Preview our new website

Seattle Central College, Sound Transit, Capitol Hill Housing reach agreement to bring more affordable housing to Capitol Hill

Nov 16, 2017

This news release was issued jointly by the Capitol Hill Housing, Seattle Central College and Sound Transit.

Preliminary concept envisions 78 affordable housing units, ground-floor retail space

Seattle residents seeking affordable housing in the Capitol Hill Station area will have a new option thanks to an agreement between Seattle Central College, Sound Transit and Capitol Hill Housing. The move will also enable Seattle Central to expand its education and training opportunities in high demand fields so more people in the community have the ability to prosper economically.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sound Transit and Seattle Central will exchange land on Broadway between John Street and Denny Way (“Site D”) that remains from construction of its Capitol Hill light rail station with land owned by Seattle Central College on Broadway between East Pine and East Pike streets (“Atlas Properties”), to be developed into affordable housing by Capitol Hill Housing.

In the exchange, Seattle Central will take ownership of Sound Transit’s Site D directly north of the campus and adjacent to the Capitol Hill Link light rail station. Sound Transit will partner with Capitol Hill Housing to develop affordable housing at the Atlas Properties. The proposed concept by Capitol Hill Housing calls for constructing a seven-story mixed-use building with about 78 affordable apartments for families making up to 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) and ground floor retail space. Capitol Hill Housing hopes to complete acquisition of the site by the summer of 2019.

The project will be funded using a combination of low-income housing credits, public funding and private debt.

“As one of our fastest-growing, most diverse communities in the city, Capitol Hill represents a critical nexus between economic growth and housing affordability,” said Sound Transit Chief Executive Officer Peter Rogoff. “When complete, this development will ensure that people who otherwise could not afford to live in the city will enjoy the benefits of living near a light rail station that connects to region-wide service.”

“Sound Transit and Seattle Central College deserve immense credit for their creativity and flexibility to make this project possible,” said Capitol Hill Housing Chief Executive Officer Christopher Persons. “We’re excited to bring much needed affordable housing to the heart of Capitol Hill, and we look forward to working with the team at Seattle Central College to support their vision for the college and the community.”

The agreement supports Sound Transit’s equitable transit-oriented development (TOD) program by facilitating development of affordable housing, increasing ridership to enhance the transit system’s effectiveness and value, and strengthening the physical integration of the station’s west entrance into Seattle Central College’s campus.

Capitol Hill Housing was chosen as a partner because of its deep roots in the neighborhood, cultivated over four decades of service. It will work with Seattle Central College to honor the history of the buildings – including the landmarked Eldridge Tire Company building that represents an important link to Capitol Hill’s “auto row” heritage – by preserving key architectural details into the development’s final design. This reflects a key priority for the neighborhood.

The land exchange provides another significant community benefit – more opportunities for local residents to train for high-wage jobs. At the north end of Seattle Central’s campus, the college will combine the Site D parcel, which was owned by Sound Transit and currently sits vacant, with two existing parcels to create a larger footprint, with plans to eventually construct a new instructional building adjacent to its existing Science and Math building. This will enable Seattle Central to add and expand programs and courses in high-demand STEM and IT fields, and will feature modern classrooms, retail space on the ground floor and a college welcome center.

“With the surging cost of living, we are proud to be part of a solution that will provide affordable housing,” said Seattle Central President Sheila Edwards Lange, Ph.D. “This plan will also be a key part in our efforts to prepare more of our community’s residents for well-paying jobs in the technology sector, so they can share in the economic prosperity of our region.”  

About Seattle Central

Chosen by more than 15,000 students each year, Seattle Central College offers a comprehensive range of educational programs and opportunities for academic transfer, career preparation, basic skills and continuing education in an urban environment. Visit us online at www.seattlecentral.edu.

About Capitol Hill Housing

Since 1976, Capitol Hill Housing has worked alongside the community to build and preserve apartments affordable to working families and promote the qualities that make Seattle a vibrant and engaged city. Today, we provide secure, affordable homes to over 2,200 of our neighbors in 48 buildings across the city while working to make our neighborhoods safer, healthier and more equitable through the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict. Learn more at capitolhillhousing.org.