12th Ave Arts gets millions from city to build low-income housing in development

A big chunk of some $27 million in funding for seven new low-income and senior housing apartment projects across Seattle will go to the 12th Ave Arts project destined to replace the SPD parking lot near 12th and Pine.

In a press conference to announce the Housing Levy-powered funding, Mayor Mike McGinn announced the Capitol Hill Housing project will receive up to $7.7 million in funding to help create 80+ units of housing in the planned mixed-use arts, office and East Precinct parking development. We examined the design of the new project here.

Capitol Hill Housing has said it will use a mix of tax credits, levy dollars, state programs and some commercial bank loans to complete the $38 million project. A capital campaign to raise funds in the community has also been started.

According to a statement from the City, the Seattle Office of Housing awards multifamily funds annually to support the development of affordable housing and that the affordability of the housing is regulated for a minimum of 50 years.

Here’s a press release from Capitol Hill Housing on the award:

At a press conference this morning, the City of Seattle confirmed its financial and institutional support for Capitol Hill Housing’s 12th Avenue Arts project. This exciting milestone paves the way for the 12th Avenue Arts project to move forward toward sustaining the vibrancy of Capitol Hill while meeting some of the community’s most pressing needs.  

 The 12th Avenue Arts project will transform a fenced-off, 29,000 square foot parking lot into a beautiful new mixed-use building, activating a key block of 12th Avenue.  With more than 80 affordable apartments, affordable arts and community space, and vibrant retail, 12th Avenue Arts will deliver on a community dream more than a decade in the making. This building will provide desperately needed homes to working families and individuals, as well as non-profit arts groups, and new neighborhood retail.

 The City’s support compliments the extraordinary early success toward the $3 million capital campaign for 12th Avenue Arts. With pledges from corporations, individuals, foundations and especially local businesses, the campaign will ensure the creation of 12th Avenue Arts and its affordability for decades to come.

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5 thoughts on “12th Ave Arts gets millions from city to build low-income housing in development

  1. I was worried about how we were going to keep “poor people” on Capitol Hill and downtown. I mean, sure, I make twice the median income level for Seattle but was forced to move south and out of the city center because even I couldn’t afford it.

    But kudos – Seattle’s priorities are super fantastic!

  2. Noticed that all the other recipients had income ranges called out for who will be served. Since CHH got one of the biggest awards, it would be nice to know exactly who they will be housing. Is this a project for truly poor people or not? It is confusing in this City what gets called “affordable housing”.

  3. Sure it’s ugly, but I’ll take an ugly building with minimal parking over a surface parking lot. It is unfortunate how society’s standard for the built environment has become, in the words of James Kunstler, entropy made visible.

    My theory? With most indicators point towards re-urbanization (rising fuel prices, health, convenience, community), people will start rejecting faceless architecture as Americans re-discover city living (as opposed to driving from your screen at home to your screen at work living) people will start to care more about the aesthetics of the built environment. But it’ll take at least another decade of stuff like this filling in surface parking lots.