Rainier Vista Multifamily Housing

Project Description

Phase 1: 109 townhouses, 75 apartments in two buildings
Phase 2: Tamarack Place: 83 units consisting of apartments & townhouses
Phase 3: 118 townhouses

Client: Seattle Housing Authority

Contractor for site infrastructure & public housing in Phases 1 & 2: Walsh Construction Co.
Contractor for public housing in Phase 3: Absher Construction Co.

Funding: HUD HOPE VI grant program, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Washington State Housing Trust
Fund, Seattle Housing Levy

Recognition: Seattle Light 2006 Energy Star for Homes Outstanding Achievement Award, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine 2007 Best Places to Live in Seattle

See the Rainier Vista Master Plan

Seattle Housing Authority’s Rainier Vista Redevelopment is an award winning Master Planned Community offering a mixed use multifamily development, with rental apartments, for sale condominiums and single family homes. Funding totaling more than $240 million was used to replace all of the original infrastructure and the 481 worn-out public housing units built in the 1940s with new mixed-income housing for renters and home owners.

The pedestrian friendly environment provides approximately 875 affordable and market-rate housing units. It includes outdoor and indoor recreational facilities, parks, playgrounds P-patches, facilities for social service providers, retail and office spaces. The new Sound Transit’s light rail line provides a station just to the south which reaches downtown in about 20 minutes.

The public housing, located in townhomes and apartment buildings, is carefully integrated throughout the site and is virtually indistinguishable from the market rate rental and for sale housing. Built first, the public housing set high design standards and is a showcase for New Urbanism principles providing covered entry porches and private off-street parking adjacent to each housing unit. Using steeply pitched roofs and a colorful mixture of siding patterns, the styling of the ground related public housing stands out, but is still complementary to the surrounding older historic neighborhood of Columbia City.

Tonkin Architecture worked closely with the Seattle Housing Authority in formulating the original Master Plan and Design Guidelines for the private developers of the market housing. The completed public housing combined with the very high quality of the market rate homes has led to the creation of a truly beautiful and culturally diverse community.