Find URM building Resources, and join policy discussions!

Memberships Governmental Focus

URGENT: The 2024 Legislative Session is our opportunity to propose the “Public Area Safety & Enhancement Directive (“PASSED”), which must be adopted. It has been 23-years since the Nisqually earthquake, without significant progress, which will require a viable a more viable finance vehicle than C-PACER. We need legislation that will enable all Un-Reinforced Masonry (“URM”) building owners to make the seismic improvements necessary to protect occupants in residential and commercial structures, and pedestrians on adjacent sidewalks.

We propose to abate collection on real property taxes due for only Assessed Value-Improvements, up to a maximum of 15-years, with the total amount abated not to exceed Eighty-Five (“85%”) percent of the certified actual cost to meet seismic standards, State required energy performance updates under (RCW 19.27A.220), and tenant relocation expenses. Property Tax abatement would terminate to a new owner upon any sale.

URM structures have contributed taxes for decades and contributed to the MFPTE program that created direct competition for their tenants, while housing residents and businesses that contribute to our city, county and state economy in more ways than from just taxes. This accommodation will preserve their service to our communities for the next 60+ years, regardless of historical designation or rent affordability requirements, and is necessary to avoid substantial demolition.

Seattle’s Resolution 32033 was signed on December 13, 2021 and Sect. 3. J. directs SDCI and OEM to “Submit legislation establishing the mandatory URM program for council to consider”. They released a Retrofit Technical Standards “Draft” on June 30, 2023, with no similar “Draft” on policies that identify penalties for non-compliance violations as of 1-4-24.

The King County Assessor does NOT distinguish between Reinforced and URM structures in their Mass Appraisal model, which may be a “Manifest Error” in Description. To dispute your Property’s Assessed Value, download the “Paid Under Protest” form below and include with your next Property Tax payment to preserve any surviving rights you may have to appeal prior years. When appealing Assessed Value through the County’s Board of Equalization, or State Board of Tax Appeals, always specify “Formal Appeal” to preserve all of your rights.

OBJECTIVES FOR ADVANCED BUILDING IMPROVEMENT RESOURCE CENTER

What’s on the Horizon

Statewide, over 7,546 vulnerable buildings have been identified, and The National Development Council profiled 944 URM buildings in Seattle, totaling more than 20,100,000 SF that could be subject to Mandatory Enforcement policies, (to be announced). Plan for adoption in the Fall of 2024. The entire construction industry will see a surge in demand for all professional Resources needed to provide: Seismic Risk Assessments;  environmental, civil and structural engineering analysis and plan submissions; Project &  Permit Management services; contractor bidding; construction funding; and property brokerage services. 

Without in-house Project, Permit and/or a Property Management staff experienced with tenant relations during major construction, you are encouraged to strategize an exit plan that will optimize your estate and income tax planning, including 1031 exchange opportunities. 

Be cognizant that if just 5% (47) of URM building owners wait for the Mandatory Enforcement policy to be adopted, Seattle could see a surplus of “As-Is” URM buildings come to market, when available retrofit Resources become limited. 

Plan Your Move Forward

For Seattle URM building owners, the “do nothing” plan is near its expiration. Plan your building’s investment equity goals to match your next 2-years’ financial and human resource availability. 

If/when financial resources are available, merge seismic improvements with HVAC and MEP updates to meet Washington’s Climate Commitment Act, which may reduce operating costs and enhance a building’s sustainability for decades.

When you retain an inspector or structural engineer to provide a Level 1 Seismic Risk Assessment, specifically require they meet the ASTM E2026-16a reporting standards for agency lenders. Their cost, and completion period will vary greatly, and should include a Probable Maximum Loss/Seismic Assessment. 

Plan for all trades in the seismic retrofit process to experience progressively greater demands on their human resources, with permit processing approvals and contractor scheduling being expected and unavoidable chokepoints. 

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide URM building owners and Resource Members collectively body to debate and present Legislative action in Olympia, the City of Seattle, King and other Washington counties. 

 

Members need a forum to debate internally, and participate in SDCI policy discussions that will be proposed in Mandatory Enforcement. 

 

Our Directory will continuously be refined with new Resource Members throughout Washington, and alert Members on URM building news. 

 

 This website launched in January 2024 as a platform for URM building owners to collectively find experienced Resources that lead to making “best management practices” decisions that protect occupants, preserve classic architecture, and collectively, amplify our Member’s voice to shape policy decisions.  

Download form to file with county assessor along with your next property tax payment.

Advanced Building Improvement Resource Center, LLC 

P.O Box 801 Bellevue, WA 98009

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