The Stranger: Community Groups, Local Developers Band Together to Rebuild Heart of the Central District

After months of eviction protests, the future of MidTown Center is finally becoming clearer. Today, Seattle-based developer Lake Union Partners closed on a $23.3 million deal to purchase the historic 23rd Avenue South and Union Street block in partnership with Africatown and Forterra, a land conservation non-profit.

The real estate group will sell 20 percent of the MidTown block to Forterra on behalf of Africatown, which will use its portion of the block to provide ground-level retail space for local businesses and around 135 affordable housing units on upper floors. Lake Union Partners also plans to develop up to an additional 420 apartments with about 125 affordable units, which comply with the City of Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability program. The redevelopment could begin as soon as December 2018.

“The MidTown block represents the last opportunity to have a future that allows the African American community to grow and thrive in place,” said K. Wyking Garrett, co-founder of Africatown. “We are optimistic that another path forward is being realized, which can inform [future projects].”


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