Capitol Hill Housing planning mass timber apartment building on E Union

An early concept for the planned mass timber project (Image: Atelier Jones)

For years, prime real estate neighboring the brick Helen V apartment building on Union has hosted a surface parking lot used by a few local residents and Capitol Hill Housing vehicles.

On its face, a new eight-story, affordable project set to rise there doesn’t seem much different than the many sprouting on Capitol Hill but there is one major difference. The new building will have a mass timber structural system, which Atelier Jones principal architect Susan Jones says allows for more density. She said that the shift to timber away from concrete or steel made a 114-unit goal for the affordable project possible. Standard construction would have produced only 88.

Mass timber buildings like these are a trend in the Pacific Northwest, Jones says. Continue reading

Developer behind 23rd Ave church land buy and mixed-use project says ‘contending gentrification in Seattle’s Central District’

Jaebadiah Gardner

Gardner Global and its Onpoint real estate firm have announced more details of the 23rd Ave church property purchase and development plans CHS reported on earlier this month.

“We have an unbelievable opportunity to be creative in a way that gives back,” Jaebadiah Gardner, CEO of Gardner Global said in the company’s announcement of the project. “Our company slogan is #letsbuildwealth and this project is an example of how we are doing exactly that. Through this project. we’re providing non- traditional real estate investors an opportunity to be directly involved in the ownership.” Continue reading

Seattle marks Mandatory Housing Affordability victory in challenge from anti-growth groups

A legal effort led by the Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity and a bevy of anti-growth neighborhood groups to upend Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability plan focusing increased development mostly in its already densest neighborhoods has been rejected by a state growth board.

The City of Seattle announced the victory Monday following its successful appeal to the Growth Management Hearings Board.

“Seattle has spoken and made clear our vision for the future of our city,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a statement on the decision. “We want a city where people who work in Seattle can afford to live and raise a family in Seattle. Mandatory Housing Affordability is one of the most important strategies we have to build a more affordable and equitable future for all.” Continue reading

Seattle announces $110M for new affordable projects including five in District 3

Bellwether Housing and Plymouth Housing Group’s First Hill development could end up the tallest affordable housing building Seattle has ever seen (Image: Weber Thompson)

Seattle has announced its largest ever annual round of city funding for affordable housing with $110 million going to help start 13 projects across the city including five new buildings across Capitol Hill, First Hill, and the Central District that will create nearly 800 affordable units in the area.

“Seattle is committed to investing in housing and services that help advance our shared priorities of equity and inclusion,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said in her announcement of the annual funding roster powered by the 2016 housing levy. “With investments in both permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness, affordable housing for seniors, and housing for working families, we are addressing our affordability crisis.”

The millions in city funding are part of the recipe required for nonprofit developers to piece together the dollars required to create new affordable projects in the city like the Capitol Hill Housing-backed Station House that will begin its leasing process in January for 110 new affordable units above Capitol Hill Station. With units reserved for those meeting affordable housing income thresholds and rents likely some 30% or more below area averages, demand will reach thousands of prospective tenants.

The 2019 roster of investments announced Monday will also include two Capitol Hill Housing-involved projects. Continue reading

Want to be part of 110 affordable new apartments above Capitol Hill Station? Here’s how to join the Station House crowd

(Image: Capitol Hill Housing)

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. Continue reading

Eight-story apartment building set to rise across from Broadway Hill Park

Capitol Hill has seen eight-story apartment buildings spring up before but a planned development kitty corner to Broadway Hill Park will need a little extra push to rise on the edges of the dense Broadway corridor where the blocks remain a mix of larger old apartment buildings, duplexes, and single family homes.

Thursday, developers from Sealevel Properties will hold a community outreach meeting at the Century Ballroom to talk with neighbors about their plans for the eight-story apartment building with 150 or so units, and three parking spots planned to rise at the corner of Federal and Republican: Continue reading

Seven-story microhousing and apartment mix — plus seven Mandatory Affordable Housing units — planned for corner of Harvard and E Denny Way

A new project hoped to create 13 new apartments and 87 new microhousing units in a building planned to rise seven stories at the corner of Harvard and E Denny Way will come in front of the East Design Review Board Wednesday night.

The development from Karmiak and the architects at Workshop AD will also add a small but potentially cool commercial opportunity to the corner just a block from the southern end of Capitol Hill Station and across the street from Capitol Hill Housing’s Pantages House development. That small space — likely perfect for a cafe — and its connection to a planned terrace at the corner as well as sorting out whether people should enter the building primarily from E Denny or Harvard Ave will be among the largest remaining issues to sort out on the project. Continue reading

Design board looks at Belmont microhousing development as Capitol Hill reviews slow to trickle

Long gone are the days when CHS was covering two Capitol Hill design reviews per week. Wednesday night, the East Design Review Board will take up its first Capitol Hill project in over two months — and only one of two on the schedule for the rest of the year.

The honor Wednesday night goes to a project lined up for the 400 block of Belmont Ave E where developers Kamiak Real Estate and the architects from Hybrid are planning an eight-story microhousing project. Continue reading

Sawant $12M Tiny House Village proposal: Public hearing Thursday night

Rev. Lawrence R. Willis, True Vine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church at Tuesday’s gathering at True Hope Village (Image: @jonathan4212)

A Kshama Sawant led Seattle City Council committee will hold a public hearing Thursday night on the District 3 representative’s legislation to expand funding for Tiny House Villages and block relocation of existing villages.

The proposal would move $12 million to expand the villages at 20 locations across the city and scuttle plans to remove two existing villages in Georgetown and Northlake. But the legislation faced opposition over possible State Environmental Policy Act appeals before it was even introduced. The Hearing Examiner case to unwind the legal issues is still underway with a hearing scheduled for December — well after the upcoming General Election.

Sawant’s proposal would forge a path for the village expansion by exempting religious organizations from permitting requirements for encampments on property owned or controlled by them. Continue reading

Seattle City Council Insight: City reports on performance of homeless response programs in first half of 2019

From SCC Insight

This week, HSD Interim Director Jason Johnson delivered a report to the City Council on the performance of the city’s homeless-response programs through the first half of 2019. There was some good news.

Johnson began by reminding the Council that the goal of the city’s homelessness response is to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. To that end, he explained how the department’s programs successfully served more people in the first half of 2019:

  • HSD-funded programs prevented 461 households, representing 704 individuals, from becoming homeless, an increase of 20% over the same period in 2018.
  • 1,936 households, representing 3,042 individuals, moved from homelessness to housing, a 6% increase from the year before.
  • 2,127 unique households that have experienced chronic homelessness — often the most challenging people to help out of homelessness — remained stably housed in Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), a program which pairs housing with wrap-around case management and services. According to Johnson, the city’s PSH programs have a 90% success rate in keeping people housed.

Johnson credited this to having fully ramped-up programs in place; you may recall, HSD ran an RFP in 2017 to re-bid its homeless-response contracts, and in the first half of 2018 those awardees launched programs under the new contracts. 2019 is the first time that the new awardees started the year at full capacity, so in retrospect it’s no surprise that they are performing better — but still great to see. In addition, the “rate of exit” to permanent housing from many of HSD’s programs improved over the previous year, suggesting that they are getting incrementally better at what they do. Continue reading