Home AEC 362-Unit Blake House to Open as Seattle’s First Affordable High-Rise in More...

362-Unit Blake House to Open as Seattle’s First Affordable High-Rise in More Than 50 Years

Seattle, First Hill, Blake House, Bellwether Housing, Plymouth Housing, Sound Transit, Swedish Health Services, Gatewood Hotel, Nordstrom, Gatewood Apartments, King County

Located in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood, Blake House will start welcoming residents in the spring. The building, which will be the first affordable high-rise in Seattle in over 50 years, is a joint development with Bellwether Housing. Plymouth will operate 112 studio apartments for seniors and veterans who have experienced chronic homelessness, plus three live-in staff apartments. Bellwether will operate another 250 units for lower income working individuals and families.

Blake House is built on land donated by Sound Transit and is conveniently located near transit lines. The building’s ground floor features a retail space. In addition to its proximity to health care providers in the neighborhood, Blake House will proudly offer onsite health care services to residents through a partnership with Swedish Health Services.

Named after a long-time local housing advocate, Blake House honors the legacy of the late Blake Nordstrom. For more than 25 years, Blake contributed his time and energy toward various efforts to end homelessness in Seattle. During that time, he was a loyal Plymouth supporter, finding different ways to partner with us and improve the lives of our residents. In the early 1990s, Plymouth renovated and began operating the former Gatewood Hotel at 1st and Pine, which was located across the street from what was then the downtown Nordstrom Rack. Blake established a job training program at Nordstrom Rack that provided career opportunities for residents of the Gatewood Apartments.

Blake’s wife Molly Nordstrom shares, “Blake’s heart was always with helping others, and he was drawn to organizations that addressed the biggest needs in our community. He was particularly passionate about homelessness and supporting those living with chronic issues and believed in Plymouth’s ‘Housing First’ approach. He preferred to keep the focus on the community rather than on himself, so while he would be humbled by this recognition, I know he would be so appreciative of all that Plymouth continues to do for those in need.”

“Blake lived his life in the service of others – family, friends, colleagues, and strangers alike – and truly felt that helping others was a gift, not a burden. He also believed that the biggest impact came from providing opportunities for everyone to live a full life and was passionate about Plymouth Housing’s mission to provide safe and supportive housing to those experiencing homelessness,” shared Ken Worzel, Chief Operating Officer at Nordstrom. “All of us at Nordstrom miss Blake every day but we are thrilled that Plymouth is honoring his memory through the naming of Blake House—it is a fitting tribute given Blake’s focus on serving others and reflects his belief that stable housing should be a right for all in our community.”

Blake served on the Committee to End Homelessness in King County since its inception in 2005 and was a governing board member until 2015. Additionally, in 2014, Blake and Molly Nordstrom were honored for their dedication and commitment to ending homelessness in our community at Plymouth’s annual Seattle Dances event. “Blake was one of the most humble and down to earth people in our community. He gave so much of himself toward helping to find solutions to one of most critical issues in our region—ending homelessness. I miss him every day and am grateful for our friendship,” says former Plymouth CEO Paul Lambros.