The Red Cedar Apartments at Yesler Terrace, in Seattle, has been selected as a winner for the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing’s Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award. A collaboration of PYATOK and SRG Partnership (Seattle), the 119-unit mixed-use project is among eight large-scale finalists recognized for exemplary affordable housing development.

The historic Yesler Terrace, completed in 1941 near downtown Seattle, replaced the original Skid Row neighborhood located there since the logging days of the 1800s. It was Washington State's first public housing development and the nation's first racially-integrated housing development. The original project consisted of 561 2-story wood townhomes spanning a 30-acre site. Eighty years later, a multi-phase redevelopment, again led by the Seattle Housing Authority, is transforming the site into a modern mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhood including 4,500 residences, and office, retail, and community spaces. Planning, which began in 2006, was informed by community outreach, coordination with the City, and thoughtful analysis, and included a commitment to one-to-one replacement of existing low-income units.

The third phase of redevelopment, Red Cedar consists of 119 affordable 1- to 4-bedroom apartments and townhomes serving a culturally diverse mix of families and seniors. Three housing blocks protect and overlook a child-friendly courtyard on the triangular lot.Two-story townhomes are provided for large families needing three or four bedrooms – these are stacked and open onto walkways facing the courtyard. Designed as a center of neighborhood activity, the project includes a Community Engagement Hub with offices and meeting spaces, a publicly accessible community room overlooking Elliot Bay, and space for social services, tutoring and job training. Red Cedar units are affordable to residents earning up to 60% area median income (AMI), with 80 units reserved for residents earning up to 30% AMI. Design phases involved a series of participatory workshops with current Yesler Terrace residents, requiring four interpreters for Tagalog, Korean, Hmong, and Vietnamese speakers. The variety of cultural backgrounds influenced the design of kitchens and living areas to better meet the expectations of immigrant families.

Red Cedar is an all-electric project and has eliminated the need for air conditioning through its passive cooling strategies: single-loaded, open air corridors (which also avoid mechanical and daytime lighting needs) and operable bay windows. Other sustainable strategies range from stormwater detention and rain gardens to solar readiness. The project is located a block from a new light rail station and numerous bus lines. It maximizes density for a wood-frame building, with about 120 dwellings/acre, and is a ten-minute walk from the southern end of Seattle’s downtown, including the Pioneer Square District and the International District.

Established in 2007, ULI's Terwilliger Center for Housing advances best practices in residential development and public policy and supports ULI members and local communities in creating and sustaining a full spectrum of housing opportunities, particularly for low- and moderate-income households. The Center’s annual Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award honors exemplary developments in affordable housing availability. Twelve finalists for the 2020 Awards were announced in July, in either large-scale (100+ units) or small-scale categories. Five large-scale projects, one small-scale wproject, and a Chairman's Award were named winners in October.

Photography by Sozinho Imagery. A previous version of this post announced Red Cedar as a finalist for the award.

Pyatok -

Pyatok -