with Investment & Financing from Allivate Impact Capital, CEI-Boulos Capital Management, Amazon, Trez Capital, Housing Diversity Corp., & Others
Highlights include 271 affordable workforce housing units, 80 area jobs, close access to public transportation & quality food, & environmentally sustainable development
SEATTLE, Feb. 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- A groundbreaking celebration was held today for Atrium Court at 7324 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. in Seattle's Othello neighborhood. Atrium Court will create 271 units of affordable workforce housing, 80 jobs, and ground-level retail space adjacent to a light rail station in the historic and diverse South Seattle neighborhood.
The largest and majority equity investor in the project is an investment vehicle jointly sponsored and managed by Allivate Impact Capital® and CEI-Boulos Capital Management, which invested $15 million in equity alongside a $41 million primary loan from Trez Capital, and a $16 million low-interest loan from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund.
"We're committed to investing private capital to help revitalize historically underinvested communities like Seattle's Othello neighborhood," said Sam Spencer, CEO and Managing Director of CEI-Boulos Capital Management. "We're thrilled to be partnering with Allivate Impact Capital and the Amazon Housing Equity Fund to support this socially and environmentally impactful project that will provide transit-oriented affordable housing to residents of this multicultural community."
Noelle St. Clair Lentz, CEO and Managing Director of Allivate Impact Capital added, "Allivate Impact Capital proudly stands alongside CEI-Boulos Capital Management, Housing Diversity Corporation, Amazon, Nitze-Stagen, Trez Capital, and others to support the creation of affordable workforce housing through the Atrium Court project. This type of intentional collaboration is necessary to deliver the innovative capital solutions allowing communities such as the Othello neighborhood to fully realize their truAle potential."
"Atrium Court will provide much needed, high-quality affordable housing with easy access to transit and other services that will contribute to residents' quality of life," said Alice Shobe, Global Director, Amazon Community Impact. "This project models how the private sector can contribute long-term affordable housing to vibrant communities like the Othello neighborhood."
To address the increasing scarcity of affordable housing for residents earning low and moderate incomes, 59% of the development's 271 units will be income-restricted to those earning no more than 80% Area Median Income (AMI), while 10% of units will be income-restricted at 60% AMI, and 5% of units will be income-restricted at 50% AMI. All affordability requirements will have a term of 99 years.
"Atrium Court is the type of project Trez Capital is proud to be a part of – we look for financing opportunities that yield purposeful and impactful communities focused on building a brighter future for residents," said Brody Toigo, Managing Director, Head of Origination, Western U.S., Trez Capital. "Breaking ground marks our first milestone toward helping address the affordable, build-for-rent, multi-family housing shortage in the Othello community."
Housing Diversity Corporation, the lead developer for Atrium Court, started construction in January 2024. "We are proud to have assembled a group of partners dedicated to creating opportunities through thoughtfully designed affordable housing for the community. Atrium Court, with its 271 residential units and retail space, will transform a previously vacant lot into a vibrant space for the Othello community to grow and thrive," said Brad Padden, CEO and Founder of Housing Diversity Corporation.
"Nitze-Stagen has been focused on bringing private social impact investors together to meet the housing affordability gap in our city and Atrium Court is a model that does just that," said Lisa Nitze, Principal at Nitze-Stagen. "It is coupled with our commitment to support the small businesses that are historically distinctive in Othello, with a Performa that enables us to lease to authentic neighborhood retail, services, or non-profits that the community has identified as a need. We are excited to be at the groundbreaking of this community-centric development."
The project has a strong focus on environmental sustainability, including reducing energy consumption and conserving water. The project will employ modern green building design features, construction methods, and operating systems including stormwater management, a 33-kilowatt roof mounted solar array, passive solar design, compost collection, and no fossil fuel-dependent systems for building heat.
In addition, the transportation-oriented project is less than 200 feet from the Othello Light Rail Station – reducing future tenants' need for cars, resulting in a smaller financial burden and carbon footprint. The project supports Seattle's "Urban Village" concept within the city's "Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan," which aims to increase housing density and affordability in neighborhoods near light rail stations, prioritizing walkability and public transit over driving. The project's location near light rail, along with easy access to necessities like groceries, aligns with the city's goal of reducing car dependence, reducing the need to utilize valuable real estate for parking, and reducing transportation emissions.
The project is expected to create 60 construction jobs, and 20 permanent jobs between property management and the retail spaces.
The project also aligns with the City of Seattle's community development goals. Additionally, Sponsor OZ Navigator, a partnership between Housing Diversity Corp. and Nitze-Stagen conducted extensive multilingual outreach to determine community needs which informed the project's planning and design. One feature created in response to community feedback will be a lighted rotating sculpture at the building's entrance created by local artist Fumi Amano that displays various phrases in languages spoken within the Othello community.
The project team also includes STS Construction as the General Contractor; Neiman Taber Architects; Quantum Engineering as the Structural Engineer; Sitewise as the Civil Engineer; and KKLA (Karen Kiest Landscape Architects) as the Landscape Architect.