A nearly century-old building is being rehabilitated to safeguard affordable housing in the heart of Seattle.
Community Roots Housing, a public development authority chartered by the city in 1976, has closed on the financing for a comprehensive renovation of The Devonshire, a three-story brick building in the Belltown neighborhood.
Originally built in 1925, The Devonshire provides 62 apartments affordable to households earning no more than 50% of the area median income.
“Preserving existing affordable housing is an important supplement to new developments—it prevents displacement, revives existing buildings, and delays carbon emissions resulting from new construction,” said Thea Munchel, vice president of real estate development and tax credit housing at Community Roots Housing. “The rehabilitation of The Devonshire isn't just about preserving bricks and mortar; it's about reinvesting into our existing residents and communities to ensure safe and quality affordable homes for generations to come.”
The restoration spans a broad scope of work, including all new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Apartment interiors will be outfitted with LED lighting, new appliances, fresh kitchen and bathroom cabinet packages, new doors, and high-performance glass.
Seismic upgrades will accompany a new sprinkler system and improvements to other buildingwide safety systems. To bring the property up to date with the latest Seattle energy codes, the exterior wall insulation, roof insulation, and all windows will be replaced. In addition, energy recovery ventilators will be installed to further improve ventilation and provide a healthier interior air environment for residents.
Community Roots Housing has assembled several funding sources for the approximately $33 million rehab, including:
· $11 million from the Seattle Office of Housing;
· $13.8 million in low-income housing tax credit equity from Hudson Housing Capital and JPMorgan Chase as the upper-tier investor; and
· A $16.7 million construction loan and a $2.6 million permanent loan from Heritage Bank.
Close coordination between Community Roots, OAI Osborn Architects, and Buchanan General Contracting will ensure the building character will be preserved while the interior is updated, said officials.