August 25, 2023

104 Aurora units, all affordable, begin leasing

Photo courtesy of Exxel Pacific [enlarge]

John Fox Place will open in October.

The Low Income Housing Institute has begun leasing for a new construction 104-unit affordable apartment building at 8700 Aurora Ave. N. Construction is currently wrapping up on the project, and the community, called John Fox Place, is slated to open in October.

When it does, the new seven-story building will bring affordable studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments to Aurora Ave. N. for families and individuals making 30%, 50% and 60% of the King County Area Median Income (AMI).

John Fox Place was designed by PYATOK Architects and Hewitt Architects and is being built by Exxel Pacific. In addition to the rental units, the approximately 82,300-square-foot development will have a community room, computer lab, classroom, rooftop deck, courtyard, and children’s play area. There is no on-site vehicular parking for tenants but the building is served by one surface parking stall that can be used for loading. Tenants will have 112 bike stalls. The building is within easy walking access to the Rapid Ride E line on Aurora Ave. N. to downtown and Shoreline, and to east-west bus connections to the U-District and Ballard.

John Fox Place includes five apartments for homeless veterans and 12 apartments for homeless families and individuals. Units range in size from a studio at 397 square feet, to a three-bedroom apartment at 1,145 square feet.

The new community is located on a 19,000-square-foot midblock site formerly used as a parking lot. Prior to the development breaking ground, LIHI was operating a tiny house village enhanced shelter at the site while plans and funding for John Fox Place came together. Construction began on the new building in December 2020. It was initially slated to open in spring 2023. LIHI previously told the DJC that opening was delayed by the concrete strike.

The building is named for John V. Fox, a long-time leader of the Seattle Displacement Coalition. Fox championed the requirement that the Seattle Housing Authority provide one for one replacement of low-income housing during the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace, Holly Park and other SHA sites. Fox was also a vocal critic of upzoning the University District and other neighborhoods.

“John is a staunch housing advocate who fought against the demolition and for the preservation of low-income housing in downtown Seattle and surrounding neighborhoods. We are pleased to honor John Fox for his tireless advocacy,” Sharon Lee, LIHI executive director, said in a press release announcing the start of leasing.

The project was formerly known as Nesbit Family Housing. That name referred to the location of the building which extends through to Nesbit Avenue North.

Financing for John Fox Place comes from the City of Seattle Office of Housing, Red Stone Equity Partners, JP Morgan, Umpqua Bank, State Housing Trust Fund, and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. The DJC previously reported that LIHI was expecting the project to cost $37 million.

The project team also includes; Latitude 48 Engineers; Quantum Consulting Engineers; Karen Kiest Landscape Architects; 4EA Engineering; O’Brien 360; A3 Acoustics; Geotech Consultants; Endelman & Associates; McKinney Engineering; United Systems Mechanical; Tradesmen Electric; SJS Mechanical; and Patriot Fire Protection.