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City of Seattle
Mike McGinn (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Yesler Terrace redevelopment plans advance

9/4/2012  4:00:00 PM
Robert Cruickshank (206) 849-9584
Michelle Ackermann (206) 615-3506

Yesler Terrace redevelopment plans advance
City Council adopts Yesler Terrace redevelopment legislation

SEATTLE - This afternoon the Seattle City Council unanimously adopted the land use legislation package and historic Cooperative Agreement for redevelopment of Yesler Terrace.

"By building a mixed use community at Yesler Terrace we can improve the quality of life for very low income families and create new affordable housing opportunities," said Mayor Mike McGinn. "I thank the City Council for endorsing the Yesler Terrace redevelopment plan and thank City staff, community stakeholders, Councilmembers and Seattle Housing Authority staff for their many hours of hard work on this project."

"We deeply appreciate all the effort and support from the Mayor, City Council and residents, community members and stakeholders," said Andrew J. Lofton, Executive Director of Seattle Housing Authority. "The new Yesler Terrace will be a vibrant, healthy and sustainable neighborhood where people from all income levels, races and cultural backgrounds can live, work and play together for years to come."

Proposed by Mayor McGinn on June 12, this collaboration between the City of Seattle and the Seattle Housing Authority has undergone intense scrutiny, including discussion in four Council Briefings, discussion and public comment at seven Special Committee meetings and two public hearings. Councilmembers also considered nearly 25 amendments before finalizing the legislation approved today.

The approved legislation lays the foundation for a new mixed-income urban neighborhood and provides specific guarantees to current residents of Yesler Terrace:

  • All current residents will receive relocation counseling in their own languages, and the costs of any moves - on-site or off-site - will be paid.
  • All 561 current units will be replaced within the immediate neighborhood, with strict controls on the location and timing of replacement.
  • More than 1,100 new units of housing for low-and modest-wage workers will be built and, if funding allows, an additional 100 units of extremely low-income housing will be added.
  • All current residents are guaranteed the right to return to new units at Yesler Terrace.
  • Community services will enhance social justice through increased access to educational and economic opportunities for low-income people throughout the neighborhood, along with health care, good nutrition, and other essential services.

The total cost of low-income housing and new infrastructure on the site will be approximately $290 million. A full half of that ($145 million) will come from the sale or ground-lease of some of the land on the site. Another $40 million will come from mortgage debt on the buildings and $47 million from low-income housing tax credits. Up to $11 million in City funds, less than 4 percent of the total cost, are committed in the Agreement with strict controls laid out for consideration of any further City funding. The City contribution helps leverage an expected $33 million in grants from the federal government.

For more information on the Yesler Terrace redevelopment, visit

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Office of the Mayor

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