Yesler Terrace, a public housing development originally built in the 1940s, is undergoing a huge transformation. Seattle Housing Authority is replacing its original 561 units for very-low-income residents (0 to 30 percent area median income, or AMI) in denser, mixed-income buildings. Meanwhile, private developer Vulcan is building mixed-income apartment buildings with market-rate units and moderate-income housing on the 30-acre area.
One of the Vulcan buildings to open recently is Batik, located at Broadway and Fir just off the First Hill Streetcar line. The building has 195 units; 156 are rentable at market-rate, with the remaining 39 going to households making between 65 and 85 percent AMI through the Multifamily Tax Exemption program, or MFTE.
Vulcan residential marketing manager Megan Murphy, showing Curbed Seattle around the building, told us that the idea was a look that “felt multicultural” and “had a lot of color and texture.” Instead of a modern, minimalist look popular with many new buildings, the interior is full of variety and patterns, starting with a world map towering over the lobby.
The look continues throughout the ground-floor amenities, including a game room, a media room, and a community kitchen. Murphy told us that the media room, which Vulcan “tried to give a more homey feel,” is a popular hangout for the building’s families.
A roof area features a dog park and a small garden tended by a professional (although residents can pick from it). A deck has plenty of seating, including some climb-able wooden installations, and opens up to a community room.
Heading to the residences, each floor has a unique tile pattern from the elevator bank. The apartments themselves largely are one-bedroom or “open one-bedroom” units, although the building is about 17 percent two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments.
Inside, the apartments have finishes that maintain that “textured” look of the common areas, but a little more subtle, with wood-like patterns on the floor and cabinets.
Residents have already moved into the Batik; prices on the market-rate units range from $1,805 for a one-bedroom to $3,385 for a large, upper-floor two-bedroom.
Other completed buildings that are part of the Yesler Terrace redevelopment include the Baldwin, Anthem on 12th, Kebero Court, Hoa Mai Gardens, and Raven Terrace, with many other buildings from both Vulcan and Seattle Housing Authority coming through the pipeline, plus new parks and community centers.