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Low Income Housing Institute opens Lake City affordable housing and preschool

The new building is on the old Fire Station 39 site

A design rendering for the Tony Lee Apartments.
Via Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections

A Lake City project that’s been in the works for around seven years—since Fire Station 39 moved to its brand-new digs next door—finally opened its doors Friday. The building includes 70 units of affordable housing managed by the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), which also developed the property, and a four-classroom preschool operated by the Refugee Women’s Alliance.

Apartment sizes range from studios to to family-friendly three-bedrooms, surrounding a courtyard with a kids’ play area. Tenants have access to a roof deck with a solar array and resident gardens. Rents will range from $526 for a studio to $1,353, aimed to serve those below 30 percent or at 50 or 60 percent area median income—that’s $21,050 to $42,150 for a single person or $30,100 to $60,200 for a family of four.

The building was designed by Runberg Architecture Group and built by Walsh Construction Company.

The housing came after a city request for low-income housing proposals to fill the vacant spot after the fire station moved. LIHI was selected to operate a long-term, low-income housing facility, and the Seattle City Council voted to transfer the land to LIHI in January 2017. Resources for the project also came from the Seattle Housing Levy, which voters approved in 2016.

The apartments were named for Tony Lee, a longtime Seattle activist for affordable housing, community clinics, and other services to uplift low-income people. “Affordable homes were among the things Tony fought for throughout his career on behalf of low-income families, people of color, immigrants and refugees,” said LIHI Executive Director Sharon Lee in a statement.

LIHI also operates Urban Rest Stops around the city and the Othello Tiny House village, plus several other low-income housing developments in the greater Seattle area. After the old Fire Station 39 closed but before construction began, the site was home to the homeless encampment Nickelsville for about six months.

Those who meet the building’s income thresholds are encouraged to visit the building and fill out an application. Tours start at 10:00 a.m.