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Seattle Unanimously Approved South Lake Union Affordable-Housing Fees

Next month, the Seattle City Council will undoubtedly pass new zoning rules for South Lake Union that will allow companies like Vulcan Real Estate to build taller buildings. However, they're gonna have to pay a bit more than expected to do so.

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved new affordable-housing fees for development in South Lake Union, but council members said the fees would still leave the city far short of its goals in the fast-growing neighborhood. The plan includes a key figure from O'Brien's proposal — a fee of $21.68 for every gross square foot of space residential developers use above existing height limits.

Mayor McGinn's original proposal called for a fee of $15.15 per square foot.

SLOG explains the real reason for the huge growth in the fees, which relate to a desire for Vulcan to do the work on proposed low-income & workforce housing in SLU.

O'Brien's proposal raises the fee developers have to pay toward a housing fund if they don't put workforce housing in a particular building, from the current rate of $15.15 per square foot of new height to $21.68—all with the goal of getting developers to build the damn units themselves on site instead of paying the fee. Vulcan's not happy about the decision, but, chances are they're still going to want to move forward with their skyline-changing plans for the neighborhood.
· Council OKs compromise on builder fees in South Lake Union [Seattle Times]
· Council Stands Up to Vulcan in South Lake Union [SLOG]
· Vulcan Looking To Build Behemoth Towers in South Lake Union [Curbed Seattle]