A 47-unit affordable apartment complex intended for working-class families will break ground next summer just north of downtown Redmond.
Local public housing authority Housing Works is building the complex, named Midtown Place. It will be built on a patch of vacant land at the intersection of NW Fifth Street and NW Greenwood Avenue, right next to a Grocery Outlet store.
The vast majority of Midtown Place’s 47 units will be two-bedroom apartments, according to Redmond city staff. Two units will be one-bedroom apartments, and four units will have three bedrooms. The building will be two stories tall and have green space with a playground on its premises.
David Brandt, executive director of Housing Works, told the Redmond Urban Renewal Agency Board at its meeting last week that the apartments are meant for families who earn about 60% of Redmond’s median income.
Monthly rent at Midtown Place will be between $900 and $1,000, Brandt said. The apartments will cater to people with working-class jobs like bank tellers, restaurant servers and retail workers, some of whom work downtown, he said.
Brandt said affordable housing is badly needed in Redmond, where 59% of Redmond’s renter households spend more than 30% of their income on rent, and two-bedroom apartment prices have nearly doubled since 2003.
Brandt also said that Midtown Place’s walkable distance from downtown Redmond will help encourage those families to spend money in that area, which could boost the local economy. And because the families will spend less money on rent, they’ll have more money to spend at local businesses, he added.
“It allows people to have access to downtown,” Brandt said Monday. “People go out to eat, they access the stores more easily, they don’t have to drive there.”
Brandt said each apartment unit will have two parking spaces.
Chuck Arnold is the manager of Redmond’s urban renewal program, which is tasked with reinvigorating Redmond’s downtown. He said adding affordable housing in Redmond’s center was a necessity, both for creating more homes and boosting downtown business.
“This will result in feet on the street, to help revitalize our downtown,” he said.
Brandt said Midtown Place will try to have an urban feel, like a smaller-scale version of Housing Works’ Putnam Pointe apartments in downtown Bend.
Last week, the Redmond Urban Renewal Agency Board — which is made up of the same members as the Redmond City Council — unanimously agreed to give Housing Works a $2.97 million loan to help pay for Midtown Place’s construction.
Brandt said the rest of the project’s funding will come from state and federal tax credit programs, as well as money from the housing authority and other funding sources.
At last week’s meeting, multiple board members applauded Housing Works for building more affordable housing in Redmond.
“I really look forward to this being built, and what it’s going to help with some of the needs here. Every little bit helps,” board member Joe Centanni said.
“It certainly satisfies a need,” added Mayor George Endicott.
Brandt said construction on Midtown Place will likely start in June or July of 2020. Housing Works expects to welcome new tenants to the apartments by 2021.