Print this Page  
City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Historic International District buildings get new lease on life

6/19/2006  3:30:00 PM
Joe Mirabella  (206)733-9810

Historic International District buildings get new lease on life
Money will rehabilitate historic Alps Hotel and
Hong Kong Building for housing, retail

SEATTLE - Mayor Nickels praised the City Council today for approving his proposal to help preserve and rehabilitate two historic buildings in the heart of the International District with new affordable housing and retail space.

“With this investment, we’re bringing new life to these great buildings and preserving the neighborhood’s historic character,” Nickels said. “This is a great step for more affordable housing and enlivening the area’s business district in the Chinatown/International District neighborhood.”

The Alps Hotel and the Hong Kong Building were approved as the first two projects to tap a new $12 million loan pool and federal grant. Nickels sent legislation to the City Council in April to create the program, which will help fund long-sought renovations and provide support for these buildings and other new economic development and housing projects in the city.

Today, the City Council approved 9-0 the use of the $10 million Section 108 loan pool granted by the federal government for use by the city’s Office of Economic Development. This loan pool will be used together with the previously approved federal brownfields grant funds of $2 million (BEDI Grant) from last year.

The Section 108 loan pool and BEDI grant are important tools that the city’s Office of Economic Development can use for economic development and housing projects in Seattle.

The Koh family, which owns both buildings, plan to rehabilitate the historic Alps Hotel, located at 621 South King St. in the International District, into 117 studio apartments and 6,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial.

The Hong Kong is located at 507 Maynard Ave. South. The family wants to transform the vacant building into 28,000 square feet of office and retail and 6 apartments. The Hong Kong is connected to the Alps Hotel and the buildings will share common areas, elevators and parking.

The city would use the loan pool and brownfields grant to provide about $4 million in financing for these two projects.

The city will invest the roughly $8 million in remaining 108 loans and BEDI grants for future mixed-use and commercial projects that will create new jobs and affordable housing. Priority will be given to projects in the Central Area, International District and Southeast Seattle.

The city has a successful track record in using the Section 108/BEDI program. Since 2002, the city has provided over $12 million in Section 108/BEDI funds for five projects in Pioneer Square:

• Cadillac Hotel
• 211 First Avenue South
• Buttnick Building (200-204 First Avenue South)
• City Loan Building (206 First Avenue South)
• Compass Center (210 Alaskan Way)

- 30 -

Office of the Mayor

Back to News Release Home Page and News Release Search