Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award Finalist: BASE Capitol Hill
June 24, 2015
Location: Seattle, Washington
Developer: 1728 LLC, an affiliate of Eagle Rock Ventures LLC
BASE Capitol Hill is a 32 unit micro-apartment building with ground floor commercial space in Seattle’s well-known Capitol Hill neighborhood. Capitol Hill is the densest and most diverse residential neighborhood in Seattle, and has been experiencing increasing rents for many years. All types of services are within blocks throughout the neighborhood, including grocery stores, medical offices, restaurants and bars, college facilities, and places of worship. The project is strategically located in this transit-oriented neighborhood, with access to buses and bike shares, and soon light rail. The project addresses growing demand for affordable market-rate studio apartments in neighborhoods close to Seattle’s downtown. Twenty percent of the project is targeted towards tenants that make 65% or less of AMI, and market rate units are more affordable than comparable studios. The project was financially feasible largely because 1728 LLC utilized the city and county’s Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) program. Since most large banks do not finance micro housing because it does not meet Federal Housing Authority and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac standards, the developer acquired financing from a local community bank.
BASE Capitol Hill received BUILT SMART certification, which certifies that it was built to conserve resources alongside providing a healthy, comfortable environment. Smart design features like large windows and light colors make the units feel more expansive than their square footage would normally. The project offers residents an outdoor atrium, rooftop terrace, and private patios as well as indoor features like bike storage, laundry room, shared kitchens and a local taco shop on the ground floor. More than building amenities, the micro unit apartment building provides residents with the Capitol Hill neighborhood as their living room.