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March 22, 2019
Capitol Hill Housing has announced the opening and ribbon-cutting for its 115 affordable units in the new Liberty Bank Building near 23rd and Union.
The ceremony will be held at 1405 24th Ave. —the building's new official address—at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 23.
Partners in the project also include Africatown Community Land Trust, Black Community Impact Alliance and Byrd Barr Place. Representatives from all parties, plus municipal officials, are expected to be on hand for the speeches, food and live music from Akua Kariamu, DJ Kun Luv and others.
The $32 million project was designed by Mithun and was built by Walsh Construction. The six-story building is on the site where black-owned Liberty Bank operated from 1968 to 1988.
Christopher Persons of CHH said in a statement, “It's been an incredible experience to witness and participate in the creation of the Liberty Bank Building as a community asset for the Central District. Its existence honors the legacy of an important institution and ensures that the history that surrounds it will not be erased.”
The project has units ranging from studios to two-bedrooms, with rents priced for households earning between $13,000 and $65,000 a year. The first tenants began moving in last month.
The roughly 3,400 square feet of retail/commercial space is intended for small local businesses. Letters of intent have been signed by Earl's Cuts and Styles, That Brown Girl Cooks! and Cafe Avole. Local art is also featured.
After tax credits expire in 15 years for the current ownership LLC, local groups have signed a memorandum of understanding for a right of first refusal to buy the building.
Africatown's K. Wyking Garrett said in a statement, “Today is an important step towards a future that is inclusive of the black community that has called the Central District home for almost 140 years. We celebrate knowing that we have long ways to go to repair the damages that have been done and realize a truly equitable Seattle.”
Brian Miller can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (206) 219-6517.