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Council for Homeless subsidiary backs Ogden development

Proposed apartment complex in Fourth Plain corridor would include 46 affordable housing units

By , Columbian business reporter
2 Photos
The future location of the Meridian apartment complex at the corner of Northeast 32nd Street and Northeast 78th Avenue. The affordable housing project is just 500 feet from a stop on the Vine bus rapid transit line.
The future location of the Meridian apartment complex at the corner of Northeast 32nd Street and Northeast 78th Avenue. The affordable housing project is just 500 feet from a stop on the Vine bus rapid transit line. (Nathan Howard/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

A developer has submitted plans to build a 46-unit affordable housing complex near Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard, in the Ogden neighborhood. The proposed project would be built on a 0.52-acre lot on Northeast 78th Avenue next to the intersection with Northeast 32nd Street, east of Andresen Road.

The pre-application packet refers to the project as the Atlantic Apartments, although according to one of the project’s leaders, the complex has since been retitled the Meridian.

The proposed development site is owned by Housing Initiative, a subsidiary launched by the local nonprofit Council for the Homeless in 2016, aimed at finding ways to finance new affordable housing in Clark County.

The subsidiary was among the initial funding recipients during the first operational year of the city of Vancouver’s Affordable Housing Fund. The fund was created by Proposition 1, which voters approved in 2016.

Housing Initiative received funding for two projects, the first of which was an 18-unit building called the Pacific, aimed at people exiting homelessness. That complex is currently under construction at 3209 N.E. 78th Ave., across the street from the proposed Meridian apartments.

The second of the two projects is an apartment complex called the Elwood, which is slated to start construction in December, according to Housing Initiative CEO Andy Silver.

“(The Meridian) is a new project that will be our third,” he said.

The Meridian hasn’t been allocated any money from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund, but Silver said it will still be an affordable housing project aimed at meeting the same supportive housing needs as the other two projects: providing homes for people in transition from homelessness or residents with behavioral health challenges, with on-site behavioral health services provided.

The proposal is also intended to count as affordable housing under Vancouver’s development code, meeting requirements such as being eligible for state low income housing tax credits and being located within 1,000 feet of a high-capacity transit corridor — in this case the property is about 500 feet away from the nearest pair of Vine stations.

The 46 units in the Meridian complex would all be one-bedroom and would comprise three buildings, each three stories tall. One of the buildings would include a manager’s office and community room, and the 14 units on the ground floor will meet Americans with Disability Act accessibility requirements.

The apartment complex wouldn’t have its own parking lot, and would instead be served by the parking lot at the Pacific Apartments. That lot would be expanded and shared via a joint use agreement between the two property owners.

The buildings would be wood-framed and designed to meet the requirements of Washington’s Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard, which is aimed at creating “green” buildings that include design components such as water conservation and environmentally friendly construction materials.

Funding for the project is still being secured, Silver said, so construction wouldn’t begin until fall 2020. Housing Initiative submitted the application early in order to gather information from the city that the company will need when applying for funding grants for the project.

A pre-application conference with the city’s planning department has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. July 11.

Columbian business reporter

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