UPDATE 3:35 PM: The Sound Transit board approved both motions Thursday afternoon paving the way for a “no cost” transfer of two First Hill properties to nonprofit developers Bellwether Housing and Plymouth Housing and, in the second vote, putting in place a memorandum of understanding between the transit agency, Seattle Central, and Capitol Hill Housing for a swap of Capitol Hill properties. Details on the plans are below.
In public comments, Bellwether’s CEO Susan Boyd called the joint proposal with Plymouth “a bold plan” that will create much needed affordable housing on First Hill.
Board member and Seattle City Council member Rob Johnson called the First Hill proposal “very consistent with what the community asked for” and said the neighborhood’s “YIMBY” spirit was reflected in the plan.
King County Executive Dow Constantine said affordable housing is now central to Sound Transit’s mission as it also works to provide transit to the region’s growing population. Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier, meanwhile, voted against the motion saying he was troubled by the “no cost” aspect of the plan as a “dangerous precedent.”
Additionally, the board also approved a motion on a plan for “Central Transit-Oriented Development” near the Roosevelt light rail station that will involve Bellwether and Mercy Housing Northwest.
Original report: Sound Transit’s board is scheduled to make two key decisions on property it owns across First Hill and Capitol Hill that will potentially open the way for big deals around affordable housing and and expanded Seattle Central.
The Sound Transit Board will vote Thursday whether to move forward with two land deals.
One motion paves the way negotiate with Plymouth Housing and Bellwether Housing in a purchase of Sound Transit land at 1014 Boylston Ave and 1400 Madison meant for high-rise affordable housing, up to 160 feet.
“We thought in viewing their proposal that their numbers were reasonable,” said Sarah Lovell from Sound Transit. “It is an expensive project. It’s expensive to build a high-rise. But stacking two housing project increases their ability to get subsidies. They’re trying to be really efficient with their design.” Continue reading