Sound Transit inks deal for major new housing/retail development adjacent to Capitol Hill light rail station

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More than 300 apartments, affordable housing, retail, farmers market part of $19 million deal

The Sound Transit Board today approved the agency's largest housing development project ever on land adjacent to the Capitol Hill light rail station. More than 300 new apartments on top of retail will be built on Sound Transit land surrounding the station with 21% of the new units to be affordable housing.

Sound Transit is leasing land it had used for station construction to Portland-based developer Gerding Edlen, who won the right to develop the land as part of a competitive process. Under terms of the agreement, Gerding will pay approximately $19 million up front to lease the land for 99 years. Sound Transit will retain ownership of the land. 

"The vision for a thriving development that includes affordable housing just steps from our world-class transportation system is becoming a reality," said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. "This is the smart way to leverage the investments that we as a region are making in light rail."

In a separate agreement in July, the Board approved the sale of a separate parcel next to the station for 82-86 apartments that will permanently be available for people or families making at or below 60 percent of the area median income (AMI).

Gerding Edlen is partnering with an affiliate of the Multi-Employer Property Trust, one of the largest real estate equity funds in the country, to fund the development. The fund requires 100% union labor for all new construction projects and is a recognized leader in creating energy efficient and environmentally sustainable real estate assets. 

Construction could begin in the spring of 2018 and be ready to occupy in late 2019. The new developments will feature:

  • About 400 new apartments across all of the sites east of Broadway
  • New community and daycare centers
  • At least 21 percent of the new apartments will participate in the City of Seattle's Multi-family Tax Exemption Program (MFTE) for 12 years holding these units at affordable rent levels ranging from 65% of AMI – 85% of AMI depending on unit size
  • One-third of the apartments will be family-sized (2+ bedrooms)
  • About 30,000 square feet of retail will be built fronting Broadway and accommodations will be made in the form of a market-hall concept similar to Pike Place Market downtown and the Melrose Market on Capitol Hill.
  • A plaza, open to the public at least 16 hours a day, to be constructed to accommodate the Broadway Farmers Market 
  • Bike facilities for transit patrons in the plaza
  • All buildings constructed to 2009 LEED for Homes Platinum requirements applicable to LEED mid-rise, multifamily, and mixed-use policies. 

For more information on Capitol Hill Station and the development sites see: soundtransit.org/capitolhillTOD