Local Affordable Housing Developer Mt. Baker Housing Announces Plans for More Than 160 New Affordable Housing Units, New Home for Rainier Valley Food Bank and Innovative ‘Community Food Center’
New Apartment Homes Within One-Quarter Mile of Rainier Beach Light Rail Station to House Individuals/Families at 50-60% Area Median Income and Feature 2-3 Bedroom ‘Family-Sized’ Units
First Seattle Project Funded Through Enterprise Washington’s ‘REDI’ Fund to Preserve Housing Affordability; Also Located within City of Seattle’s ‘Food Innovation District’ Designed to Create Jobs, Pathways for Economic Mobility
Seattle, May 1, 2018 – Local non-profit and affordable housing developer Mt. Baker Housing (www.mtbakerhousing.org) (MBH) today announced its plans for a new affordable housing development in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood, just steps from Sound Transit’s Rainier Beach light rail station and the Rainier Beach Community Center. The 50,000 sq. ft. site will also serve as a new home to Rainier Valley Food Bank’s (www.rvfb.org) community food center.
Located at the southeast corner of Rainier Ave South and South Cloverdale Street, the affordable multifamily mixed-use project will feature sweeping views of Lake Washington and ball fields, and parks on all sides, and will include studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom affordable apartment homes. The project plans to utilize new zoning stemming from the city’s Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) rezones and will include onsite MHA units.
“Affordable family sized housing is greatly needed in Seattle and this site was perfect for it – especially with its close proximity to the Community Center, schools and light rail,” said Conor Hansen, Director of Real Estate at Mt. Baker Housing. “We’re hoping this project will serve as a ‘gateway’ to the Rainier Beach neighborhood and as a catalyst for additional transit-oriented development in the community.”
Rainier Valley Food Bank Expands, Opens Innovative ‘Community Food Center’
Since 1991, Rainier Valley Food Bank (RVFB) has operated out of a tiny, crumbling building just north of Columbia City. Their new Rainier Beach location will feature roughly 8,400 sq. ft. for the food bank’s operations and offices, and will be the culmination of RVFB’s vision of opening Washington state’s first “community food center,” an innovative Canadian model featuring a full-scale commercial kitchen at the heart of the ground-floor facility, and a hydroponic farm on the rooftop.
This unique partnership between MBH and RVFB will play an active role in Rainier Beach’s ‘Food Innovation District’ plan by including community space, economic stimulus for the neighborhood and multiple ways to engage the public around food.
“We are thrilled to partner with Mt. Baker Housing in bringing our long-time vision to reality,” said Sam Osborne, RVFB Executive Director. “While we will continue to provide the same great food programs we currently operate, this new community food center will open up endless opportunities for people throughout Rainier Valley and beyond to come together around great food with an eye toward sustainability, and community organizing through the lens of food to address real upstream solutions to hunger and poverty.”
First Seattle Project to Utilize Public-Private Regional Equitable Development Initiative
MBH’s newest development is also Enterprise Washington’s first Seattle project to utilize its public-private Regional Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) Fund. The REDI Fund recently launched to help finance the acquisition of property along transit corridors to preserve the affordability of future housing and community facilities. Projects financed by the REDI Fund must have a minimum of 10% of units affordable to households at or below 80% area median income (AMI) or 20% below the market rent for a comparable unit in the submarket of the acquired property.
The Rainier Beach project is MBH’s seventh affordable apartment project in Seattle. Additional projects include the 144-unit Mt. Baker Village (Mt. Baker), 90-unit scattered sites (Rainier Valley), 35-unit Arbor Woods (Skyway), 30-unit Starliter Apartments (Rainier Beach) and 26-unit Crestwood Place (Rainier Valley).
MBH hopes to start construction in 2020. Vince Vonada at Core Commercial served as the broker for the buyer and the seller. MBH purchased the site for $4,231,000 from the seller.
About Mt. Baker Housing. Founded in 1988, Mt. Baker Housing (MBH) is a Seattle-based nonprofit low-income housing developer. Its mission is to improve lives and strengthen communities by creating quality, affordable housing and supporting residents in southeast Seattle—including renovating existing properties and pursuing new construction projects. Since its first project, rehabilitation of the nine-building Mt. Baker Village Apartments complex, MBH has since developed (and now owns and operates) seven low-income and affordable housing properties totaling just over 300 units. By furthering its vision that all people, regardless of income, will have secure, affordable places to live—MBH has improved residents’ lives by providing vibrant, affordable communities that residents are happy to call home. For more information, visit: www.mtbakerhousing.org.
About Rainier Valley Food Bank. Since opening in 1991, Rainier Valley Food Bank (RVFB) has served as a vital response to food scarcity in southeast Seattle. Its mission is to nourish with good food, empower with knowledge, and serve with compassion. Through its emergency food services, food education, community engagement activities, and basic need resources, families and individuals can find the support they need for greater health, well-being, and stability. For more information, visit: www.rvfb.org.