With rent for even its most expensive units expected to be 35% below Capitol Hill averages, the affordable Station House apartments above Capitol Hill Station are set to draw hundreds and possibly thousands of interested residents.
There are only 110 units to go around.
The Capitol Hill Housing-developed component of the massive complex of housing, retail, community, and plaza space being built above the busy light rail station is set to begin its leasing process in the new year with its new apartments planned to open by March:
CHH will build 110 apartments affordable to households earning at or below 30%, 50%, and 60% of area median income in a mix of studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units at the corner of 10th Avenue East and East John Street. The building is being built with a goal of reaching a LEED Platinum standard and will also include a 1,409 square foot community room.
The first stage of the application process will begin January 7th. It will be a busy day.
When CHS last reviewed listings earlier this year, a typical two-bedroom unit on Capitol Hill was going for more than $2,200, a one-bedroom for more than $1,800. For qualified residents, Station House will be a different story.
As a nonprofit developer, Capitol Hill Housing finances its projects with a mix of federal, state, and City of Seattle funding, tax credit equity, good old fashioned loans, and capital campaigns. It produces buildings that are restricted to those earning below tiers of median average incomes for the area. The result is a building like Station House that is hoped to achieve the goal of creating spaces to live for everybody in Seattle — not just the wealthy.
Under Seattle’s “First in Time” ordinance, Station House applicants will be called in the order in which they apply in the early interest round. “If you have not received a call back, it means that all apartments have been filled,” Capitol Hill Housing writes.
Capitol Hill Housing will then begin a screening process and applicant reviews.
The step by step requirements and timeline are spelled out in English here at openhouse.capitolhillhousing.org. Flyers in languages including Spanish, Somali, and Chinese.
Station House is currently under construction at 10th and John on the northeast corner of the housing, community plaza, and retail development rising around the light rail station. With an additional 60 or so affordable units in the market rate buildings from the project’s master developer Gerding Edlen, about 41% of the planned 430 or so new apartments being created above Broadway will be affordable. CHS reported here on the decades of community work that went into shaping priorities for the development.
Settled between the four new buildings, the development’s plaza “will be available for public use” including “a weekly morning to afternoon year-round farmers market is planned for both the plaza and along Denny Way. Cal Anderson Park, located across the plaza and Denny Way is a publicly available open space,” according to developers. The plaza will connect with the AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway remembering those who have succumbed to and those who have survived HIV and AIDS.
The development’s retail component, meanwhile, has been planned to include a grocer and a daycare facility. CHS reported about H Mart’s plans for a 16,000-square-foot market in the project.
While some will point out, probably rightly, that the buildings around the light rail station should be even taller and have room for even more units, the northeast corner’s planned heights were a flashpoint issue during early planning for the project with groups like Reasonable Density Seattle standing in opposition — especially along the development’s east side facing the mix of apartments, duplexes, and a few remaining single family-style homes that still stood in the area just north of Cal Anderson at the time. Efforts like this 2013 Capitol Hill Community Council vote helped pave the way for the development projects rising at the site today.
When the Capitol Hill Housing online form goes live, expect a rush. Here’s what happened when 88 affordable units became available in the developer’s 12th Ave Arts building in 2014. At the Liberty Bank Building in the Central District, the outreach created a new kind of demand in Seattle for that project’s affordable units. Capitol Hill Housing partner Africatown worked with partners Byrd Barr Place and Black Community Impact Alliance to get the word out and handed out flyers at youth football practices, churches and community meetings. Thanks to these efforts, 86% of the Liberty Bank residents— who applied on the first-come, first-served basis — are Black. CHS reported here on how “community preference” anti-displacement policy is being shaped in Seattle. Community preference will also be a major factor when Capitol Hill Housing opens its eight-story “LGBTQ-Affirming Affordable Senior Housing” development planned for Broadway between Pike and Pine.
For Station House’s tenants, the future begins Saturday, January 7th at 9 AM
You can learn more at openhouse.capitolhillhousing.org.
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