Housing is the hot topic in a changing Seattle, namely skyrocketing real estate prices that are outpacing most of the country and a deepening homelessness crisis. And caught in the middle are the middle-income families that make up an important part of our city’s public and private sector workforce and students working for successful futures.
As we celebrate the ideas, institutions and individuals that are shaping our region’s next 50 years, we wanted to call attention to a new, unique partnership aimed at building workforce and student housing in high-growth, urban areas throughout the Pacific Northwest.
The Seattle Times is reporting that Spectrum Development Solutions and Laird Norton Properties (our sister company), along with local philanthropists John and Shari Behnke, are embarking on their first workforce housing project, Canton Lofts, in Pioneer Square. Canton Lofts will combine high rise affordable housing units with ground level retail space used by Path with Art, a local nonprofit that uses art as a bridge to community and stability for people in recovery.
The Next 50 Years
Why is workforce and student housing an idea that will shape the next 50 years? Because it recognizes the responsibility of a city to accommodate different types of development. The Seattle area is no doubt in an economic upswing, but sustainable growth requires much more than cranes and companies. People prosper when communities prosper, and that’s exactly what led Laird Norton Properties, Spectrum Development Solutions and the Behnke family to take on this important effort.