Design Review: Workforce housing to go up behind Trace Lofts

Sorry I’m a little late on this one, I was exploring the urban wonder that is Portland and I’ve got to say, they have done some pretty fabulous stuff (see Pearl District and MAX). Anyway, here in our little neck of the woods, Wallace Properties has a new building planned for 1222 E. Madison St, just East of Trace Lofts.

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The design is for a 6-story, 104-unit complex with about 6,000sq ft of retail and 51 parking spaces within the structure. The architects are Bellevue-based Baylis Architects. I can’t say it’s a standout project but it seems nice. Earlier I was worried that keeping the parking within the structure would inevitably make it ugly, but they massed the garage in the back of the building so it’s hidden from the street. Also, the limited parking will hopefully keep these units affordable (they claim in the proposal that this will be workforce housing). Due to earlier feedback they also shrunk the retail spaces, allowing for between four and six different spots. Check out the full proposal here [3.45mb].


Design Review: 1222 E Madison st.

Wednesday, June 3rd


Seattle Central Community College, Rm. 3211

Questions and comments to Holly Godard:

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5 thoughts on “Design Review: Workforce housing to go up behind Trace Lofts

  1. did they clarify anywhere what they mean by workforce housing? this gets thrown around a lot, and i would be surprised if their rent levels were much different than the other new buildings in the neighborhood (i.e. affordable to single people making above area median income, about $75k a year)

  2. Wow, that’s a monstrosity. I’m glad I live on the west side of Trace. All the east-siders are going to be stuck staring at that; yikes.

  3. Great question. I’ve got a message out to the developer about this but all it says in the proposal is that the units will be “workforce” housing units, with no explanation of what this entails. Unfortunately I can’t make it tonight but if anyone goes please ask and clarify this for us. Thanks!

  4. thanks josh for asking. “workforce” is a work like “affordable” – when used by private developers it can mean anything really, since they typically aren’t subject to the same regulations on rents that comes with using public subsidy. if you get the rents, i can do a calc on who they would be affordable too…