Artspace opening Mount Baker lofts

Artspace opening Mount Baker lofts
By Daily Journal of Commerce staff
September 26, 2014

ArtspaceMtBakerLofts_bigArtspace is getting ready to open its third affordable housing complex for artists in Seattle: 57 units right next to the Mount Baker light rail station.

Artspace is based in Minneapolis, and focuses on developing affordable space for artists and small businesses.

The four-story building at 2915 Rainier Ave. S. is called Artspace Mt. Baker Lofts. Grand opening is set for Oct. 1 and officials from Artspace, the city and the state will attend.

The units are larger than those in many other affordable housing projects. Studios start at 614 square feet and one-bedrooms are 813 square feet. Three-bedroom units range between 1,184 and 1,293 square feet.

Rents are between 30 and 60 percent of area median income. The lowest is $428 for a studio. Some of the three-bedrooms will rent for as much as $1,281 a month.

Units have 10-foot ceilings, and open floor plans.

There is a community room, and commercial space for nonprofits and small businesses on the ground floor.

Some of the tenants will include a grocery and deli selling Mediterranean, African and Middle Eastern food; a Capoeira center; a children’s talent agency; a cafe; a Vietnamese bilingual preschool; Washington Trails Association; the Urban Wilderness project; art galleries and an art center.

SMR Architects designed the project and Marpac Construction is the general contractor. Other team members include Place + Land, Coughlin Porter Lundeen and Quantum Management Services.

The building has bike storage and a car-share space, but no other vehicle parking.

The project is designed to help make Mount Baker a more walkable neighborhood. The City Council recently approved a rezone for parts of the neighborhood to emphasize transit, jobs, entertainment and housing.

The rezone boosts heights up to 85 feet on some sites. A 13-acre site that is now home to Lowe’s home improvement store and an adjacent parking lot could get buildings as tall as 125 feet.

Artspace also built Hiawatha Lofts at 843 Hiawatha Pl. S. and Tashiro Kaplan Lofts at 115 Prefontaine Pl. S., both in Seattle.

It has built 35 affordable projects with 1,100 units for artists in 13 states.