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Originally published Friday, March 23, 2012 at 2:44 PM

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Apartment towers of 23 and 25 stories slated for First Hill

Two apartment towers have been proposed on Seattle's First Hill by a Swedish pension fund that bought the properties after earlier would-be developers went bust.

Seattle Times business reporter

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A Swedish pension fund that started buying property on Seattle's First Hill more than a year ago has proposed two apartment towers in the neighborhood.

A subsidiary of the pension fund, Alecta, has filed preliminary paperwork with city planners for a 25-story building at Terry Avenue and Jefferson Street and a 23-story tower at Boylston Avenue and Seneca Street.

Together, the projects would have 536 apartments.

Alecta has retained longtime Seattle developer William Justen to oversee the projects. Construction could start next year, Justen said Friday, but much depends on the market and the pace of permitting.

The projects are Alecta's first in the Seattle area, he added.

The city's East Design Review Board, an advisory body, is tentatively scheduled to consider both proposals May 2.

Both sites were previously owned by developers who also planned to build residential high-rises, then lost the properties to foreclosure during the housing crisis.

The Terry Avenue property, now occupied by an older apartment complex and office building, was owned by Michael R. Mastro, who proposed a 350-unit apartment tower there in 2007. Mastro was pushed into bankruptcy in 2009, and lenders foreclosed on the property in 2010.

The Boylston Avenue property, now a parking lot, was to be the site of SkyGarden, a 24-story luxury-condo tower. But, while the project had won city approval, developer Barclays North, which later went out of business, couldn't get a construction loan. Its lender foreclosed in 2009.

Alecta acquired both properties in December 2010 for substantially less than Mastro and Barclays had paid a few years earlier.

Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or epryne@seattletimes.com

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