Capitol Hill Housing reaches agreement for 50 years of affordability in Squire Park Place deal

(Image: CHH)

(Image: CHH)

Capitol Hill Housing announced it has agreed with a Central District community organization to keep the rules governing affordable apartments in Squire Park Place for another 50 years in the building it acquired late last year.

CHS reported on non-profit developer Capitol Hill Housing’s plan to acquire the 18th and Jackson property last summer. Though the deal closed in December for $11.25 million, the, Capitol Hill Housing announced Wednesday it had reached an accord on a 50-year agreement “following several months of conversations” with the Central Area Development Association about “continuing the organization’s commitment to equitable development in the Central District.”

“Half of the apartments at Squire Park Plaza are reserved for working individuals and families earning between 50 and 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for King County,” the announcement on the agreement reads. “CHH will extend this affordability for a minimum of 50 years.”

Under the multi-family tax exemption program, the new owners could have transitioned the 60-unit building’s affordable mix starting in 2021.

Capitol Hill Housing partnered with developer Jonathan Rose Companies to finance the deal. The two development organizations are also collaborating on a proposal to create housing and retail projects around the future Capitol Hill Station.

The developers agreed to partner on the Squire Park Plaza deal last summer after protest over a for-profit developer’s plan to buy the property.

The announcement on the affordable apartments said the agreement “solidifies CHH’s intention to maintain and deepen housing affordability” in the Central District.

Capitol Hill Housing Acquires Squire Park Plaza

Affordable Housing to be Maintained in Seattle’s Central District

Seattle, WA — Capitol Hill Housing (CHH), together with Jonathan Rose Companies (JRCO), has purchased Squire Park Plaza – a 60-apartment, mixed-use building in the Central District. This solidifies CHH’s intention to maintain and deepen housing affordability in the neighborhood.

CHH and JRCO acquired Squire Park Plaza from the Central Area Development Association (CADA) following several months of conversations with CADA about continuing the organization’s commitment to equitable development in the Central District.

“Capitol Hill Housing is proud to take on ownership and stewardship of this building,” said Christopher Persons, CEO of CHH. “We are committed to maintaining affordability in the apartments at Squire Park Plaza for the long term.”

Half of the apartments at Squire Park Plaza are reserved for working individuals and families earning between 50 and 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for King County. CHH will extend this affordability for a minimum of 50 years. Squire Park Plaza also has local retail spaces at the street level, which contribute to the vibrancy of the neighborhood.

The purchase was financed in part by JRCO’s Rose Affordable Housing Preservation Fund LLC. The acquisition also paid off loans that had been held by CADA, without using scarce Seattle Housing Levy funds.

“Our outcome for Squire Park Plaza is a great example of new models where we can leverage private investment to help preserve affordability in key areas in Seattle,” said Kristin Ryan, head of JRCO’s Seattle office.

Jonathan Rose Companies is a mission-based real estate policy, urban planning, development, project management and investment firm. Much of the firm’s work has been in collaboration with nonprofit organizations on equitable development to improve regional health.

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6 thoughts on “Capitol Hill Housing reaches agreement for 50 years of affordability in Squire Park Place deal

  1. this will certainly help but 50% of median income for a single person is still roughly $31K and is likely not affordable for MANY people, especially those working the local coffee shop or retail store who are making minimum wage or the magical $15 an hour and getting less than 40 hours a week. They’re still priced out.

    Not sure if the link will work, but the Seattle numbers are below:

    http://www.seattle.gov/housing/development/docs/2014_Income_and_Rents_MF_Rental_HOME.pdf

  2. 50% median income IS affordable. I’m sorry, but there will always be some guy poorer than the next guy. The guy at earning 30% median is gonna be poorer than the guy earning 50%. The guy on welfare is gonna be poorer than the guy making 30% median. The guy on welfare is gonna be poorer than the homeless guy.

    People at 50% median need housing as much as people at 30% median.

    • You’re right. There are public housing options available for really poor people (albeit with waiting lists, so additional such units are needed). But middle-class people usually make too much to qualify for public housing, yet they can’t afford market rents, so what CHH is doing at Squire Market Plaza (and elsewhere) is a wonderful contribution to the community.

  3. Affordability of housing reflecting ALL the types of employment needed to keep a city working is rapidly becoming the number 1 issue in Seattle. If we become San Francisco this city is finished.

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