On September 29 Seattle Housing Authority celebrated the opening of its third new low-income housing building at Yesler Terrace.
The seven-story building with adjacent townhomes features 111 apartments in a mix of one-, two-, there- and four-bedroom units.
The new building, easily visible on the Yesler hillside from the I-5 freeway, is a mix of lively colors and gracious public spaces. It features a solar hot water system and advanced ventilation systems for energy conservation and improved air quality. Beneath the apartment building is a garage with 52 parking spaces available at no charge to residents.
The interior of the building showcases original artwork by Thanh Tran, an artist who lives at Yesler Terrace. In the building’s artwork, Tran depicts the traditional Vietnamese Hoa Mai flowers, symbolizing good luck and prosperity, that usually bloom during Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.
With the completion of Hoa Mai Gardens, its third new residential building to open as part of Yesler redevelopment, SHA is well underway toward replacing all 561 older Yesler housing units with new apartments for low-income residents.
Yesler Terrace was the city’s first public housing, built in 1940 by the then newly established Seattle Housing Authority. The redevelopment of Yesler Terrace began in 2013 after SHA, with the help of a Citizens Review Committee comprised of Yesler residents, surrounding neighbors, city officials, nonprofit service partners and citizens at large, shaped a plan for replacing Yesler Terrace’s aging housing and deteriorated infrastructure with a new community for Yesler residents and adding a significant amount of new housing for people across a spectrum of income levels. Beyond replacing all of the older units, this plan will result in 1,000 additional affordable homes, along with more than 2,500 market-rate rental apartments developed by private partners.