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Celebrate equitable, affordable development in the Central District at Liberty Bank Building ribbon cutting

The Liberty Bank Building, what many hope will be a model for equitable, affordable development in Seattle, will celebrate its opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday in the Central District.

Liberty Bank Building Ribbon Cutting Celebration

Saturday’s party will include live music and performances, and food.

Named to honor the region’s first Black-owned bank that once stood at the corner, the six-story, 115-unit affordable housing development is a collaboration between Capitol Hill HousingAfricatownThe Black Community Impact Alliance, and Byrd Barr Place.

Set to open later this year, Seattle soul restaurant That Brown Girl Cooks will be part of the mix as the development has emphasized recruitment of Black-owned businesses. The legendary Earl’s Cuts is also set to move across E Union to make way for redevelopment of the Midtown block. Construction of the building has also been a boost for minority contractors with more than 32% of the work — nearly $5 million worth — going to Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise-certified providers on the project including artists hired to work on the building. 17.9% were African American contractors providing $2.8 million to Black-owned businesses, according to Capitol Hill Housing.

The Liberty Bank Building has 100 studio and one-bedroom apartments, plus 15 two bedroom units above the four commercial spaces. Apartments are available at 30 to 60% of the area median income, ranging in price from $526 to $1,353 per month.

The color scheme of the building is intended to represent African American culture. Al Doggett Studios is curating art for the building that will honor the Liberty Bank and reflect African American cultural heritage. Eight artists were selected to create 11 works for the development. The overall design of the building also plays off African-American inspired art with an overall asymmetrical design that uses varying colors and textures of fiber cement panels and siding, the project architects at Mithun say. The street level uses brick veneer and incorporate some salvaged bricks from Liberty Bank. Inside the main lobby, the door from the old Liberty Bank vault waits under plastic for its unveiling as an architectural centerpiece greeting entrants inside the building’s eastern entrance.

Of the project’s $34 million budget, 36% comes from a $12.2 million City of Seattle Office of Housing loan, $10 million from tax credit equity through Heritage Bank, $8.1 million from a Bellwether Enterprise- First Mortgage permanent loan, $1 million from a state Housing Trust Fund loan, $1 million from Capitol Hill Housing equity, and a final $1.7 million raised by the Rise Together capital campaign, an effort to raise money for affordable housing across the Central District, Capitol Hill, and White Center.

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2 years ago

Does every neighborhood in this city have to have only these boutique, hyper locally sourced type retail experiences? I would love just a couple normal places I could walk to, like one of those small Ace hardware (type) or bike/automative part stores. Thank god for the Bartell’s I guess. New Seasons is more “normal” than a Whole Foods, but just barely, and it’s definitely boutique pricing.