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Development Plan for Yesler Terrace released by Seattle Housing Authority

Establishes framework for
10 – 20 year redevelopment

SEATTLE — May 10, 2011 — Seattle Housing Authority today released the draft of a detailed development plan for the 30-acre Yesler Terrace site just east of downtown Seattle on First Hill. The site currently contains 561 units of extremely low-income housing, which will be replaced as the site is redeveloped.

The Development Plan also calls for the creation of an additional 100 extremely low-income housing units that will serve the same population, bringing the total to 661 extremely low-income units. These additional units will be built by nonprofit housing developers working with the Housing Authority to purchase land at a discount and receive ongoing subsidy through vouchers.

Executive Director Tom Tierney stressed that the Housing Authority remains focused on its primary mission of housing Seattle's low-income residents.

"Providing enduring low-income housing is what drives our work here," Tierney said. "But beyond our housing goals, many opportunities for strengthening the community present themselves at Yesler Terrace. Working with the City of Seattle, nonprofit partners and private businesses, we envision the new Yesler Terrace as a mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhood that will be a diverse and exciting community where people across the income spectrum come to live, learn, work and play."

The Development Plan is based on the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which was released on April 14. It proposes building a maximum of 5,000 housing units, 40 percent of which will be affordable to households making less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income ($64,400 for a family of four). The affordable units include the 661 units referenced above, along with 290 units serving residents with incomes up to 60 percent AMI and 850 units of workforce housing serving residents with incomes up to 80 percent AMI.

In addition to the 5,000 units of housing, the Development Plan calls for 900,000 square feet of office space, 65,000 square feet of neighborhood services, 88,000 square feet of neighborhood retail, 15.9 acres of parks and semi-private open space and up to 5,100 parking spaces.

The Seattle Housing Authority Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday, May 17 at 5 pm at the Yesler Terrace Community Center to hear comment on the Development Plan and take action. The meeting will begin with a presentation on the plan, which will be followed by an opportunity for public comment before the Board takes action.