In an effort to support its unhoused population, King County is purchasing hotels, motels and apartment buildings to turn into affordable housing properties. In its most recent acquisition, the County paid $32 million, or $400,000 per unit, for the newly built Canton Lofts. Located at 224 S. Washington Street in Seattle, the property was sold to the county by Nitze-Stagen, a Seattle-based real estate investment and development company.
According to a landing page for the property on Nitze-Stagen’s website, the 40,000 square-foot property includes 80 lofted apartment units as well as a large multi-purpose ground floor space with retail. In addition, the building is designed with flexible floorplans to accommodate both a single individual as well as couples.
Each apartment will also include built-in cabinetry, bathrooms with large walk-in tiled showers, modern appliances, quartz countertops and 14-foot ceilings. Modern finishes are carried through the rest of the property as well with community amenities including a rooftop terrace with views of the Elliot Bay.
Located in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood, just south of downtown Seattle, the surrounding area is highly walkable with many retail and dining amenities nearby. The property is also in close proximity to Interstate-5 and near several bus stops.
“Canton Lofts’ smart design emphasizes affordability and livability, two critical components in providing socially responsible rental housing. Canton will produce apartments [that] provide direct access to the vibrant Pioneer Square neighborhood and are within easy walking distance to the central business district,” the property’s website states.
The property was acquired through King County’s Healthy Housing Initiative, which pledges to provide 1,600 emergency housing and permanent supportive housing units for people experiencing chronic homelessness by the end of 2022. In addition, each of the acquired properties offers case management services, including employment counseling, access to health and behavioral services.
To date, the county has purchased nearly 850 units throughout Seattle and its surrounding suburbs. These include 110 units in Renton, 80 units in Seattle, 99 units in Aurora, 144 units in Redmond, 102 units in Auburn, 80 units in Pioneer Square, 100 units in Federal Way and 131 units in Stone.