Win-Win – it’s not often these days that a new development adds long-term value to the majority of community stakeholders but that’s exactly what Vulcan set out to do in partnership with community leaders at the 23rd and Jackson redevelopment site. Prior to buying the property at 23rd & Jackson, Vulcan reviewed the goals and guidelines set forth in the 23rd Avenue Action Plan and met with some of the original community participants to discuss how our project could further the objectives as outlined in the neighborhood plan. We literally held hundreds of meetings with community members - many even before we purchased the site – to ensure that our project would reflect community input and principles. We believe this community approach resulted in a better project that reflects community goals and adds much needed housing and retail amenities to the growing Central Area neighborhood, without sacrificing neighborhood character. Summarized below are just some of the ways we partnered with the neighborhood.

Community Ask
  • Job opportunities for minorities and people of color
Vulcan Promise
  • Vulcan established voluntary goals to award 14% of subcontractor contracts to WMBEs (Women and Minority Owned Business Enterprises) and 15% apprenticeship hours.
  • Vulcan partnered with community groups including Urban League, Tabor 100, Seattle Vocational Institute, and National Association of Minority Contractors among others to advance WMBE goals
  • Vulcan proactively implemented procedures to make it easier for WMBEs to win bids such as dividing larger bid packages into multiple smaller scopes of work that would meet the capacity limits of typically smaller WMBEs. We also relaxed the insurance requirements for subcontractors to accommodate more WMBEs.
Result
  • Tens of millions of dollars in contracts awarded to WMBEs
  • 34% of subcontractor bid packages awarded to WMBEs
% of Contract $ Awarded  Business Ownership
3.4% Black Owned Businesses
5.7% Native American Owned Businesses
6.5% Hispanic Owned Businesses
15.6% Subtotal Businesses Owned by People of Color
18.3% Non-minority Women Owned Businesses
33.9% Subtotal WMBE contracts (compared to 14% goal)
66.1% Non-minority Male Owned Businesses
100.0% Total
 
  • And, the project was built with 19.3% apprenticeship hours (compared to 15% goal)
Community Ask
  • Micro-retail space to improve affordability for small local businesses
Vulcan Promise
  • Vulcan incorporated three 520-square-foot kiosks at the highly visible intersection of 23rd & Jackson into the design of the project.
Result
  • 23rd Avenue retail spaces designed to allow for flexible sizing to meet varying Tenants needs
  • Micro-retail spaces are move in ready requiring little upfront capital from Tenants
  • Vulcan has partnered with Ventures, a local non-profit that provides access to business training, capital, coaching, and hands-on learning opportunities for entrepreneurs, with a focus on women, people of color, immigrants, and individuals with low income. You can learn more about this partnership here.
  • Ventures will secure a business for one of the kiosks and Vulcan is continuing to market the remaining spaces for similar users.
Community Ask
  • Affordable Housing and housing for people from within the community
Vulcan Promise
  • Vulcan set aside 20% (107 units) of income- and rent-restricted subsidized housing for households earning 65% to 90% of Area Median Income (AMI).
Result
  • The project includes a mix of workforce housing with income and rent limits established by the city of Seattle Office of Housing. The affordability limits are tied to unit type with 65% AMI for studios, 75% AMI for 1-BR, 85% AMI for 2-BR and 90% AMI for 3-BR units.
  • To date residents at Jackson Apartments include people earning minimum wage – such as fast food restaurant workers – as well as hospital workers, teachers, a firefighter, security guards and administrative assistants; and more than a dozen residents relocated from within the Central Area.
  • The average annual income for employed MFTE residents at Jackson Apartments is $32,500

  Community Ask
  • Recognition and celebration of the community’s roots and history
Vulcan Promise
  • Vulcan promised to incorporate a robust public art program throughout the project and worked with art consultant Leilani Lewis, who has dedicated her career to supporting artists and was a founding staff member of the Northwest African American Museum.
  • During design we also worked with Donald King, a respected architect (Donald King Bio) and members of the HCAACD (Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District) who provided guidance on how to incorporate Afrocentric design elements into the project.
Result
  • The building facades incorporate a palette of colors and unique fractal patterns and textures that reference the area’s rich cultural heritage.
  • The Jackson Apartments feature an extensive art program that includes several installations by artists with roots in Seattle, curated to reflect the cultural heritage of the neighborhood. The project features artwork by 14 African American artists, most of whom are from Seattle (with the exception of Loretta Bennett from Gee’s Bend, Alabama). Vulcan is currently working on a virtual artwalk that will include interviews with 14 artists and community members to serve as a platform to educate and inform the stories behind their contributed works. The artwalk will be available publicly online in October.
 Community Ask
  • Bring back a grocery store to 23rd & Jackson that includes affordable price points, diversity of offerings and local hiring opportunities
 Vulcan Promise
  • Vulcan promised to incorporate a grocery store into the project design and issued an RFP (Request for Proposals) that included each of these community goals.
Result
  • The RFP was sent to 21 prospective grocers and the grocer we selected (that we are not at liberty to disclose) put forward the most enthusiastic response to everything we were looking for including affordable price points, diversity of offerings and local hiring opportunities.

  Community Ask
  • Reconnection of 24th Avenue South, a previously vacated street right-of-way, and the incorporation of a public plaza and green space
Vulcan Promise
  • Vulcan redesigned the project to incorporate a public pathway that connects S. King Street to the south with S. Jackson Street to the north and set aside a large portion of space on the north side of the project as a public plaza
Result
  • The apartment homes are located within two buildings, each with a north-south orientation. Between them a 60-foot wide by 390-foot long mid-block open space re-imagines the previously vacated right-of-way as a landscaped public pathway that provides pedestrian access, stormwater management infrastructure, and habitat for native pollinators.
 
  • Along the north edge of the site a 12,000 square-foot plaza offers space for celebrations and performances.
 Community Ask
  • Be mindful of adjacent uses when determining the scale of development
Vulcan Promise
  • Despite a recent rezone that would have allowed greater building heights, Vulcan planned a 7-story development based on community input
Result
  • The completed project limits heights to 7 stories and incorporates more than an acre of new green space to a site that formerly consisted entirely of concrete.
  • Townhouses line the east and south edges of the project to reduce scale and address the adjacent residential context of the neighboring parcels.
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