewal mission, the Kitsap New Markets Tax Credit Program was awarded $40 million from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The program, designed to attract businesses and investors to CRA areas, awards low interest rate loans to businesses and a 39 percent tax credit to investors.

Building on the concept of renewing downtown, the Bremerton Marina was slated to celebrate its grand opening on May 31 with Congressman Norm Dicks as the keynote speaker. A predicted 350 boaters from all over the Puget Sound were expected to partake in the festivities. Coincidently, Harborside Condominiums will also have their doors open in hopes of attracting potential buyers.

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