Former Amazon HQ to become site of affordable housing

High on Beacon Hill, a new project is rising on the site of Amazon’s former headquarters. Called the North Lot project, the development is being managed by the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda) and will ultimately provide 270 units of affordable housing.

Beacon Hill has long been one of Seattle’s more affordable neighborhoods, but with the area’s median home price at $695,000 last month — an increase of over 10% year-over-year  — adding more affordable housing to the mix is critical.

The North Lot project will certainly provide some relief for locals. Composed of two buildings (aptly called “Building A” and “Building B”), 70% of the units will be restricted to residents making 50% or less of the area median income. The other 30% of the units will be reserved for those making 60% or less of the area median income.

The construction financing for Building A was just finalized by SCIDpda. In total, the building will be seven stories and feature 160 rent-restricted apartments. Building A is adjacent to the historic Pacific Tower, and will be completed in the first phase of the project.

Building B will also be seven stories, and it will include 110 apartment units. Construction began on Building A in October, and is expected to be completed in 2024. Between the two buildings, about one-fifth of the homes will be three- and four-bedroom units, and a third will be two-bedroom units.

Additionally, the project will include a 10,000-square-foot childcare center on the ground floor, operated by José Martí Child Development Center. A second 25,000-square-foot space will also be leased to an organization that has not been identified yet.

This project is an excellent way to reclaim space for affordable housing in Seattle, especially as continued urban development makes it difficult to find the necessary space. From the top of Beacon Hill, future residents will certainly be able to see a brighter tomorrow for the city.

This post draws from an article by Marc Stiles in Puget Sound Business Journal.

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