Low-income housing provider Mercy Housing Northwest (MHNW) broke ground on its latest project last week: 148 new affordable apartments and a community center in one of Magnuson Park’s historic buildings.
A former site of Sand Point Naval Station, the 350-acre park is home to a large collection of historic structures, including one hosting an art gallery and studios. One building is home to a renovated hangar, available for events, and a community center in a former brig.
MHNW’s new project, designed by Tonkin Architecture, will be completed in Building 9, a former barracks, restoring the aging structure while preserving the exterior and some historic details in the interior. In addition to preservation, the historic recognition has an education arm: It includes an exhibit on the naval base.
When completed, MHNW said in a press release, the new units will be energy efficient and affordable to “working families and small households.” The project is designed to serve families making 30 to 60 percent area median income.
The project also includes wraparound services—elements to provide support to its new residents in addition to housing. That includes an early childhood education center, a health clinic operated by Neighborcare, after-school and summer programs, and programs to support financial literacy and housing stability.
This isn’t the first affordable housing project to set up shop in Sand Point’s former naval buildings. Solid Ground owns several other former military buildings, including MHNW-operated Sand Point Family Apartments.
Another one of Magnuson Park’s structures is waiting for activation: Building 2, which includes two former hangars and a collection of workshops and offices. The city recently issued an invitation for investment in the building.