PHOTO ESSAY: North Lot Breaks Ground in Beacon Hill, Future Site of 160 Affordable Homes

by Ronnie Estoque

On Jan. 20, Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda) hosted a ceremony for the groundbreaking of Building A of the North Lot Project, which will provide 160 units of affordable housing to the North Beacon Hill neighborhood.

“We are a nearly 50-year-old organization that preserves, promotes, and develops the CID. We own, manage, and preserve affordable housing and commercial space,” said Jared Jonson, SCIDpda co-executive director. “We are now standing at the site of our second project under construction: the North Lot.”

According to a press release from SCIDpda, “70% of the units will be restricted to tenants with household incomes at 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The remaining 30% of the units will be restricted to tenants with household incomes at 60% of AMI.”

Beacon Hill’s El Centro de la Raza is a local organization that will be utilizing the development space, as the José Martí Child Development Center will operate a 10,000-square-foot early childhood education center on the ground floor. A separate 25,000-square-foot space will be leased to another organization for community benefit. 

“We are proud to be part of these developments that will be affordable housing in our neighborhood that has become so expensive due to gentrification and that will include child care and other essential services for so many,” said Hilda Magana, Child Development Center director at El Centro de la Raza. “We are truly grateful to be asked to be providing for the early child development services here at the North Lot development.”

North Lot project partners pose for a photo during the groundbreaking of the development in North Beacon Hill. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

“Building B” of the project will also be an apartment building, adding 110 units of affordable family apartments to the area. SCIDpda anticipates commencing the construction of Building B in 2024, when Building A is nearly complete.

SCIDpda partnered with Edge Developers as a co-developer of the project, with Weber Thompson as the architect and Marpac Construction as the general contractor. This development came into fruition through partnership between the Pacific Hospital Preservation & Development Authority, the landowner and campus steward; Seattle Office of Housing; and a development team led by SCIDpda and Edge Developers. Construction financing was provided by JPMorgan Chase and Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital, with equity provided by JPMorgan Chase and Enterprise. 

“The cost of these freeways is not free — they came at a terrible price. The cold concrete of the interstate freeways destroyed so much of the International District and its warm and vigorous and glorious Communities of Color who have lived here for generations,” Rep. Frank Chopp said. “So it is so fitting and proper that finally the state of Washington provided funding for this project to acquire this site and help build this property, [to] rejuvenate this site and to make up for decades of disruption and destruction of this community.”

Hilda Magana, Child Development Center director at El Centro de la Raza, shares how it will utilize space in the development to serve local community members. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
John Kim, executive director at the Pacific Hospital Preservation & Development Authority, speaks during the event. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Rep. Frank Chopp shares his speech during the groundbreaking event. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Jared Jonson, SCIDpda co-executive director, speaks during the event. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
A board displays a sketch of what the North Lot development will look like once complete. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

Editors’ Note: This article was updated on 01/30/2023 to correct a photo caption. A previous version of this article incorrectly attributed a quote to Joseph Guanlao, and this article was updated on 02/15/2023 to correctly attribute to Jared Jonson.

Ronnie Estoque is a South Seattle-based freelance photographer and videographer. You can keep up with his work by checking out his website.

📸 Featured Image: Event attendees watch and listen to Maiko Winkler-Chin, director of Seattle’s Office of Housing, as she shares a speech. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

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