The Rise on Madison/Blake House

Affordable high-rise in a Seattle urban neighborhood
A street-level view of the Blake House / Rise buildings in Seattle.

Project facts 

  • Location: First Hill, Seattle, WA 

  • Site area: .48 acres 

  • Development partners: Bellwether Housing and Plymouth Housing 

  • Architect: Weber Thompson Architecture 

  • Contractor: Turner Construction 

  • Program: 365 affordable homes, 4,000+ square feet of retail 

  • Opened: 2023

About this project 

Located in the First Hill neighborhood, The Rise on Madison/The Blake House is Seattle's first nonprofit-developed affordable housing high-rise, with easy access to the First Hill Streetcar, local bus lines, and the Capitol Hill Link light rail station.

Plymouth Housing and Bellwether Housing jointly developed the building. Plymouth operates approximately 112 studio homes for formerly homeless seniors with on-site supportive services on floors 1-5 (The Blake House), and Bellwether operates approximately 250 affordable studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes on floors 6-17 (The Rise on Madison). The project also includes approximately 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

The senior population at the Blake House will have on-site access to a variety of medical facilities through a partnership with Swedish Health Services. The building's proximity to a variety of public transportation options allows the project to offer zero residential parking stalls, helping to realize significant cost savings that support its ambitious affordability goals. The Rise on Madison/The Blake House will comply with Washington State Evergreen Sustainable Development Standards. 

Sound Transit acquired the property in 2001 when the agency planned to build a First Hill light rail station. In 2005, the Board decided not to build the station for cost and geotechnical reasons, but instead to serve the neighborhood by contributing to the City of Seattle's First Hill Streetcar line.  In 2018, the Board approved a no-cost land transfer of this surplus property contingent on key business terms. 

Washington State Housing Finance Commission, Washington State Department of Commerce, King County Department of Community and Human Services, Seattle Office of Housing, and private fundraising by Bellwether and Plymouth Housing all provide funding support for the project.