Tag Archives: affordable housing

City announces sale of “Mercer Megablock”

This morning, Mayor Durkan announced that the city has agreed to terms with Alexandria Real Estate Equities to purchase the Mercer Megablock property in South Lake Union, along with the adjacent city-owned property at 615 Dexter Avenue N. The deal will net the city $143 million in cash, plus a package of additional public benefits that together the city estimates will total somewhere between $275 – $305 million.

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“Mercer Megablock” announcement coming in next two weeks (updated)

Remember the “Mercer Megablock” — the 96,000 square foot chunk of city-owned property in South Lake Union that the city is trying to sell, and became controversial last October when community and housing advocates pushed for the city to use the entire property for affordable housing?

This morning, Mayor Durkan let it be known that an announcement related to the sale of the property is coming next week, and gave some high-level details on what she will propose to do with the proceeds from the sale. UPDATE: A spokesperson from the Mayor now says that the details on the sale and an accompanying bill for the Council’s consideration will be coming “in the next two weeks.”

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Durkan unveils “bridge housing” plan details

Back in January, Mayor Durkan announced a proposal to use $5.3 million from the sale of a city property to fund “bridge housing” to get more of the city’s homeless population off the streets. The City Council tweaked the plan a bit, but in the end Durkan’s $5.3 million survived and the Council ratified the funding plan in February.

Today Durkan is revealing the next step: a specific plan for how the money should be spent.

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Some days budget discussions aren’t so boring

Wednesday morning, the Council took up its quarterly update to the city’s budget. Normally these discussions are an excellent cure for insomnia, and the first quarter update especially so since it involves retroactive cleanup of last year’s budget, rolling over small amounts of leftover funds from the pervious year’s budget, accepting grants,  and correcting all the mistakes and oversights in last fall’s eight-week-long annual budget development marathon as well as any new projects that need to be funded (like $46,000 to reopen five wading pools at city parks this summer).  But a bit of grandstanding by Council member Sawant brought some drama to the deliberations this time.

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Understanding the revised AirBnB regulation bill

After several quiet months, Council member Tim Burgess’s attempt to regulate short-term rentals listed through AirBnB, VRBO, HomeAway and other services is back. There are a handful of revisions to the plan, and this time there’s real legislation to be introduced into the Council’s legislative process.

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Few controversies in budget votes today

Budget chair Tim Burgess’s plan for this year was to use two rounds of discussion to build most of the 2017-2018 budget by consensus, leaving today’s meeting to hash out whatever controversies remain. That is exactly how it played out, and even today’s meeting had few major conflicts.

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