Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) just sold its first piece of Yesler Terrace. A pair of companies will build a six-story, 120-unit apartment building with retail space on the bottom floor on the corner of Yesler Way and 12th Avenue.
The mixed-use project will be the first privately built building in the redevelopment, which was made possible when the city rezoned the property in September.
The rezone allows the SHA to sell most of the property to private companies to build new developments, including high-rises. SHA will retain a smaller portion of the neighborhood to replace the 561 units and add 100 new units for people living below 30 percent of area median income. The new development will also include 290 units of housing for people living at 30 to 60 percent of median income.
Spectrum Development Solutions of Seattle and Gracorp Capital Advisors of Calgary, Canada, agreed to purchase the land and will begin construction late 2013. The units will join 118 other replacement apartment units and townhouses SHA is building on the block north of Yesler Way between 12th Avenue and Boren Avenue.
“This first block is kind of a microcosm of the entire Yesler Terrace Development,” said Michelle Ackerman, spokesperson for SHA.
All of the 120 units in the Spectrum building will be affordable for people living within 60 to 85 percent of the area median income, said Spectrum Principal Jake McKinstry. As part of the agreement between the city and SHA, Spectrum is reserving 20 percent of its units for people living at or below 80 percent of the area median income. McKinstry estimated that an affordable one-bedroom apartment could cost $1,150 a month.
Fourteen percent of the construction subcontractors Spectrum hires must be minority- or women-owned businesses according to the agreement between the city and SHA. The company also agreed to hire people whose income had been 80 percent or below median.