Seattle Children’s, Security Properties and UW break ground on 184-unit Bridges@11th employee housing in University District
Aerial of 11th Ave. facades from the Northeast
October 01, 2013
Bridges@11th will offer priority access to Children's and UW employees
Today, partners Seattle Children’s, Security Properties Inc [SPI], and the University of Washington [UW] broke ground on the 184-unit Bridges@11th apartments, a new employee housing community with priority access for Children's and UW staff. It has been several decades since a Seattle employer has provided housing for its employees.
Bridges@11th, slated to open in 2015, is located in Seattle’s University District at 4529-4557 11th Ave NE. It is within walking or biking distance to the UW and Children’s and is just a few blocks from the Sound Transit light rail station under construction at 45th and Brooklyn. Bridges@11th fulfills Children’s commitment to replace housing that was removed for its recent Building Hope campus expansion.
Thirty-four units will initially be defined as “affordable” for those whose incomes are no greater than 75 percent of median household income, for a period of 20 years. The remainder will be market rate. While units will be available on a priority basis to employees of Children’s and UW, apartments will also be available to the general public.
UW owns the land, and has provided it on a long-term land lease to SPI who will develop the property in a joint venture with an institutional capital investor. SPI’s affiliate Madrona Ridge Residential will manage the apartments once they are available, and work closely with UW and Children’s to showcase Bridges@11th to current and prospective employees. As preferred equity investor in the project, Children’s is providing some of the financing for Bridges@11th.
Designed for a unique wine bottle-shaped site, the 184 studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments will be spread over three distinctly different buildings with a large park-like mews between the north and the central building. The space will also include a woonerf*, a street where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists, which separates the central and south buildings. The three buildings will be connected at upper levels with pedestrian bridges that encourage active travel and community connection between residents. This concept influenced the “Bridges@11th” namesake.
Amenities include rooftop gardens and social rooms, pea patches and pet-walking areas, an active ground-level bike club and bike storage, exercise facilities and residents’ Wi-Fi café. Ground-related units face 11th and the alley as well as the Mews at the north end, providing a welcoming, social frontage to the building along all its public facades. Underground parking is for 133 vehicles and it will include generous bike storage.
Open spaces connect the street and a currently underutilized alley, making it more walkable and activity-friendly. By using enlivened sidewalks, through-block open spaces, integrated art, and iconic architecture, Children’s, UW and SPI expect Bridges@11th to become a lively home with ample opportunities for physical activity for many, and an asset to the Roosevelt and University District neighborhoods.
Bridges @11th was recently showcased in a case study by the Center for Active Design, whose tagline is Promoting Health Through Design: http://centerforactivedesign.org/bridgesat11th
Quotes from Project Partners and Community Members
- Todd Johnson, Vice President of Facilities, Seattle Children’s: “Development of employee housing to make it easier and more affordable for our employees to live near their work has long been a priority for Children’s and the UW. In surveys with Children’s and UW employees, we learned that over 50 percent of respondents were interested in this residential environment being available to them. Because of this, we hope that Bridges@11th will help us to attract and retain workforce talent.”
- John Marasco, Chief Development Officer, SPI: “Our focus is always to find prime locations in key urban neighborhoods, and then work to create an excellent apartment community. We won a stiff competition to be the developer, manager and owner of this project, and find it rewarding to be in partnership with institutions of this importance as part of the solution for their continuing success.”
- Ana Mari Cauce, Provost & Executive Vice President, UW: “UW is glad to be in partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital and Security Properties to develop attractive housing options for employees near campus. This project stands as an example of our ongoing commitment to support quality projects in the neighborhood and will help revitalize the area.”
- Ted Panton, Bridges@11th Project Designer & Design Director and Senior Associate at GGLO: “The primary planning feature is the division of the project into three compact and freestanding buildings with street-like connections between them. We believe this grouping of highly connected buildings will become its own tightly-knit neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood, fostering relationships between UW and Children’s employees.”
- Nick Licata, Councilmember, Seattle City Council: “Bridges@11th will contribute to the vitality of the University District. The project closely fits what was envisioned in this neighborhood in our recent neighborhood plan. It meets all the neighborhood design guidelines, including open space, mid-block passages, a lively street presence, retail where appropriate, and a mix of family-friendly and smaller units.”
About Security Properties
For over 40 years, Security Properties has provided both quality housing to its residents and excellent financial performance for its investors and partners. Since inception, Security Properties' experience includes acquiring or developing over 66,000 residential units exceeding $3.35 billion in cost across more than 460 assets. Today, Security Properties continues to maintain a focused multifamily strategy, acquiring and developing properties in select target markets. The multifamily strategy is supported by a vertically-integrated corporate structure with expert acquisition, development, construction, investment management, tax credit housing and property management teams in place." www.secprop.com
Bridges@11th was designed by the integrated design team at GGLO including Bill Gaylord, Ted Panton, Mark Sindell and Beth Dwyer, along with Kay Fleenor of Bumgardner. Once completed, Madrona Ridge Residential, a wholly owned affiliate of SPI, will provide property management services. General Contractor is Walsh Construction.
* “Woonerf” is a Dutch word connoting “a living street where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists. In the USA complete streets are a similar concept where equal priority is given to all modes of transportation including automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woonerf]
About Seattle Children's Hospital
Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Children’s has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.seattlechildrens.org.