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August 8, 2017

RFP is out for affordable housing development at Roosevelt Station

Journal staff reporter

A request for proposals has been issued for one of the biggest and most valuable parcels at Roosevelt Station, scheduled to open in 2021.

Sound Transit and the Seattle Office of Housing are soliciting proposals for “equitable” transit oriented development on the 1.22-acre parcel at 6600 Roosevelt Way N.E.

The property will be leased, not sold, as at Capitol Hill Station. The RFP appeared Monday in the DJC.

Proposals are due by Thursday, Sept. 14. A pre-proposal meeting will be held at Sound Transit headquarters, but the date has not been determined.

The property occupies most of the block bounded by Northeast 67th and 66th streets, Roosevelt and 12th Avenue Northeast. QFC once operated a store there, but it was demolished in 2012.

Sound Transit calls it the Roosevelt Central Site. The east side of the block, measuring about 20,000 square feet, will be occupied by the north entrance to the light-rail tunnel.

Sound Transit is presently using the property as a staging area for the tunnel and station construction. The site should become available in early 2020, as construction wraps up.

There are also two smaller surplus parcels nearby, called Roosevelt North and South Sites, and Sound Transit is expected to dispose of them in 2021. They are not part of the current RFP.

Under state law, “qualified parties” are eligible to respond to the RFP. They are defined as local governments, housing authorities, or nonprofit developers. Eighty percent of the units must be affordable to those earning 80 percent of area median income; but lower AMI thresholds are encouraged.

The property is zoned for construction to 85 feet. In materials Sound Transit prepared for a March open house, the agency estimated that between 225 and 300 units could be developed, likely in two seven-story buildings with street level retail. Underground parking would be partly constrained by the tunnel, but is still feasible.

Seattle Office of Housing also says it will provide up to $15 million in Rental Housing Program funds to potential developers. Those funds would take the form of low-interest loans with terms in excess of 50 years.

The Roosevelt Station area has become a hotbed for land sales and development plans. In addition to the local Roosevelt Development Group, which has several apartment projects planned along Northeast 65th Street, national players like Velmeir Companies and White/Peterman Properties are also investing in the neighborhood.

The website Seattle in Progress estimates there are currently over 1,200 units in the pipeline near 65th and Roosevelt, but those numbers are always subject to change.

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