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Groundbreaking for MLK Family Mixed-Use

148 workforce housing apartments and early learning center

 Rendering by Runberg Architecture Group

January 24th, 1pm

7544 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S.

Seattle, WA – The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) is pleased to announce the groundbreaking ceremony for MLK Family Housing.

MLK Mixed-Use and Early Learning Center at 7544 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S., Seattle is a new multifamily construction project located close by the Othello light rail station in Rainier Valley, Seattle. This 6-story building will provide 148 units of affordable housing for families and individuals and an early learning center operated by Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA). The building will include 29 studios, 74 one-bedroom units, 14 two-bedroom units, and 31 three-bedroom units. The housing will serve families and individuals at risk of displacement earning up to 50% and 60% of the Area Median Income. One unit will be set aside for a live-in manager unit.  On-site amenities will include a large community room, play area for children, fitness center, resource room, and an outdoor courtyard. The ReWA early learning facility located at street level will include six classrooms for over 100 infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The property’s zip code of 98118 is considered the most racially diverse in the city. 

Speakers at the event will include: Rep Adam Smith; Seattle City Councilmembers Cathy Moore and Tammy Morales; Mahnaz Eshetu, ReWA Executive Director; Laurie Olson, Office of Housing; Senthil Sankaran, Managing Principal, Amazon Housing Equity Fund; Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director; National Equity Fund (NEF) Managing Director David Musial; and Caleb Stephens, KeyBank Community Development Lending.

Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director said, “The Othello Tiny House Village stood on this site for 7 years providing shelter for homeless families and individuals. We have relocated the village and are now thrilled to break ground to construct 148 affordable homes. In leasing the building we will provide preference to existing and historic residents of the neighborhood to counter rising rents and displacement. The property’s proximity to light rail will provide our residents ample employment opportunities throughout the region.  Thank you to ReWA and our many financing partners in making this mixed-use development a reality.” 

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said, "Since taking office two years ago, my administration has been laser-focused on increasing affordable housing so every Seattle family has a safe, affordable place to call home. LIHI’s MLK Mixed-Use and Early Learning Center will help make this a reality for 148 families, in addition to providing access to quality early education that sets a foundation for their children’s lifelong success. The City is grateful for our partnership with both LIHI and ReWA in bringing these much-needed resources to our community.”

Seattle City Councilmember Tammy Morales said, “Housing affordability is one of the defining issues of this moment in time in Seattle, and in District 2. That’s why I’m excited for the groundbreaking of the MLK Mixed-Use and Early Learning Center, which will have 148 units of affordable housing designed for both families and individuals. This building will be a welcome addition to the Othello neighborhood.”

Seattle City Councilmember Cathy Moore said, “As the incoming chair of the Housing and Human Services Committee, I am thrilled by the groundbreaking of the MLK Mixed-Use and Early learning Center that will provide 148 affordable multi-family housing units and an on-site early learning center. This is a wonderful example of a successful community collaboration to bring housing and services to our families and others at risk of displacement. I look forward to many more such groundbreakings.” 

“These new affordable homes will provide families in Seattle with quality, affordable housing along with access to early-learning resources, and proximity to transit and other critical resources,” said Senthil Sankaran, Managing Principal, Amazon Housing Equity Fund. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with LIHI on this project, and to help create greater equity through access to affordable housing and essential services.” To date, Amazon has helped fund the creation or preservation of more than 6,200 affordable homes across the Puget Sound region.

"National Equity Fund is honored to continue our partnership with LIHI through the inspiring development of MLK Family Mixed-Use Housing," says David Musial, NEF Managing Director. "As our fifth collaboration, we felt strongly connected to LIHI's efforts to unite safe, stable, and affordable housing with a dedicated space for early learning and childcare services, which will help residents and families in the community reach their full potential."

“KeyBank is proud to partner with LIHI in this affordable housing project on MLK in South Seattle. The housing and childcare access provided are so needed and critical for our community,” said Caleb Stephens, KeyBank Community Development Lending.

Architect is Runberg Architecture Group. Contractor is Walsh Construction Co. The building size is 152,221 SF and the lot size is 34,888 SF. Construction to be completed in 2025.

Financing for MLK Family Housing includes: City of Seattle, WSHFC, National Equity Fund, JP Morgan Chase, Wyncote Foundation NW, Amazon Housing Equity Fund, KeyBank, and Federal Community Project Funding.

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