Home AEC Construction to Begin on O.Z. Navigator’s 202-Unit Multifamily Project in Seattle’s Chinatown-International...

Construction to Begin on O.Z. Navigator’s 202-Unit Multifamily Project in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District

Seattle, Chinatown-International District, Puget Sound, OZ Navigator, Housing Diversity Corp, Nitze-Stagen, Neiman Taber, STS Construction, New Century Tea Gallery, Los Angeles

By Kate Snyder

Groundbreaking for a mixed-use building in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District is slated to begin this summer, according to industry reports. Plans for the 202-unit building were announced in 2021 by the project sponsor, a partnership between Housing Diversity Corp. and Nitze-Stagen called O.Z. Navigator. The partnership is working with the property owners, the Mar family, to redevelop the site, according to the project’s website. The architect is Neiman Taber, and the construction firm is STS Construction.

Located at 701 S Jackson St., the project would consist of 151 market-rate apartments and 51 rent-restricted residences through Seattle’s multifamily tax exemption program. The eight-story building would total 103,899 square feet with 5,898 square feet of retail space. According to Nitze-Stagen’s website, the ground-floor retail is designed as a public gateway to connect from South Jackson Street into the neighborhood business core, with outdoor spaces for gathering and cultural events. New Century Tea Gallery, which operates in the west end of a former garage on the site, was provided a first right of refusal for new retail space in the building.

The multifamily community is meant to be all-inclusive, Nitze-Stagen’s website states, serving individuals and families of all incomes and ages with a mix of rental rates that promote economic diversity and are attainable for current neighborhood residents. In order to meet those goals, the development team has adopted several guiding principles for the project. One is to create housing that appeals to seniors, professionals and students who want to live at the center of Asian community and culture in Seattle. Another is to play a role in maintaining a neighborhood where residents and visitors feel at home speaking many different languages. A third is providing safe, accessible and welcoming public spaces that invite visitors to linger and are designed for families, especially grandparents and grandchildren.

Construction is anticipated to begin this year with the building opening in 2025.

A home to history, culture and tradition, Seattle’s Chinatown-International District offers a variety of restaurants serving food that spans across Asia as well as local shops and family-friendly activities, according to the district’s website. Located just one mile south of the city’s downtown, the district has been the heart of the most extensive Asian community in Washington and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Its cultural history has helped the area thrive as both a residential and commercial space for community members and tourists alike.

OZ Navigator is focused on developing opportunity zone projects that contribute to the vibrancy and economic diversity of the communities in which they are located, according to information from the organization. The partnership brings together two Seattle-based developers with a commitment to holding their properties for the long-term and a shared vision of providing positive social benefits. Since 2019, OZ Navigator has announced the development of 1,255 new units catering to middle-income renters.

Housing Diversity Corporation is dedicated to “producing high-quality homes that help create healthy, diverse neighborhoods,” according to the company’s website. The firm currently has developments in Los Angeles and Seattle with plans to expand across the West Coast.

Nitze-Stagen is an integrated real estate investment firm established more than 40 years ago. The firm launched its multifamily portfolio in 2018 and in 2023, that portfolio includes more than 2,000 apartment units in development.