WALLINGFORD, WASH. - In the midst of Seattle's building boom, apartment communities are exploring creative ways to stand out. For Bowman Apartments in Wallingford, that meant installing a chicken coop on the building's roof.
"I can't quite quantify how many people are making their decision to live here because of this, but I think it definitely contributes," said Steffenie Evans, a Vice President at Legacy Partners, the company that manages the property. "There's a lot of people that want the authentic Seattle experience, and I think this is a great way to help them have that without them having a home and their own backyard."
Evans added the key to standing out isn't just having a unique idea. It has to be something that creates an identity that fits into the neighborhood.
"You look around Wallingford, and so many people have backyard farms and backyard chickens, and I really think it helps us fit in."
This idea spurred from a trip to New York about seven years. Evans said she visited a hotel that had a rooftop chicken coop.
"It is really exciting and gratifying to see it happen because it took a lot of planning and a lot of work," she says of finally seeing the idea come to life.
Bowman's custom chicken coop is home to five laying hens, including a friendly Frizzled Bantam. Kevin Scott-Vandenberge of Portage Bay Grange says the hen is the first to approach when he stops by to check on the chickens. He's been training Bowman staff to care for the hens, and making sure they become properly acclimated to their rooftop home.
"This is the perfect atmosphere for them," he said. "They get a lot of light and they're happy."
Residents are equally happy about the rooftop coop.
"It wasn't a make or break for me, but it was cool to have chickens," said Danny Goldfarb, who lives in the building. "It's something that's kind of different, kind of neat. It's really egg-cellent!"
Once residents sign a waiver, they are free to eat the eggs. You can even check in on the chickens, through Bowman's online Coop Cam. Evans says the CEO of Legacy Partners even watches the hens from time to time.
There aren't plans to add to the flock at Bowman Apartments. However, Evans said they are considering other urban agriculture projects, like rooftop beehives, at future properties.
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