By Meghan Hall
King County has been working hard to provide Seattle’s unhoused population with a place to stay, closing on a number of deals over the past year to acquire properties with potential for housing. In another recent transaction, the County spent $28.7 million, on a La Quinta Inn in Kirkland, Wash. Public records on file with King County indicate that the seller was an entity affiliated with CorePoint Lodging.
The property is located at 10530 Northup Way and is known as the La Quinta by Wyndham Seattle Bellevue. Assessor’s data shows that the property was originally constructed in 1979 and totals 59,148 square feet. The building sits on 1.83 acres of land.
The hotel is in a more commercial part of town, just off of State Route 520 and near the UW Foster School of Business, Technology Management. Other businesses, such as Statsig, X Gym and Blueprint Technologies are also nearby.
As the region has rapidly developed and housing prices have risen, King County has been steadily working to grow its stock of housing for unhoused individuals. In November, the county spent $32 million, or about $400,000 per unit, to acquire the newly-constructed Canton Lofts in Seattle. Between June and August of 2021, the County acquired six other properties, including an Extended Stay America in Renton for $28.6 million, as well as two more Extended Stay America in Seattle and Federal Way for a combined $67.3 million.
In October of 2020, the King county passed a proposal dubbed “Health Through Housing” in order to create investment to help those experiencing homelessness. Supported by a 0.01 percent sales tax increase, the legislation will provide permanent, supportive housing for those who are deemed “chronically homeless,” i.e, those who reside in places not meant for human habitation, as well as those with physical or behavioral health issues. There are about 4,500 people who are considered chronically homeless within King County based on official estimates. While the legislation will only be able to help about 2,000 of those individuals, many believe that the Health Through Housing program will provide a critical first step in the right direction.