SEATTLE – Starting this month, the Lake Washington Apartments will undergo a complete renovation that will greatly improve safety and comfort for 960 residents.
SEED (SouthEast Effective Development), in cooperation with its development partner, Bayside Communities, is financing the transformation of the affordable apartment complex in Rainier Beach with a $50 million reinvestment package that rolls over part of the property’s current debt and frees $20 million for structural and tenant improvements.
“This comprehensive renovation will greatly improve the home environments of the residents with upgrades to all 366 units—and will add 13 more,” stated Lance Matteson, Executive Director of SEED. SEED is a Southeast Seattle not-for-profit dedicated to economic, arts-based, and affordable housing development.
The new financing includes $28 million in bonds issued and $12.2 million in housing tax credits allocated by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. Other development and funding partners include the City of Seattle, the State of Washington, Citi, R4 Capital, US Bank, and HomeSight.
“Each of these partners has been crucial to this project,” Matteson said. “We are proud to say that this project is being financed through private equity, with no grants from the state or federal government.”
The 66-year-old apartment complex is among the state’s largest affordable housing developments operated by a non-governmental agency. A great number of residents are people of color and immigrants from Africa, East Asia, and other countries, as well as a number of people transitioning from homelessness. Families eligible for housing earn below 60 percent of the area median income.
The renovation will replace roofs and siding, upgrade kitchens as well as bathrooms, and upgrade energy efficiency of lighting, radiant baseboard heaters, and water heaters. Energy-efficient washers and dryers will be fitted inside the individual apartments, freeing up common areas for new classrooms, study rooms, and activity and exercise rooms. Completion is projected for August 2015. The contractor is Synergy Construction, Inc. and property management services are provided by EPMI, a Bayside Company.
The Lake Washington Apartments, located at 9061 Seward Park Avenue South, are situated on a 16-acre site containing over 330,000 square feet of real estate that is adjacent to Lake Washington and Rainier Beach High School. The site is just a few blocks from the brand-new Rainier Beach Community Center.
“At SEED, we are excited about our new direction and the opportunities represented by the redevelopment of the Lake Washington Apartments,” added Matteson. “This important step supports the livability of southeast Seattle and the diversity that enhances our city’s ongoing efforts to be recognized as a great international city.”
“We have worked to collaborate with commercial partners, government entities, public and regulatory agencies, legal and compliance experts, architects, and construction managers in a project that will bring tangible benefits to families and individuals in our community.”
Founded in 1975, SouthEast Effective Development (SEED) is a not-for-profit community development corporation. Through affordable housing, arts and economic development programs, SEED has improved the quality of life in southeast Seattle by creating partnerships and inspiring community investments. SEED believes making a difference is a long-term commitment. www.seedseattle.org
Under the new leadership of Executive Director Lance Matteson, SEED has developed a fresh strategic plan, with implementation starting in 2014. SEED is focusing on development that will create jobs and support the cultural and economic diversity of southeast Seattle. SEEDArts is a component program of SEED that has facilitated public art, after school arts classes, and other arts activities at the Lake Washington Apartments.