On February 10, 2020, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced the rare opportunity for the City of Seattle, Washington and the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) to partner on revitalizing 8 acres of city-owned property into a transit-oriented, mixed-income community near the Northgate Light Rail station. The redevelopment will preserve existing affordable housing while adding more as the work brings surrounding properties back to life.
“Equitable transit-oriented development, like the one imagined at Northgate, advances the City’s vision to build an inclusive and connected Seattle for generations to come. In a high-priced, highly competitive market like Seattle, securing strategic properties, like this, ensures our ability to create quality, affordable homes for low and moderate incomes families near transit, schools and jobs,” said Emily Alvarado, Director of the Seattle Office of Housing.
Located in a high-opportunity and high-displacement-risk neighborhood, the property sits next to a city park, near the Northgate Community Center and the Northgate Library.
In December 2019, the Seattle Housing Authority acquired the property located just north of Northgate Mall and the future Northgate light rail station, which will most immediately preserve 211 units of unsubsidized affordable housing presently located on the site.
“We are excited that we were able to act quickly on an opportunity to purchase the Northgate Apartments and preserve 211 units as affordable housing in one of Seattle’s high opportunity, transit-oriented neighborhoods,” said Andrew Lofton, SHA Executive Director. “We look forward to working with the City of Seattle and other partners to ensure we can sustain and expand the site as a long-term investment in affordable housing.”
Over the coming year, the City and Seattle Housing Authority will work together to plan for a more dense, connected and diverse community with mixed-income housing and community-serving spaces. This will include community engagement and commitments for investment.
“This transit-rich, affordable community housing development will serve as the beating heart of the new North Seattle,” said Councilmember Debora Juarez.
“Together with the Northgate Mall redevelopment, NHL practice facility, pedestrian-bike community bridge, and the keystone light rail station, this housing will contribute to a Northgate renaissance. I am so proud of our city for making this forward-looking investment towards housing justice for all,” she added.
The announcement builds on several key actions taken by Mayor Durkan to increase housing options for low- and middle-income households. Last year, Durkan committed funds from the sale of the Mercer Megablock to support strategic acquisition and visionary investments in housing, community and cultural spaces in locations facing displacement.
“Northgate is on the leading edge of equitable growth for our City. This new acquisition and partnership with SHA ensure that we will not lose ground on affordable housing in this high-opportunity community,” said Durkan. “Over the coming years, we will work with the community on long-term planning for a transformational redevelopment, ensuring Northgate remains affordable for the next generation.”
In January 2020, Mayor Durkan’s Affordable Middle-Income Housing Advisory Council delivered a suite of strategies that together, government, the private sector and community organizations can act on to increase housing options available to middle-income families and individuals.
All renderings of the Northgate Light Rail station are courtesy of Hewitt.