By Meghan Hall
King County is continuing to build upon its strategy by purchasing existing hotels to house Seattle’s growing homeless population. In two separate deals, the County purchased the Extended Stay America — Seattle North and Extended Stay Seattle — Federal Way for a combined $67.3 million. According to public records, the seller of both assets was national hotel operator Extended Stay America.
In the larger of the two deals, King County paid $44 million, or about $335,877 per room for the Seattle North location. The property’s rooms come equipped with a refrigerator, microwave and stove top, work space, and updated bathrooms. On-site laundry is also available. The hotel has 131 rooms, according to HotelPlanner.com.
The asset is located in the Haller Lake neighborhood of North Seattle and is within walking distance of the Aurora Shopping Center, anchored by Planet Fitness, Hobby Lobby and Petsmart. Bitter Lake, the Broadview Branch of the Seattle Public Library and a number of eateries are also nearby. The acquisition makes it one of the most expensive for King County yet.
In another transaction, King County acquired the Extended Stay America Federal Way property for $23.3 million, or about $230,693 per key. The property, which features many amenities similar to the North Seattle location, has 101 rooms.
In three other recent deals, the County purchased the Silver Cloud Inn in Redmond, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in North Seattle, and Auburn’s Clarion Hotel for a combined $57.3 million. The transactions closed at the end of June and beginning of July.King County acquired the Silver Cloud Inn for $28 million, or about $194,444 per room, a Holiday Inn Express & Suites for 17.5 million, or about $176,768 per room, and the Clarion Hotel in Auburn, Wash., for $11.8 million.
In October of 2020, the King County Council passed a proposal known as “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 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.