Developers Land $58M for Seattle’s First Affordable High-Rise

Plymouth Housing and Bellwether Housing are working together on the 365-unit project slated for completion in 2022.
Madison/Bolyston. Image courtesy of Enterprise Housing Credit Investments

Plymouth Housing and Bellwether Housing have received $57.6 million in equity financing for the construction of the Madison/Boylston development, a 365-unit intergenerational, affordable housing project in downtown Seattle. Enterprise Housing Credit Investments secured the funds through Bank of America, in the largest single low-income housing tax credit equity deal in Enterprise’s history. The development team, which also includes Turner Construction Co. and Weber Thompson Architecture, broke ground on the project in October, with delivery slated for 2022.


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The 17-story building set to become the city’s first affordable high-rise will take shape at 1400 Madison St., with a second entrance on 1014 Boylston Ave., in the First Hill neighborhood. Sound Transit transferred the land parcel—initially intended as a First Hill light rail station—to the developers in 2018. Weber Thompson designed the project plans to meet the Washington State Evergreen Standards, taking into account an energy efficiency and systems performance study funded by an Enterprise Community Partners grant.

Two developers, one building

Plymouth will develop floors two through five to house 115 studio apartments reserved to homeless seniors earning at or below 30 percent of the area’s median income. Supportive services provided will include individualized case management, daily living support, encouraging social engagement and outings and coordination of psychiatric care when needed. Plymouth will benefit from an operating subsidy from the City of Seattle and King County.  

Bellwether will build Rise on Madison on top of the Boylston development. Floors six through 17 will comprise 250 apartments for workforce and family households earning up to 60 percent of AMI. The unit mix will feature studios and one- to three-bedroom floorplans. Resident services will address disabilities, mental health, financial, employment and health issues.

The development site is less than 1 mile from the city center, close to several hospitals and health-care providers such as Swedish Hospital and Virginia Mason Hospital. The location is also less than 2 miles from a 288-unit partially affordable community which traded for $125 million in September.

Mixed financing sources

The Madison/Boylston development draws on various sources of financing, both public and private. Funds from the Housing Credits program make up a “twinned” financing package, with Boylston receiving a 9 percent credit allocation and Rise on Madison being eligible for 4 percent tax-exempt bond financing. 

Aside from the equity investment, Bank of America is providing the developers with two construction loans totaling $83 million, with $67 million allocated for Rise on Madison and $16 million for the Boylston development. In addition, the City of Seattle, King County, State of Washington and Sound Transit are granting a combined $37 million in soft financing for both projects.