As first announced last month, and as we reminded you Sunday, this Thursday brings an online community meeting focused on the future of the four West Seattle Junction sites long used as parking lots. They’ve been zoned for mixed-use development for decades, and now the question is not whether they’ll be redeveloped, but who will do it and how. The West Seattle Junction Association is convening Thursday night’s meeting with prospective purchaser Community Roots Housing, which has just sent this:
Community Roots Housing, in partnership with the West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA), is proposing plans for a redevelopment of four parking lots in West Seattle. On October 21, the organizations will host a virtual community meeting to gather input on the proposal.
The redevelopment plans would convert the four parking lots into affordable housing, including one building for senior housing, a 6,500 square-foot business incubator space, and replacement public parking. The housing would service incomes at or below 60% of the area median income. “At Community Roots Housing, we believe in community-led development,” said Christopher Persons, CEO of Community Roots Housing. “We are committed to listening to and responding to the needs and priorities of the West Seattle neighborhood while creating more affordable homes to combat the Seattle housing crisis.”
Currently, the lots are owned by the West Seattle Trusteed Properties and managed by WSJA. In April, Community Roots Housing submitted an offer to purchase the parking lots at the appraised value of the land. The City of Seattle Office of Housing has agreed to provide an acquisition loan to buy the property and convert the parking lots into affordable housing. The landowner is expected to take a vote on the sale at an October 28 member meeting.
“Input from the community will be a guiding factor as we begin to craft the vision for the Junction parking parcels,” said Lora Radford, Executive Director of the West Seattle Junction Association. “Being within an urban village, the critical development decisions that will impact future generations of West Seattleites is here and now. The value of early community voices is important to build and sustain a downtown that will have vision, history, heart, and soul.”
Community Roots Housing is a mission-based Public Development Authority chartered in the City of Seattle that creates affordable and workforce housing. Over the past year, Community Roots has been in community and stakeholder discussions about the property. “West Seattle Junction is the beating heart of the neighborhood, and we have a generational opportunity to transform and strengthen this community by welcoming new affordable housing, senior housing, expanded community space, and a small business incubator,” said City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. “I’m excited to see these plans begin to take shape under the leadership of the West Seattle Junction Association and Community Roots Housing. I look forward to learning more and hearing from community members at Thursday’s open house.”
Information for watching/listening to/participating in Thursday’s 6:30 pm meeting is on this WSJA webpage. The meeting agenda includes presentations from WSJA, Community Roots Housing, and architects Ankrom Moisan, as well as a period for community questions/comments.