One of the big reasons that public housing has been a failure in the US is that "concentrated poverty" has been shown to have a deleterious effect, both on residence, commitment of the city to do proper maintenance and upkeep, a relatively homogeneous community, etc. I don't know the extent of below-market rate apartments in Mt. Baker these days, but it's something to consider. Affordable housing is important but I suspect more humans would see more rent relief (including people at the income level that qualifies for the affordable units) if it were easier to build market-rate housing.
Mercy Housing comes from the Sisters of Mercy. They are pretty much departed &/or gone.
This type of public investment and planned growth does well in Europe and many Asian countries. It may seem "anti-capitalist" but as Charles mentions risks and cost of capital will always steer developers towards market rate/premium investments. Other governments have built the models and expertise to have great success at both building an incentivizing affordable housing projects.

What Charles doesn't mention is the significant regulatory costs and risks in this region which have significant impact on affordability beyond just permit fees.
If you build more giant mansions for the wealthy, then all the extra rooms and heliports and car elevators that sit empty will trickle down upon the homeless.
There's going to be a lot more other development around this station before all is said and done. Rainier between Jackson and Mcclellan has some of the best overall transit connectivity of any area of Seattle. So this building really doesn't worry me very much. With luck, it will be has good as the El Centro apartments by the Beacon Station.This area is going to look really different 15 years from now.

For more on transit connectivity via Red and Blue lines by 2023, look at this articles:……
"The kind of economics taught at places like University of Washington ... "

Did Charles get a degree from UW?

This is like saying the Stranger is nothing but a bunch of race-baiting, pseudo-intellectual bullshit after reading an article from Charles. Of course this assumes he's actually taken a class at UW

"Giant mansions?" What is this, 1986?

Seattle is building giant multi-unit condos and luxury rentals for the rich now, gramps. Get your narrative straight!
I know Charles isn't exactly a "fact-based" writer, but there are a number of new, low-income housing developments already opened up around the Mount Baker station. The nonprofit, SouthEast Effective Development (SEED), has long been building hundreds of low-income housing units in the Rainier Valley for several decades, and targeted a number of their affordable housing projects for the immediate area. I know this because I work for the local architecture firm that designed these projects.

Their recently completed "The Claremont" Apartments are only 2 blocks away, on the site of the old Chubby and Tubby store on Rainier Ave. A few blocks down from that are another 5 low-income housing projects from SEED, including their large "Rainier Court" development.
Charles dear, I hate to pile on, but if you really think that Park Lake Homes, or Holly Park or the old Rainier Vista and High Point housing was so great, you have a screw loose.

I worked in all the old public housing projects. They were awful. All of them, except Yesler Terrace (which is the oldest) were built as temporary housing for defense workers in World War II. They were flimsy and beat up, and full of lead and asbestos. Maybe they were picturesque for someone like you, but they were no place that anyone would want to live, and they were a constant reminded of just what the rest of Seattle thought of the residents.

As for the Mt Baker neighborhood, the stretch of Rainier Avenue from I-90 to Genesee is not Mt Baker. It's the Rainier Valley. The designation of Mt. Baker is just Seattle bureaucracy and wishful thinking. Mt Baker starts at 34th Ave S, and runs down to the lake, and gets wealthierr the farther east you travel. The "business district" is the small building at the corner of Mt. Baker Boulevard and S. McClellan Street, which has been a series of artsy places since City Light moved out in the 1970's.
CV-DR @10, you are a civic treasure.
Charles, you don't like this city. You should move to another and take your tremendous carbon footprint with you and pollute another part of the planet.
@9: You and I must define "blocks" and "time" very differently if the Claremont, opened several years ago and a ten minute walk away, is "recently completed" and "two blocks away."
@13 it's literally 2 blocks.
@14 is right. Car Wash site of planned apartment is basically at NW corner of Rainier and Hanford. Claremont is at NW corner Rainier and Walden. Google Maps says it's .2 miles and 3 minute walk from one to the other. According to Google Maps, it's 7 minutes walk from the Claremont to the Mt Baker Light Rail.

Look, eventually, the QFC site will be redeveloped. So will the Lowe's site. They've just started building market rate stuff behind the QFC west up McClellan. I can understand the worry that too much low-income housing will get concentrated in one spot, but at the end of the day, I don't think that's going to happen. As I said elsewhere, the area between McClellan and Jackson on Rainier is going to have some of the best transit connectivity of any neighborhood in Seattle. Go up to 18th and Massachusetts. Look at all the new construction going on up there. All that stuff is Walking distance to the Judkins park stop on east link (Blue Line).

Now imagine Rainier with less warehouses and parking lots and more housing. Also imagine Rainier as less of a highway and more of a regular residential arterial street (e.g., like California Ave in West Seattle between California Junction and Admiral Junction). I know it may be hard, but do it anyway.

IMHO, the area near the Judkins Park stop is going to become increasingly desirable, and as it does, there's going to be more and more momentum to change the dynamic of traffic on Rainier.

From blog post on Seattle Transit blog about estimated travel times on Eastlink (the Blue Line). There's also a blog post up there about estimated travels times on central link (Red Line), which is also super interesting.

"On the Red Line, I defined Link’s ‘centers of gravity’ as Downtown (for maximizing short trips) and the Rainier Valley (for minimizing long trips). The Blue Line is a bit more fragmented by uneven stop spacing – a natural consequence of a long lake crossing – but the centers of gravity are still what you might expect.

For maximizing short trip possibilities, Downtown still reigns, as its residents can travel anywhere from Lynnwood to Bel-Red in less than 30 minutes, with only Overlake inching beyond 30 minutes. But Judkins Park and Mercer Island also do very well. At Judkins Park, a 30-minute window gets you to either 185th St or Overlake, whereas for Mercer Island a 30-minute window gets you to either Northgate or Overlake.

If you want to live in a residential part of Seattle but have good access to Downtown Seattle (10 minutes), Downtown Bellevue (14 minutes), and Overlake (24 minutes), Judkins Park will be about as good as it gets."…

It's literally not.

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