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HomeAsian NewsFormer petrol station site to become mixed-use building

Former petrol station site to become mixed-use building

Marlon Meyer
Northwest Asia Weekly

Image via Housing Diversity Corporation

Under the Prospective Buyers Consent Decree, the developer will construct an eight-story, 103,899-square-foot building with 202 residential units at 701 South Jackson Street in Chinatown International District (CID). The site contains hazardous materials underground, and the developer, 701 S. Jackson Partners, LLC, has agreed to excavate the contaminated soil and monitor it in the future.

According to the Washington State Department of Ecology’s website, work has already begun.

The land on which construction will take place is valued at $3,831,400.

Housing Diversity Corporation has formed a limited liability company that has contracted with the Ministry of Ecology to clean up and develop the site. Chief executive Brad Padden described the project as a way to bring “affordable housing” to the area.

“Rents for all units will be set at 40%-80% affordable [Area Median Income] (AMI) level, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Income Level in the Seattle Metropolitan Area,” agreed decree. AMI according to CID is $33,578 Niche Net.

According to the consent decree, the building will include 118 one-bedroom units averaging 395 sq. ft., 18 Small High Efficiency Residential Units (SEDUs) averaging 285 sq. ft. and 66 collective units averaging 224 sq. ft. Collective units do not have full kitchens, Padden said.

Padden said rents are around $1,400 to $1,600 per unit for a single bedroom, $1,200 to $1,400 for SEDUs and $800 to $1,100 for collective units.

Low rents for some units will be made possible by city tax exemptions.

“The project will maximize participation in the Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) program to include more affordable options within the building,” according to the consent decree.

The MFTE program offers tax exemptions in exchange for income and rent restricted units. According to the urban initiative, Seattle Now, it requires 20 or 25 percent of the apartments in participating buildings to be below market rates, offering rents that are “often hundreds of dollars less per month.”

The MFTE scheme expires after a maximum of 12 years, meaning the tax exemption ends and developers can raise rents.

“From this perspective, you can see how these types of developments have moved relatively quickly from having a third of ‘affordable’ units to mostly luxury condos in about a decade,” Evans said. said Matt Fowle, a Ph.D. student at the Public School. Policy and Governance at the University of Washington, in an email.

However, Paden said in an interview that future residents may find coupons from religious groups to, for example, further reduce rents. He said he might also work with CID’s housing providers to encourage them to develop vouchers.

But it’s unclear exactly what vouchers are available, and Paden has not responded to follow-up questions about vouchers as of press time.

It’s conceivable that such vouchers could come from nonprofits, Faure said.

Still, he said, “many nonprofits only have the resources to provide time-limited financial assistance, meaning the units won’t be ‘affordable’ until the assistance runs out. Assuming displaced residents can even use the vouchers Living in a new development, what will they do when they run out?”

Frank Irigon, who led CID’s low-income housing needs in 1972, said transit-oriented development was one of the major factors in the lack of low-income housing nearby.

clean up

Artist’s rendering of the proposed building at 701 South Jackson Street. (Image via Housing Diversity Corporation)

From the 1930s to the 1970s, the site was used as a service station. Underground gasoline tanks polluted the soil. The Ministry of Ecology has known for decades that pollution, including petroleum hydrocarbons, naphthalene and BTEX, exceeds national standards. The contamination of the soil also extends below the street, “in a portion of the right of way at South Seventh Avenue and South Jackson Street.”

The site, known as the “Seventh Avenue Service Site,” is one of about 14,000 contaminated sites in the state.

The Ministry of Ecology entered into binding legal agreements with “potentially responsible parties or individuals” to clean up the sites. The Ministry of Ecology provides oversight.

“Not all responsible or interested parties have the funds or resources to clear the site, so the site may wait for years to clear until, like this site, a potential buyer makes a proposal to clear and redevelop it,” Washington State Department of Ecology Northwest Regional PR Manager Scarlet Tang said. “The current state of the Seventh Avenue service land does not allow for housing, so it will need to be cleared before redevelopment.”

For the past two decades, the site has been largely free of commercial activity, save for the storage room of a retail tea shop, according to a briefing from the Ministry of Ecology.

Padden said the process of clearing the site will include excavating the contaminated soil and building an underground wall over the contaminated soil under the street. A filtration system will prevent further contamination.

“This project has been looked at by potential buyers for over 30 years, but has never been redeveloped, first because it was contaminated. In Washington state, buyers of contaminated sites inherited the responsibilities of previous owners, which resulted in debt, Equity and insurance became difficult, if not impossible, to obtain,” Paden said in a follow-up email. “We spent almost two years drilling and reporting on subsurface conditions to get what Ecology needed to give them a 360-degree view of all the subsurface conditions at the site.”

Padden added that the cleanup was conducted in accordance with the Model Poison Control Act, which is very strictly enforced in Washington state.

“Throughout the cleanup process, we will be monitored by licensed third-party geotechnical and environmental engineers who will provide additional compliance oversight. In turn, the Washington Department of Ecology will monitor it every step of the way. We take soil samples as we go, test those samples at a state-licensed laboratory, and will provide contractors with day-to-day guidance to ensure a thorough cleanup, including the installation of any protective measures, all in accordance with the Cleanup Action Plan (CAP),” he said. Say.

It was Paden’s first cleanup, he said. Nonetheless, one outside expert said that, given the many developments his company has undergone, he must have extensive experience dealing with ecological and similar challenges.

According to the Department of Ecology, the CAP includes demolition of existing structures on site, removal of any contaminated soil within the property boundaries (an estimated 6,000 cubic yards will be treated), and a long-term monitoring agreement with the developer.

Hazardous issues on site are monitored every five years after construction is complete.

“This is a standard compliance time period for continuous monitoring of such sites,” Padden said.

Next step

Image via Housing Diversity Corporation

The Ministry of Ecology is expected to finalize the legal documents governing the project later in 2022.

Sometime in the spring of 2023, 701 S. Jackson Partners, LLC expects to complete its engineering design, obtain permits, conduct construction bids, and begin demolition and excavation work.

Both are expected to be completed “within four months of the start date,” according to the Ministry of Ecology.

Construction will begin sometime later in 2023.

Comments on this project can be submitted to the Ecology Department by emailing Site Manager Jing Song at [email protected].

Mahlon can be contacted by [email protected].

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