It’s been over four years since Imagine Housing and the City of Snoqualmie began collaborative efforts to develop a land parcel (S-20) within the Eagle Pointe neighborhood of Snoqualmie Ridge into affordable housing for the area.
In February 2014, the plans were put on hold indefinitely when financing for the project could not be secured. Since then the city, the owner of the land parcel and Imagine Housing worked to address the challenges of developing the project on land designated as the site of affordable housing in order to meet requirements of the Snoqualmie Ridge II Mixed Use Final Plan. [That Mixed Use plans legally requires affordable housing be incorporated into the second division of the Snoqualmie Ridge master-planned development, which is close to build out.]
It took over four years, but it appears Imagine Housing is finally ready to build affordable housing in Snoqualmie, which Mayor Matt Larson, other city officials, and many area residents say is greatly needed – especially as home prices and rents climb on the Eastside and in the Snoqualmie Valley.
Via email Sibyl Glasby, Imagine Houseing Director of Housing Development, said their new Snoqualmie development “is a desperately needed, multi-family community that will be permanently affordable.”
She said Imagine Housing, a Kirkland-based nonprofit that has been building affordable housing on the Eastside for almost 30 years, strives to create “communities that are attractive, professionally managed and maintained to be long-term community assets.”
The planned Snoqualmie community will have 160-180 affordable apartments and 14 market rate, for sale homes built by a “quality homebuilder” on the 13.6 acre land parcel located at the end of Frontier Ave, between Eagle Pointe and the new Snoqualmie Valley Hospital.
Glasby said the development will be “architecturally integrated into the surroundings and also [be] modern and attractive.” The one, two and three bedroom units will be restricted (primarily) to households earning no more than 60% of Area Median Income (AMI), which is $90,300 in King County. So for a four person household, that 60% of AMI comes out to around $38,000 annual income for an individual and $54,200 for a family of four.
Glasby added that if resources are available, 5-10 units could be for individuals and families earning 80% of AMI and 5-10 units restricted at 50% AMI. In Snoqualmie, the AMI is $130,000.
Rent at the proposed Snoqualmie community is estimated to range from approximately $900 – $1,300 per month for the one, two and three bedroom apartments. According to Imagine Housing, in 2015 area market rate rental properties ranged from nearly $1,500/ month for a one-bedroom up to $2,150/month for a three-bedroom.
‘Snoqualmie Needs Affordable Housing’
Glasby said their research shows Snoqualmie has an influx of employees who work in the area, but live elsewhere (often quite far away) due to housing affordability issues. She pointed to many local jobs that pay the 60% AMI threshold needed to qualify for Imagine Housing’s new community, including many teaching and teaching assistant positions, restaurant jobs, staff and nursing assistant positions, maintenance jobs – and even seniors on fixed incomes.
Glasby added, “These are working people who often have families to take care of…who are extremely important to the local economy of Snoqualmie.”
Imagine Housing plans to begin construction on its Snoqualmie community in the summer of 2017 and lease apartments in the fall of 2018.
The planned development will have five 4-story and 5-story buildings, each with between 30-48 units, as well as outdoor recreation areas and shared community rooms and decks built over a parking area. The 12-14 market rate single family homes are proposed to be constructed between current Eagle Pointe homes and the apartment buildings.