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March 08, 2016

Yesler Terrace's $1.7B makeover: Some work done, much more to come

Puget Sound Business Journal

Marc Stiles

Construction workers are in the early stages of turning Seattle's first public housing project, the 561-unit Yesler Terrace, into a mixed-income neighborhood with 5,000 residences, nearly 1 million square feet of commercial space and a central park.

Earth-movers started digging into the 30-acre project in 2013, and the full buildout will take up to 20 years, according to the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA), which is working with private developers on what will be one of the largest redevelopment's in Seattle history. The total estimated cost is $1.7 billion, though SHA officials emphasize the final amount will depend what private companies decide to build.

Puget Sound Business Journal photographer Anthony Bolante recently toured Yesler Terrace, and his work shows how dramatically the neighborhood has changed. Click through the slideshow to get a sense of how the project is coming together.

Many of the low-slung buildings from the early 1940s are gone, replaced with mid-rise buildings. A new hillclimb with views of Mount Rainier and Elliott Bay connects Yesler Terrace with the Chinatown-International District and Little Saigon neighborhoods. And the city's new $134 million streetcar line runs through the neighborhood en route between Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill.

Four residential projects totaling 321 units have been completed, and a fourth one with 111 units is under construction. The buildings have a mix of market-rate apartments and low-income housing for individuals who make $18,850 or less.

Private Seattle developers are building housing in Yesler Terrace. Spectrum Development Solutions built a 120-unit project called Anthem on 12th, and Vulcan Real Estate plans to start construction this year on the first of three projects, which will have a total of 650 market-rate and less expensive apartments.

More about Anthem is here, and more about Vulcan's plans is here.

One of the most dramatic changes will occur on a nearly 4.5-acre site around Alder Street and Ninth Avenue, near Harborview Medical Center. SHA hired Seattle commercial real estate company Kidder Mathews to sell the property, where a 900,000-square-foot office project could be built. The property is being marketed as a site for technology and medical groups. More about that is here and here.

For the full story, go to Puget Sound Business Journal.

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