Business, Development, News

New & Improved, Low-Income, Transit-Oriented Development Opens in Rainier Vista

Last week, Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) celebrated the grand opening of Tamarack Place – a newly rebuilt, low-income, transit-oriented development just half a block from Columbia City Station.

Construction on Tamarack Place began in September 2009 after an infusion of $3.2 million in stimulus funding and was completed in November 2010. Today, all apartments are occupied by low-income families.

Part of Seattle Housing Authority’s redevelopment of Rainier Vista, Tamarack Place replaces 71 of the original low-income housing units in the original Rainier Vista, serving residents whose incomes are below 30 percent of the Area Median. An additional 12 apartments are available to families earning less than 60 percent of Area Median Income.

The new mixed-use, four-story building offers 7,600 square feet of ground floor retail space and 83 low-income apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms.

From SHA’s press release:

The development of Tamarack Place reflects a transit-oriented, pedestrian-friendly design. The building is within walking distance of existing bus lines, it’s steps away from the Columbia City Link light rail station, and it’s close to schools, shopping and community centers. Because of the proximity to the Columbia City light rail station, no parking is available for apartment residents. This factor has not been an impediment to successful leasing.

Residential units feature water-conserving plumbing fixtures in kitchens and baths, Energy Star appliances, high-efficiency lighting fixtures, formaldehyde-free composite wood, low-VOC paints and adhesives and Green Label Plus–certified flooring.

To promote clean air and healthy living, all areas in and around Tamarack Place are designated as nonsmoking.

Commercial tenants on the ground floor include Bananas Grill, Jay Gairson Immigration Law, Wellness Acupuncture Care, Clear Vision – Optometry, Fasika Café (by owners of Awash Restaurant in Columbia City) and the Seattle Housing Authority management office. Businesses will open in the next few months.

Tamarack Place neighbors the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club facility, two parks, a Little League-sized playfield, walking paths and a playground, as well as newly built green homes for sale.

Above: Tamarack Place is a new apartment building at Rainier Vista providing 83 units of low-income housing, located between the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club and the Columbia City Link Light rail station. Photo/SHA. Right: The Hardin sisters waited eight years to get back to Rainier Vista. Photo/do communications

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10 comments on “New & Improved, Low-Income, Transit-Oriented Development Opens in Rainier Vista

  1. Sigh. Another Ethiopian restaurant.

    I *am* curious to see what Bananas is all about, though.

  2. While I’m glad they are building more affordable housing, what about the people in the middle. The ones who don’t qualify for low income housing, but don’t make enough to spend over $1,000+ a month for rent?

  3. For it to truly be diverse housing along light rail, you need low, middle and high income housing and different housing types.

  4. Tiffany, what does your comment mean? You don’t like Ethiopian food?!? IMHO, there can never be too much of it! I can;t wait to try this place out.

  5. @Anon – no people that can afford “high income” housing will want to live along the light rail, would you?

  6. I’m technically low income and even I hesitate to move into these places. Hopefully this development will be more strict on rules around cleanliness, noise, occupancy, etc.

    Im by no means equating low income with “bad behavior” but I have just seen beautiful new developments get run down and look like crap.

    The Dakota’s anyone??

  7. @you mama

    Not sure what you consider “high income”, but I know plenty of people who could afford a good house in a solid Seattle neighborhood who would love to live in Rainier Vista and have the lightrail so close. Are they going to be interested in the small apartments facing MLK? Probably not. However, the detached homes in the first phase are quite nice and in high demand. Granted, if you are buying homes in neighborhoods on Mercer Island, you probably aren’t moving to RV; however, there are a ton of young professionals with disposable income looking to get into C City.

  8. I love Ethiopian food.

    So if your kid has a baseball game there you can’t smoke? (I do not smoke, but come on it’s outside.)

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