The newly formed Africatown Community Land Trust entered an agreement with Capitol Hill Housing and Lake Union Partners, the Seattle development company that bought the Midtown Center block in May. The announcement cements the project surrounding Lake Union’s $23.25 million deal to purchase the Central District shopping center land.
UPDATE: We have updated this information to correct an error regarding ownership of the site.
“We’re working to maintain fertile ground where a Black community that has been here for over 130 years can grow and thrive in place, K. Wyking Garrett, president of the land trust, said in an announcement of the agreements.
Africatown LLLP now has 20% of the site, or about a half-acre. Forterra previously held the property and officially assigned it to the new Africatown Plaza LLLP— the joint-venture between Africatown and Capitol Hill Housing.
The project is slated to begin construction in late 2019.
The developers say Africatown Plaza will have a community focus and envisions a seven-story, mixed-use building with up to 130 permanently affordable units and approximately 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, cultural and community spaces and a rooftop deck.
The units can be rented by families making 30 to 60% of area median income. The project is funded by the City of Seattle through the Seattle Housing Levy which lent $4.5 million.
Africatown is also exploring home ownership opportunities at the site.
Lake Union Partners will develop market-rate apartments.
Rumors are spreading in the area about a drugstore chain lined up to be part of the development. Patrick Foley of Lake Union Partners said a number of drugstores are interested in being part of the project. They haven’t signed anyone yet.
“It’s all only possibilities and guessing at this point,” he said.
A spokesperson for Capitol Hill Housing said no commercial and no retail tenants have been slated for the Africatown development, either.
Capitol Hill Housing will use low income tax financing with the intention of selling the property back to Africatown for a dollar in 15 years.