Early designs, details released for first private Yesler Terrace development

SEATTLE - A new development planned for Yesler Terrace not only aims to have apartments set aside for low-income Seattle residents but also hopes to hire only low-income earners to build it. And, Seattleites can get their first glimpse of the new project during a design meeting next week.

Seattle-based development company Spectrum Development Solutions recently bought the half-acre site at the corner of 12th Avenue and Yesler from the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) for $2.88 million.

Early design concepts for the project feature a six-story, 120-unit apartment building with roughly 3,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and parking within the building.

Jake McKinstry with Spectrum Development Solutions says the apartments are designed to offer workforce housing in the neighborhood geared towards nurses, teachers, emergency responders and others employed in Seattle's downtown area.

McKinstry says they also plan to devote 25 percent of the units for people earning 80 percent or less of the area median income.

"We are trying to service people who don't qualify for affordable housing but have still been priced out of the market," he says.

Spectrum Development Solutions has worked with Seattle University on student housing projects at the corner of 12th Avenue and Cherry, and they are currently helping the University of Washington as it expands its West Campus.

"With Yesler Terrace we are excited to anchor the south end of 12th Ave. as well," McKinstry says.

Spectrum also plans to work with SHA to try and fill 100 percent of the construction jobs created during development with people earning less than 80 percent of the area median income, giving preference to residents of Yesler Terrace and other SHA housing.

McKinstry says they hope to break ground on the project a year from now with completion slated for the second half of 2015.

The public meeting, where residents and neighbors can comment on the early design concepts, is scheduled for 8 p.m. Feb. 13 at Seattle University, 901 12th Ave., inside Room 210 of the Student Center.