Neighborhood Celebrates Groundbreaking of Lake City Family Housing
70 affordable apartments in the Lake City Neighborhood of Seattle
On August 14th, LIHI held a groundbreaking celebration for Lake City Family Housing. Located in the Lake City Urban Village and set to open in late fall 2018, Lake City Family Housing will be a 6-story mixed-use project. It will offer 70 units affordable to those making 30% to 60% of the King County Area Median Income. The unit mix includes 15 studios, 25 one-bedrooms, 25 two-bedrooms and 5 three-bedroom apartments. The first floor includes a four-classroom preschool to be operated by the Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA). A roof top deck, resident gardens and solar array are features of this sustainable building designed by Runberg Architecture Group. Walsh Construction Co. is the general contractor.
Mayor Ed Murray spoke at the ceremony, saying “This project helps us reach our goal of making the city more equitable. If everyone who works in Seattle can’t live in Seattle we aren’t meeting our goal. Today we are one big step closer to meeting that goal thanks to Lake City Family Housing. The Lake City neighborhood has shown an incredible attitude prioritizing affordable housing and the value of inclusion. The project shows the value of leveraging city property, turning the old Fire Station 39 site into affordable housing, and the value of well-planned partnerships: having preschools, like one here that Refugee Women’s Alliance will be running here, near to affordable housing and community centers and libraries. This project is as much about education as it is about housing. That preschool classroom on the ground floor will dramatically change the lives of the students that live there. They will go to school; they will read at grade level; they will graduate on time and they will have very different lives.” The Mayor went on to thank Seattle voters for supporting the levies that made the school and the housing possible.
Sandy Motzer of the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance and Brad Malone of Lake City Future First welcomed LIHI to the neighborhood and expressed appreciation for to LIHI for being engaged and responsive to the needs of the community.
Mahnaz Eshetu, Executive Director of the Refugee Women’s Alliance said, “We will serve 80 students here and teach bi- and tri-lingually, lowering cultural barriers and helping families prosper.”
City Councilmember Debora Juarez emphasized the value of the project to the community and took the opportunity to lobby the mayor and other representatives for funds for more community projects. “This block, with the housing and the pre-school and the library and the community center and the businesses and other organizations show how you build a good neighborhood. Having children in a neighborhood is so good for our souls.”
The City of Seattle conveyed the land to LIHI and the Office of Housing is providing funding for the project, including 2009 Housing Levy and federal HOME funds. Umpqua Bank is providing the construction and permanent financing. Boston Capital is contributing the Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity. Total project cost for residential and first floor community service space is estimated to be $22,950,000.
The Preschool Levy that Seattle voters passed in 2014 supports ReWA’s lease payment for their preschool and makes possible subsidized preschool for low income children.
Watch the time lapse video of demolition Fire Station 39 tower that previously occupied this site.