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May 14, 2015

August Wilson Place is open in Bellevue

Photos by Steve Rowland [enlarge]
Rents for the 57 units range from $463 to $1,207.

The Low Income Housing Institute will hold a grand opening at 10 a.m. May 26 for August Wilson Place, a 57-unit apartment project in Bellevue named for the Pulitzer Prize winning African-American playwright.

GGLO is the architect and landscape architect on the project at 204 111th Ave. N.E. The contractor is Synergy Construction.

The team also includes KPFF Consulting Engineers, civil; Rushing, MEP; RDH Building Sciences, building envelope; JGL Acoustics, acoustical engineer; Emerald Aire, mechanical; Michael Nouwens Structural Consultants; Geotech Consultants; Rob's Electric; Rightway Plumbing; and Fire Sprinklers Inc.

The unit mix is studios, studio-plus, two-bedroom and three-bedroom, ranging from 349 to 1,059 square feet. Twelve units are for homeless people, eight are for veterans, and three are for families with developmental disabilities.

The apartments are open to people making at or below 60 percent of the area median income. Sixty percent is $37,680 for one person and $43,020 for two. Rents range from $463 to $1,207, including a utility allowance.

LIHI said housing in Bellevue is increasingly unaffordable: Over the past year the average rent increased 9.4 percent, from $1,547 to $1,692.

Sharon Lee, LIHI executive director, said more than 300 people — some in the service industry — applied for units at August Wilson Place, so LIHI held a lottery.

The project meets the state's Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard.

It has a community room, computer lab, gathering space and 23 stalls of underground parking. The site is near City Hall, shopping, employment, cultural opportunities and the future East Link light rail.

These groups helped fund the project: King County, A Regional Coalition for Housing, Wells Fargo, National Equity Fund, King County Housing Authority, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington State Housing Finance Commission, Washington State Housing Trust Fund, Washington Community Reinvestment Association, The Home Depot Foundation and The Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle.

August Wilson's work includes a series of 10 plays, “American Century Cycle,” for which he received two Pulitzer Prizes. Each is set in a different decade, depicting aspects of African-Americans' experience in the 20th century.

Wilson moved to Seattle in 1990 and worked with Seattle Repertory Theater Co. until his death in 2005 at the age of 60.

Constanza Romero, Wilson's wife, will be at the grand opening, and students will read passages from his plays.

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