Community Post

SHA says no quick fix for empty buildings on 12th

As we reported last month, the Seattle Housing Authority has been expanding its Yesler Terrace holdings east of Boren to the area around 12th & Yesler. They purchased the corner property, formerly home of Pizza Time, in 2003, and over the years have picked up additional parcels north of that.

All of the properties have sat empty since being taken over by the housing authority. In the 12th Avenue Stewardship Meeting on Tuesday, community leader Bill Zosel expressed some annoyance at the impact those vacancies have on the neighborhood and asked a SHA representative whether there was any plan to make better use of the properties while Yesler Terrace plans continue in the planning and design phase. 

We followed up yesterday with Virginia Felton, spokesperson for SHA, who told us that the current economic environment didn’t support leasing the retail space that exists at 12th & Yesler. And although she couldn’t give a timeline on when the property might be redeveloped, she said that the existing zoning on the land fits with SHA’s designs, which could decouple it from the much larger Yesler Terrace project that is years from breaking ground.

The SunBreak had a good update on that process yesterday, which could see the addition of thousands of new units of housing and a large new amount of office space to the 70 year old Yesler Terrace housing project. The next public meeting on that is scheduled for April 29th.

In the meantime, SHA says that they are actively trying to expand their property holdings around 12th & Yesler, and have eyes on the two blocks bordered by 12th, 14th, Yesler, and Fir streets. That includes the large King County Elections warehouse, the Urban League building, and several other private properties. SHA already owns a few parcels within that along 13th Avenue.

0 thoughts on “SHA says no quick fix for empty buildings on 12th

  1. I would think that this particular vacant building would have little value as a re-design or rebuild, and long term most likely would need to be removed for any other project that might develop later. As such, why not tear it down now, as it must be a consern for vandalism anyway?

    Besides, it really is a bit of an eye sore at this time.

  2. any bets that most of the replacement low-income housing for Yesler Terrace ends up east of Boren, saving west of Boren for the thousands of units of market rate housing and the commercial spaces?

  3. Any bets that this improvement doesn’t end up just like the other replaced low income housing ( Two huge areas once in the Rainier Valley )? The develpers set aside wonderful units for low income, with some even getting assistance to qualify for banl loans ( oops, sound familiar? ), but then when many failed to be able to make their payments, they lost their units. Wonder who benefited from these lost low income properties?

  4. As far as I know, all of the replacement units will be rentals (all of the public housing there now is for-rent not ownership) so perhaps a different situation than the one you describe here Linda? They will add ownership units in the overall development, but I don’t know what percentage of those will be targeted to low- to moderate-income….anyone?