In 2014 Weber Thompson worked with Bellwether Housing and Gerding Edlen on a conceptual study, funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to determine the feasibility of a mixed-income high-rise project developed in a non-profit and for profit partnership in downtown Seattle.
Several design options were considered resulting in a variety of programmatic combinations ranging from 90 to 200 market-rate apartment units, and 170 to 260 affordable housing units. Additionally, the building would contain offices spaces for Bellwether Housing, program and performance space for Cornish College of the Arts, an arts school adjacent to the site, and an extension for Recovery Café, a non-profit support center serving victims of homelessness and addiction.
The study’s most promising configuration placed Cornish programming and office spaces in the podium. Affordable units were located on the lower levels of the tower, and the more desirable upper levels were earmarked for market-rate units. This configuration capitalized on additional income generated by market-rate units offering spectacular views. Additionally it preserved double-height space in the podium for Cornish. Ultimately, although conceptual, the study determined that a project of this type could indeed prove financially viable.
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