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Major residential project proposed for Safeway at Seattle’s University Village

The new project could bring up to about 80 units of low income housing through the Mandatory Housing Affordability initiative.
Credit: Seattle
A massive residential project could go up above Safeway at Seattle's University Village.

SEATTLE — Seattle’s University Village, a popular shopping district, could add a major residential development in the coming years, according to filings with the city.

Lennar Multifamily Communities and Encore Architects are proposing an eight-story, three-building mixed-use complex that would sit on the site of the current Safeway in the east part of the village.

The project’s value is estimated at $95 million.

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The property, with its easy access to retail, entertainment and the University of Washington, could be very desirable for prospective residents.

The three six-story residential towers would offer 734 units and sit above a two-story retail complex that could include Safeway as well as a few other smaller retail businesses.

Similar to other construction projects of this scope, the developers’ plans will head to the city’s design review board for recommendations. Also, they will have to conduct outreach with the community to gather feedback through the Department of Neighborhoods.

The developers will need to conduct outreach, which is estimated to take about a month, before it can submit its Early Design Guidance application.

The filing comes as Seattle prepares to put an end to its eviction moratorium, which was put in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic to help those tenants who lost their jobs from being pushed onto the street.

The moratorium is set to expire on March 1, shedding more light on the region’s housing situation, which has seen home values hit an average of $1 million in many areas.

The University Village project will have to abide by the city’s Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) initiative, which requires new residential buildings to reserve 5-11% of its units for low-income families. The only alternative is for developers to pay between $5 and $32.75 per square foot to the Seattle Office of Housing fund for affordable housing development.

Under the MHA, the University Village project could contribute up to 80 units of low-income housing.

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