A partnership of nonprofit Mount Baker Housing and private development company Lake Union Partners on Friday paid $19.9 million for a large, contaminated South Seattle property, where they plan to build around 700 housing units near the future Judkins Park light-rail station.
The three-block property at South Grand Street and 22nd Avenue South is one of the largest transit-oriented projects ever in Seattle and will be one of many in the region’s future as Sound Transit builds out a 116-mile rail system in the fast-growing, traffic-choked region.
Mount Baker Housing (MBH) and Lake Union Partners (LUP) plan to begin construction of the project they’re calling Grand Street Commons in 2021 and complete the project by the 2023 scheduled completion of the $3.2 billion Eastlink extension from Seattle to Redmond. Trips from Judkins Park to downtown Seattle and Bellevue will be nine and 15 minutes, respectively.
Joining the Seattle-based partners is a third local company, HAL Real Estate, which is providing most of the project equity.
“For anyone who is excited about the future of this neighborhood, this site was always key. We’ve had our eye on it for awhile now and have been actively working on it for about a year and a half,” MBH Director of Real Estate Conor Hansen said. “We’ve known (LUP Principal) Joe (Ferguson) for years and they seem to chase the same type of creative deals we like to pursue.”
LUP brought HAL into the deal to clean up the vacant 3.2-acre property where dilapidated buildings stand. Hansen said many businesses caused the contamination but most is from a dry cleaner and a machinery manufacturer. A group of multiple owners sold the property.
The project will have around 700 affordable- and market-rate housing units, with 300 “family-sized” and 400 market-rate units. The project also will have 65,000 square feet of retail, including a grocery store, pharmacy and/or medical clinic.