Community Post

Planned for 12th & Jeff: 6 stories of affordable apartments

The lot on the northeast corner of 12th & Jefferson has been vacant for as long as I can remember. Capitol Hill Housing is working on plans to change that with a six story building containing ground floor retail and an as yet unspecified number of affordable apartments. 

The land use bulletin says that it will be work force housing, which is usually described as affordable to 50-80% of the local median wage.

The height of the building would require a contract rezone from the current lowrise designation that only allows three story apartments or townhomes, and much less lot coverage. And the most interesting part may be that the entire development would only have parking for six vehicles on site (parking is a huge expense for apartments, so minimizing it is key to lowering housing costs).

That parcel is currently owned by the city of Seattle, who would have to come to an agreement with the non-profit housing developer to dedicate the property to affordable housing.

An early guidance design review is scheduled for 6:30pm on May 6th at Seattle Central. 

0 thoughts on “Planned for 12th & Jeff: 6 stories of affordable apartments

  1. Thanks for posting this Scott. CHH recently met with the 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee to present this project concept and we look forward to talking more with community members about it. We hope that a good number of people come out to design review to give us feedback.

    We do indeed plan to pursue a contract rezone on the site from NC2-40 to NC3-65. Essentially we are asking for two more stories of residential so that the project will work and produce as much public benefit as possible. With the up-zone we can build 40 units on the site, half one-beds and half two-beds and all of which will be permanently affordable to low-income renters making up to 60% AMI (about $35,000 for one person in Seattle). We are also partnering with HomeSight on this project, so that we can convert the units to affordable condos after 15 years, when the tax credits expire. Residents will get first dibs on their unit. And it is true that we are planning minimal parking (none is required in an Urban Center) because we are on a bus line and will be right near the streetcar when finished, whether on Broadway or 12th.

    Couple of other things to note. This project is part of our 12th Avenue Initiative, which works with Central Area and Capitol Hill communities to improve the business district on 12th. As such, we hope to also provide affordable commercial space here that targets the small business owner. By this we mean appropriately priced and sized so that the spaces will appeal to the variety of small businesses in and around the Central Area.

    We will also post regular updates on this project on the 12th Ave Blog located here:

    Please feel free to send me your comments at [email protected].

  2. Dont we have enough low income renters in and around the Central District? These type of people tend to drive property values down rather than up. I’m not enthusiastic at all about this prospect.

  3. Just to clarify, single folks making about 50-60% of median income in Seattle (30-35k/year) are making about $10-$15 dollars an hour in their jobs. These are the baristas, grocery store employees, hotel service workers, waitstaff, hospital staff and office administrative workers that are the backbone of our economy in the City.