Amazon Construction loan brings Atrium Court project start date closer, Seattle

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Housing Diversity Corporation has announced that construction will begin early next year on the Atrium Court mixed-use project in Seattle. The project is located in Seattle’s Othello neighbourhood, at 7324 MLK Jr. Way. It recently received a US$16 million loan from Amazon Equity Housing Fund which is said to have brought forth the start date. Further, the loan was secured by O.Z Navigator. It will ensure an income restriction on the apartments for a period of 99 years.

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Scope of the project

The project calls for the construction of a new eight-story building featuring 271 apartments. All units will be priced for renters earning between 50 and 80 per cent of the area median income level. It also calls for 2,344 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, which is slated for neighborhood-serving uses. Housing Diversity Corporation indicated in a news release that it is already in conversations with multiple small businesses. Construction is expected to be complete by mid-2026.

The Atrium Court project team

Atrium Court is being designed by Neiman Taber. Other members of the project team include general contractor STS Construction, and structural engineering firm Quantum Engineering. Additionally, the civil engineering firm is Sitewise and the landscape architect is KKLA.

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Underscoring the significance of collaboration, Atrium Court receives a substantial boost through partnerships with key entities. The investment vehicle jointly sponsored and managed by Allivate Impact Capital and CEI-Boulos Capital Management saw an additional investment of $15 million as the project’s largest equity investor. Further, this leverages the Opportunity Zone incentive to invigorate historically underinvested communities like Seattle’s Othello neighbourhood.

“Atrium Court is a great example of leveraging private capital and collaboration to build affordable apartment housing,” said Amazon Housing Equity Fund managing principal Senthil Sankaran in a news release. “ Furthermore, it models how the private sector can help build long-term, attainably priced housing and is the type of project that our Housing Equity Fund was created to support.”

The Housing Diversity Corporation Los Angeles Flower Street project

Earlier this year, a similar-sized project began on yet another Housing Diversity Corporation housing project at 1411 S. Flower Street, Downtown Los Angeles. The micro-unit apartment complex is located just south of Metro’s Pico Station. It will consist of an eight-story building featuring 227 apartments upon completion. Furthermore, the property would consist entirely of studio units, with an average size of 265 square feet.

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Steinberg Hart is designing the contemporary podium-type building. It will feature an amenity deck at its roof level, as well as a ground-floor courtyard and a breezeway. Housing Diversity (HDC) entitled the project using Transit Oriented Communities incentives to permit a larger building than would normally be allowed by zoning rules. In exchange, the project will include 26 apartments set aside as affordable housing priced at the extremely low-income level.

Though not planned as affordable housing, the building may end up offering lower-cost accommodations than other new Downtown developments. At the beginning of the year, HDC chief executive officer Brad Padden told Urbanize that 1411 Flower Street is expected to cater to households earning between 80 and 120 per cent of the area’s median income.

Further reading:

Housing Diversity Corporation Announces 2024 Construction Start of 7324 MLK Jr. Way: A Diverse Vision for Seattle’s Othello Neighborhood