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Proposed lease, development agreement marks progress for 232-unit affordable housing project at Kin

King County, BRIDGE Housing Corporation, and Community Roots Housing are moving forward with plans to build 232 affordable housing units on the northern portion of Metro’s Northgate Park and Ride lot.

King County, along with BRIDGE Housing Corporation and Community Roots Housing, will begin implementing plans to build 232 new affordable housing units near the site of the Northgate Link light rail station, scheduled to begin train service Oct. 2. In coordination with the City of Seattle on a regional approach, the project is receiving $20 million in county affordable housing funding.

All units will be affordable to households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income – in 2021, that’s $69,400 for a family of four. The development will provide a mix of unit sizes including at least 52 two- or three-bedroom units, and 24 units will be reserved for system-connected households.

The King County Council will review the proposed development agreement, which includes a 75-year ground lease. Following consideration by the council, groundbreaking is expected to occur in 2023.

“More than ever, our region is making meaningful progress toward delivering housing affordable at every level,” said Executive Constantine. “By building housing near transit hubs, with fast and frequent service, we give people back the hours they would have spent sitting in traffic. By reducing emissions and congestion, transit-oriented development helps tackle the climate crisis so our future is healthier for everyone.”

The land, valued at approximately $12.85 million, is currently part of the Northgate Park & Ride. King County and Metro will provide the land to affordable housing developers BRIDGE Housing Corporation and Community Roots Housing for a long-term, $1-per-year lease. King County Department of Community and Human Services is contributing $20 million toward the affordable housing project. A previous arrangement to jointly fund the Northgate transit-oriented development project with $10 million from the City of Seattle was modified by a subsequent multi-property agreement to shift city and county funding among several jointly funded housing projects, leading to the County doubling its investment in Northgate.

BRIDGE will aggregate financing and manage the Northgate project construction, while Community Roots Housing will manage the property long-term.

“We believe that transit-oriented developments like this Northgate project lead to increased access to job opportunities, improved economic development, and vibrant communities,” said Christopher Persons, CEO of Community Roots Housing. “Listening and responding to the needs of our neighbors is a key part of our mission, and we are excited to partner with BRIDGE Housing on this project that will bring vital affordable housing as well as an expansive daycare center to the Northgate neighborhood.”

In 2020, King County announced a predevelopment agreement with BRIDGE and Community Roots Housing (formerly Capitol Hill Housing) for approximately 48,000 square feet of the Northgate property. Metro intends to hold the remaining more than 2 acres of surrounding property until at least 2024, which coincides with the opening of Sound Transit’s Lynnwood Link light rail station. At least for now, the rest of the land will continue to function as a park and ride. Over the next five years, Metro has the opportunity to look at the evolving service needs of the area and align the future of the property with plans for the transit-oriented development.

“Access to reliable mobility is fundamental to the success of our community. The opportunity to build affordable housing just steps from Metro’s Northgate Transit Center and the new Link Light Rail station will be life changing for the eventual residents of this building,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski. “This moment is the culmination of years of hard work by Metro, County staff and our partners, including those in the State Legislature, and I am excited to see it move forward and add new housing units to the growing Northgate community.”

“We're thrilled that this equitable transit-oriented development is approaching another key milestone,” said Kurt Creager, Executive Vice President, BRIDGE Housing. “With our partners, we’re looking forward to bringing the neighborhood an affordable, vibrant community where all people can live, work, learn and play.”