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Central District development receives $4.5M grant, part of first investments from Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund

Gardner Global, the Seattle firm working to create a seven-story mixed-use apartment development on the 23rd Ave land that has been the longtime home to the Mount Calvary Christian Center in the Central District, announced it has received a $4.5 million grant from Amazon to boost the project.

The award is part of some $23 million pledged by the company last week “supporting the creation and preservation of more than 568 affordable homes in Seattle” as part of a new Amazon Housing Equity Fund.

“To be selected as a recipient of this housing grant from Amazon is monumental,” Jaebadiah Gardner, CEO of Gardner Global, said in a statement on the funding. “We are intentional about addressing the wealth gap and about affordable housing for communities of color, specifically for those who have been disproportionately displaced.”

Gardner said the grant “will aid in disrupting those disadvantages and bring a vision of wealth, prosperity and hope to our community.”

CHS reported here in June 2020 on the plan from Gardner to develop the 23rd Ave property.

Gardner Global said that development will create a new “multifamily housing project” with a mix of market rate and affordable units and “intentional community space.” Brokerage office space will also open in the building “providing the community boutique real estate and property management services.”

Originally planned for eight stories and fewer than 100 units, the most recent permits show a development that would include 169 “small efficiency dwelling” units plus 27 standard apartments. It will include underground parking for motor vehicles.

The project will also “pay homage to the long standing African-American church and Central District Neighborhood” through its name, 23Calvary, Gardner Global has said, and “by including various artisan works throughout the building that blends both the history of African-American churches along with contemporary tech and sustainable design.”

2020 began with Gardner’s announcement of plans to acquire and develop the church’s properties across the street in a $2.4 million deal.

Amazon launched its Housing Equity Fund with a “focus on providing long-time affordable housing support while supporting minority led development firms” in 2021.


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1 year ago

Wait wait wait – why is the City giving money to a private holding company to develop affordable housing? What happened to local nonprofit developers like those that have been building in Seattle already – say, Community Roots, New Hope, or others? Why should our tax dollars subsidize corporate developers? Is there something I’m missing here?

1 year ago
Reply to  Violet

Yes, you’re missing something… the grant is from Amazon, not tax dollars.