With gold shovels in hand, community leaders broke ground in celebration of Capella at Esterra Park, the largest affordable housing development in recent history on the Eastside.
Capella broke ground in Redmond on the afternoon of Dec. 10 and will eventually be a pedestrian-oriented community. The community will provide 261 workforce, affordable housing units serving households with income up to $66,420 annually for a family of four. The development will also have an onsite YMCA childhood development center.
The development, which has been in the works for more than four years, is a collaboration of many parties including the city of Redmond, Imagine Housing, Inland Group, A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) and the YMCA.
“I hope this project can serve as an inspiration and a call to for communities across the Eastside to be advocating for local solutions and greater public and private investment in affordable housing,” said Lindsay Masters, ARCH executive manager. “We need many more projects like Capella at Esterra that make a truly meaningful impact on affordability…the construction of these homes will change the lives of the residents who end up living here and create a community asset for many, many generations to come.”
At the groundbreaking ceremony, Redmond Mayor John Marchione said he is pleased the city has had a sliver of contribution to make the development come true.
“Today is a giant step forward for building housing for families who otherwise could not afford to live in Redmond,” he said. “The city is grateful for the collaboration and support of our community partners and thankful for the opportunities to provide a variety of housing choice that reflects the needs of our diverse community.”
Redmond contributed some $195,650 from the 2017 CIP Housing Trust fund toward the project.
Villette Nolon, Imagine Housing CEO, previously stated that King County’s analysis currently shows a gap of 156,000 mid- and low-income affordable housing units.
“Capella at Esterra Park will help close that gap,” she said. “Additionally, Capella is a model for future denser Eastside affordable housing developments because it’s strategically located in a vibrant new neighborhood with close proximity to services such as an onsite YMCA child care, high-speed transit, shopping, access to high-quality schools and excellent employers.”
The development — located at 2715 156th Ave. NE, near Bel-Red Road and the Overlake Transit Center — will be five levels of wood construction over two levels of concrete construction, with a roof garden and an 11,500-square-foot YMCA-operated child care facility for up to 125 children.
Capella will have 36 studios, 114 one-bedroom, 84 two-bedroom and 27 three-bedroom apartments. The development is designed to be high green for energy efficiency, long-term durability and sustainability. Capella is part of the Esterra Park development master plan community in Overlake Village and is next door to Microsoft. The development is also steps from Rapid Ride serving Bellevue, Kirkland, University of Washington, Seattle and Issaquah. The development will be two blocks from the future Overlake Village light rail station opening in 2023.
“This fits into the vision we’ve had for Redmond for more than 12 years,” Marchione said. “As a regional employment center, we want people to be able to live in the city they work and having affordable housing in many price points is important to accomplish.”