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New $3.5 Million Housing for the Homeless on 1st & Cedar

April 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, SMA Architects

A resident at Harbour Heights provided us with a rendering of a new project supposedly holding a groundbreaking ceremony on May 14th, beginning a projected 15-month construction timeline on the corner of 1st and Cedar beginning June 1st. Ironically, it’s currently a vacant parking lot believed by many to be unbuildable.  Not much information has circulated about the project since the news originated from the Real Change newspaper (a program to get homeless off the streets by putting them on the streets asking for spare change to buy the Real Change paper).  Designed by SMA Architects, the 7-story building will provide 84 units with full bathrooms and kitchens, with each studio unit averaging 250 square feet.  One of the reasons we believe the building is being approved for construction is because there will be no parking provided.  The first floor of the building will primarily be for the care facility and staff, with another 2,000 square feet of retail space.

Applicants do not need to have clean criminal records, a stable renter’s history, or proof of freedom from drug or alcohol addiction. “You take a person where they are, and then you provide the level of services they need to succeed,” (Joanne) LaTuchie (Seattle Office of Housing) says.

We have yet to find out why Plymouth Housing Group is pushing for that particularly high-priced location (Belltown being some of Seattle’s most expensive real estate) over other areas, or information as to the need of such a facility on 1st Avenue in Belltown.  Also, based on the location, a long waiting list is likely to develop.  At the same time, a comment left on the SLOG made mention that the new affordable housing could provide downtown with a lower-income based workforce.

How and why the deal was made