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Low Income Housing Institute Closes on Second December Deal, Pays $16MM for Seattle Development Site

LIHI, Johnson & Carr, SWH, Capitol Hill, Seattle, Seattle Office of Housing
Courtesy of SHW

By Meghan Hall

Seattle’s Low Income Housing Institute is a nonprofit that for decades has been working to increase and maintain housing for low-income, homeless and formerly homeless people in Washington State. The organization has recently expanded its portfolio not once, but twice in recent weeks, solidifying its presence as housing prices continue to rise. In its most recent deal, LIHI paid $16 million for a development site at  420 Boylston Ave. E. that will ultimately serve as micro-unit housing.

The seller of the project, according to public records, is Johnson & Carr. Currently, the project is under construction and upon completion, will include 59 units and 26,247 square feet of space. Plans for the project show that the development team sought to create a welcoming project to pedestrians and match the residential character of the surrounding area.

The property is not far from another recent acquisition by LIHI, located at 506 10th Ave. E. Also a development site, the property was sold by Prestige Partners Realty and is entitled for 36 apartment units. LHI acquired the site for $10.97 million, or about $304,722 per unit.

Both projects are located within the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, which design of 420 Boylston, SHW, calls one of the “fastest growing neighborhoods” in project documents. 

“It offers its community an outstanding variety of restaurants, shopping, living, and working hubs that make it an attractive destination for potential residents of all demographics,” states plans for 420 Boylston.

The properties are close to Seattle Central College, Summit Slope Park, ThomasStreet Mini Park, and other attractions.

LIHI intends for both properties to serve as permanent supportive housing, and the organization will use a variety of means to finance the projects long-term. LIHI procured a $25 million State commerce award, which was equally matched by the Seattle Office of Housing, so that the organization could efficiently acquire new buildings. The funding will also be used to acquire a third housing project, and between all three properties, 180 young adults, singles and couples will be housed by the projects.

“The goal of this fund was for the state to partner with local governments, nonprofits and the private sector more aggressively to make more units available rapidly – not in three or four years but within months,” said Senator David Frockt in a statement when the funding was announced. “I am pleased that this initial round appears to be moving toward that goal. I think there are likely to be more units rapidly developed in Seattle and King County in upcoming rounds of funding.”

LIHI has been advocating, building and maintaining affordable housing for more than 30 years. First established in 1991, LIHI has now accrued nearly 50 properties to specifically serve low-income and homeless individuals.