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Sound Transit selects Bellwether Housing, Mercy Housing Northwest to negotiate on major new affordable housing/retail transit-oriented development adjacent to Roosevelt light rail station

Publish Date

This news release was issued jointly by the City of Seattle's Office of Housing and Sound Transit.

Preliminary concept envisions 245 affordable homes, retail, daycare and a public gathering space

The Sound Transit Board today authorized staff to begin negotiations for land transaction agreements with a joint venture of Bellwether Housing and Mercy Housing Northwest for a mixed-used, affordable housing transit-oriented development (TOD) project adjacent to the site of the future Roosevelt Station.

Preliminary concepts for the 54,000 square foot property at 6600 Roosevelt Way NE include approximately 245 one-, two- and three-bedroom affordable housing apartments, 100 percent of which will be reserved for low-income residents. Additional community-enhancing features of the development include retail space, a daycare, community room and a through-block, pedestrian-friendly public gathering place that will connect to the light rail station.

“Seattle needs the kind of affordable housing this project will provide,” said Sound Transit Boardmember and Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess. “It’s wonderful that this housing will be constructed near the future light rail station on Roosevelt, and I can’t wait for residents to be able to take advantage of the opportunity to live in North Seattle with access to the amenities in this new community.”

“This project is a perfect example of Sound Transit’s commitment to affordable housing,” said Sound Transit Boardmember and Seattle City Councilmember Rob Johnson. “Through a collaborative, community-driven process, we are working to align the opening of these units as closely to the station opening in 2021 as possible. I’m grateful to the project team for their excellent proposal, the neighborhood for its tireless advocacy, and the City and Sound Transit for making this exciting project come to fruition.”

“Transit-oriented development serves as a significant opportunity for Sound Transit to contribute to the affordable housing inventory in a city and region experiencing a booming economy and rapid population growth,” said Sound Transit Chief Executive Officer Peter Rogoff. “Our work with Bellwether Housing and Mercy Housing Northwest will mean that more low-income families will be able to enjoy the benefits of living in a world-class, vibrant city that provides an ever-expanding transit system.”

“The Roosevelt neighborhood has consistently supported creating as much affordable housing on this site as possible, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to do that with a development that will support so many families,” said Bellwether Housing Chief Executive Officer Susan Boyd. “This partnership with Sound Transit demonstrates how the growth and prosperity of this community can be made available to everyone, regardless of income.”

“The location has everything we hope for in a site for affordable housing,” said Mercy Housing Northwest President Bill Rumpf. “Great transit, a walkable neighborhood, good schools and services. We are pleased to partner with Bellwether Housing and Sound Transit on this significant increase to affordable housing options near the future Roosevelt Station.”

The Board’s action today allows the selected development team to begin the design, financing and due diligence process. The preliminary concept will evolve during negotiations as the development team refines designs to align with financing requirements, market considerations for non-housing space, and other project elements.

Construction of the TOD project is anticipated to begin in early 2020 when the Roosevelt Station Central TOD site property will no longer be used for the station’s construction staging. The TOD project is scheduled to open at or near the station opening in fall 2021.

In 2015, the state legislature amended the agency’s enabling legislation, directing the agency to advance equitable TOD goals, setting forth specific financial and procedural requirements, and giving new tools to the agency to advance equitable development through prioritizing affordable housing in surplus property disposition. Those statute changes took effect with the November 2016 voter-approved Sound Transit 3 Regional Transit System Plan.

More information on Roosevelt Station transit-oriented development is available at /rooseveltstation/transit-oriented-development-around-roosevelt-station.

More information on the Sound Transit TOD plan and policy is available at /Projects-and-Plans/In-Your-Community/Transit-oriented-development

The Roosevelt Station is one of three stations within the Northgate Link Extension that begins service in 2021. The $1.9 billion, 4.3-mile extension from Husky Stadium at the University of Washington includes twin tunnels under the UW campus, two underground stations in the U District and Roosevelt neighborhoods, and an elevated guideway and station at Northgate Mall. The project is currently trending $52 million under budget. More information about the project can be found at /Projects-and-Plans/Find-a-Project/northgate-link-extension.