Many people who work in Seattle can no longer afford to live in the city, due to high housing prices. The need for more affordable housing is big. We are thrilled, therefore, that our sister company, Laird Norton Properties (LNP), is taking an active role in making Seattle and the Pacific Northwest livable for more people.
As the Seattle Times reported this past weekend, LNP is “Bucking the luxury housing trend, [with] $500 million in new apartments designed to help Seattle’s shrinking middle class.” Specifically, LNC is partnering with Spectrum Development Solutions to build workforce and student housing in high-growth, urban areas throughout the Pacific Northwest. Their very first project, called “Canton Lofts” (rendering at left), will be in Pioneer Square.
LNP and Spectrum plan to develop mixed-use, multi-family rental housing for renters earning between 60% – 120% of Area Median Income (approximately $40,000 – $80,000). These are the teachers, health care workers, lab technicians, police officers, public employees, and many other private and public sector professionals who keep our region running.
The Joint Venture portfolio will be approximately $500 million of combined investment totaling approximately 1,000 units of rental housing targeting 60% -120% of Area Medium Income. Laird Norton Properties and Spectrum will retain a long-term interest in the properties. As will John and Sheri Behnke, who contributed the land for this project.
Their first housing venture, Canton Lofts, will be located at the corner of Third Avenue South and South Washington Street in Pioneer Square. Canton Lofts pays homage to the original Canton Building, which stood on the site from 1894 through the mid-1900’s and was the city’s first brick structure built after the Great Seattle Fire.
Jeff Vincent, CEO and President of Laird Norton Company (owner of both Laird Norton Properties and Laird Norton Wealth Management), says in the press release announcing the joint venture:
“This project represents a full circle for Laird Norton Properties. It’s in Pioneer Square which represents our roots in the Pacific Northwest, near our corporate headquarters of almost 60 years, and includes a well-respected philanthropic Seattle family that shares our civic focus. Together we are building middle-class housing that our downtown neighborhoods desperately need and we are retaining a non-profit that serves those looking for a pathway to stability. This is what we call doing well by doing good.”
We couldn’t agree more.