September 5, 2019

Former Barracks in Seattle’s Magnuson Park Opens as Family Housing with Early Learning Center and Health Clinic

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Mercy Magnuson Place

On Saturday, Aug. 10, Mercy Housing Northwest celebrated the grand opening of Mercy Magnuson Place, an affordable housing and early learning development that has been in the making for 20 years. Mercy Magnuson Place will provide 148 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units for families in the historic 240,000-square-foot former Building 9 barracks in Seattle’s Magnuson Park. 

This site is especially unique since it was publicly-owned property that laid dormant since 1993. By repurposing the property for affordable housing, the city has unlocked the potential in this site by using resources that were already within their reach. 

Through partnerships with local groups, the project also provides critical services for families. Mercy Magnuson Place is home to a 17,000-square-foot childcare center operated by the Denise Louie Education Center as well as a 750-square-foot health clinic operated by Neighborcare Health. 

Situated in the center building, Denise Louie Education Center will have six classrooms for infant, toddler and preschool. The center also has offices, rooms for gross motor development and socialization, and a Play and Learn program they are currently facilitating at three Seattle Public libraries. They plan to serve over 300 children and families at this site with 90 kids daily in the classrooms. The children served are a mix of Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, Seattle Preschool, Head Start, families with subsidies from the Department of Children, Youth and Families, and private pay.  

The construction of Mercy Magnuson Place involved a complicated rehabilitation of a historic structure. This presented both a challenge, but an opportunity to utilize federal historic tax credits, in addition to both 4 percent and 9 percent housing credits to finance the project. As a result, the historic integrity of the building has been maintained, adding to the unique character of the project. 

Enterprise is also proud to be an investment partner. The project received a total equity investment of $37 million with Capital One providing equity through Enterprise. Bellwether Enterprise provided permanent financing of $8 million with a Freddie Mac tax-exempt loan. 

Photo credit: Pavel Verbovski

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