News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


Entries from June 2015

Parks and Recreation Fourth of July closures

June 24th, 2015 by sarawilly

Many Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities will be closed for Independence Day or on special holiday schedules. Some facilities may be open, but have limited operations. Please call in advance.

These facilities and services will have closures:
•Community centers (July 4)*
•Environmental learning centers (July 3-4)
•Indoor swimming pools (July 4)
•Green Lake Small Craft Center (July 3-5)
•Baker Rowing and Sailing Center (July4-5)

*Laurelhurst, International District Chinatown, Van Asselt, Alki and Miller community centers will be closed on July 3 and 4.

These facilities are open:
•Golf courses
•Boat ramps
•Lowery C. “Pop” Mounger Pool
•Colman Pool
•Wading pools (Bitter Lake, Cal Anderson, E.C. Hughes, Green Lake, Hiawatha, Lincoln Park, Magnuson, Van Asselt, Volunteer Park, Wallingford)
•Spray Parks

These facilities are on special schedules:
•Volunteer Park Conservatory, open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on July 3 and 4.
•Amy Yee Tennis Center (No classes on July 3 or 5, but courts are available for reservation. The center will be closed on July 4.)

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Groundbreaking – University Commons-affordable apartments for homeless youth in U District

June 11th, 2015 by sarawilly

Rendering by Runberg Architecture Group

The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) and University District Food Bank (UDFB) celebrate the groundbreaking of University Commons and the University District Food Bank on Tuesday, June 16th at 3:30pm at 5019 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle. Speakers include State Senator Jamie Pederson, State Representative Brady Walkinshaw, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, UW Director of Community Relations Sally Clark, LIHI Executive Director Sharon Lee, UDFB Executive Director Joe Gruber, and others.

University Commons is located in the University District and will open in summer 2016. LIHI purchased the property to provide affordable apartments for homeless young adults age 18-24 and low-wage workers who are entering the workforce.

Sharon Lee, LIHI executive director said, “The project will bring multiple community benefits: food security from the food bank, affordable housing to the University District, and housing linked with services to reduce homelessness among our city’s young adults.”

New and expanded space for the University District Food Bank will be located on the first floor. A cafe will be built on the south side facing the University Branch Library. The housing includes 49 studio and one bedroom apartments on three upper floors. The second floor is designated for 15 homeless young adults with YouthCare and Ryther providing supportive services.

“University Commons is a unique mixed-use development where homeless youth and other underserved populations will have access to services,” said Aubré Dickson, KeyBank vice president. “Construction lending for creative endeavors that bring housing and services together neatly match the Key Community Development Banking commitment to both mission and margin. We are proud to partner with LIHI and the University District Food Bank in making University Commons possible.”

Joe Gruber, executive director of UDFB, said, “We are extremely excited about reaching this important milestone. The food bank wouldn’t be here today, however, without a tremendous amount of community support. We’re grateful that LIHI had the vision early on to involve the food bank in this project and the expertise to help us reach this point. And, we’re overwhelmed by the generous financial support provided so far by our neighbors, local government, and many private foundations. While there is much work still to be done, it’s important to pause and offer thanks as we begin construction on our new home.”

Runberg Architecture Group is the architect. The General Contractor is BNBuilders. The building will be built green and includes many energy efficient features. There will be a no smoking policy. The building features community space, classroom, counseling space and decks. The food bank will use the roof for urban agriculture by growing vegetables and herbs.

Funding sources for the housing includes City of Seattle, King County and Washington State. KeyBank is providing construction financing. Tax credit equity is being provided through the Washington State Housing Finance Commission and National Equity Fund. SHA is providing rental assistance. A private donation from the Wyncote NW Foundation enabled LIHI to purchase the land.

For more information about the Low Income Housing Institute, please visit

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