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August 9, 2016
King County Housing Authority said it has reached an agreement with Intracorp Cos. to preserve the Highland Village apartments as affordable housing.
The 76-unit complex is at 600 146th Ave. N.E. in Bellevue.
Intracorp had planned to demolish the 38-year-old apartments to make way for an 87-unit townhouse development.
KCHA is purchasing the 4.5-acre property for $20 million, though it was appraised at $22 million, according to the housing authority.
KCHA plans to complete the acquisition within the next 30 days and renovate the property over the next two years. KCHA expects to keep rents at or near their current affordable levels, and wants the current tenants to remain.
The average rent in Bellevue is $1,930 a month, while the average rent at Highland Village is $1,200 a month.
“We are pleased to have been able to reach an agreement with Intracorp that will allow us to preserve a critical affordable housing resource in Bellevue,” said KCHA Executive Director Stephen Norman in a statement.
“For a private business to change its plans in response to community concerns and forego substantial future financial gain is extraordinary and we applaud them for helping us fulfill our mission.”
The 12-building complex has a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units that average around 1,000 square feet, according to public records.
Renovation costs are expected to be $4 million to $5 million.
The project is being funded through a line of credit and $3.5 million of equity from KCHA's working capital reserves and partnerships with several government entities.
KCHA spokeswoman Rhonda Rosenberg said the housing authority purchased the property at the behest of the city of Bellevue, King County and the state.
KCHA hopes to obtain $2 million from the city of Bellevue and $1.5 million from the state Legislature. The apartments are on King County Metro's RapidRide B line, so KCHA will also seek $3.5 million from King County's competitive transit-oriented development funding process.
In addition, KCHA will refinance with low-income housing tax credits and long-term debt.
KCHA has a long history of acquiring properties for affordable housing. The housing authority currently has more than 9,000 units of purchased housing, including the recently acquired The Villages at South Station in Tukwila, the Corinthian in SeaTac, Patricia Harris Manor in Redmond, and Bellevue Manor in Bellevue.
This article contains material from The Associated Press.