SPU Sells Apartments to Bellwether Housing

Posted on October 24th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

Bellwether Housing announced today that it has purchased SPU’s Robbins Apartments, netting the nonprofit affordable housing agency its first building on Queen Anne.

Robbins Apartments, located at 2701 3rd Ave W, opened in 1966 and provided SPU students with close-to-campus apartments, but has been in need of repair for several years. Last February, SPU’s student paper The Falcon reported on the poor condition of the building, with one section closed to students, but at the time the university had no plans to sell in the “foreseeable future”.

Bellwether, a non-profit agency, will repair and renovate the building, resulting in 50 affordable apartments that’ll be renamed The Parker. The Parker will provide apartments for people who earn up to 60% of the area median income ($36,960 for one person to $47,520 for a family of three). Bellwether will partner with SPU to connect lower wage SPU employees with this affordable housing option.

Bellwether plans a two-phased rehabilitation approach – the first phase will address immediate repairs starting this month. It’ll be complete by January 2013; the second phase will focus on extensive interior and exterior improvements beginning at the end of 2013. The Parker begins leasing in December of this year.

Bellwether paid “just over $6.45 million” for the SPU property, with financing provided by Enterprise Community Loan Fund, the City of Seattle Office of Housing, and Seattle Public Utilities.

Bellwether’s Executive Director Sarah Lewontin issued the following statement:
“This is Bellwether’s first apartment building in the Queen Anne neighborhood. I’m particularly excited that we’ll be able to provide affordable rents in this highly desirable area – giving working people a chance to live close to jobs, parks, schools, grocery stores and very convenient bus service. SPU has been a great partner to make this transition possible.”

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