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HALA University District Rezoning Now Set To Go Into Effect


As planned, the i's are now dotted and the t's now crossed on Seattle's first neighborhood to be rezoned under Mayor Ed Murray's Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). After years of back-and-forth, the University District is clear for eventual development of high-rises. One reason that is important is that the neighborhood is home to the city's largest employer, the University of Washington, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports.

The mayor inked the legislation late last week, and it will go into effect April 1. Developers will be allowed to build residential towers up to 320 feet tall and office buildings up to 160 feet tall in the U District around the light rail station, scheduled to open in 2021, in exchange for an affordable housing component. That is considerably higher than the old limits, 65 to 85 feet, though those will remain in place along University Way Northeast. 

As discussed at our State of Seattle Multifamily event recently, it is not clear yet whether HALA will inspire much affordable housing development. The intention of HALA is to facilitate 50,000 housing units over 10 years, with 40% set aside for lower-income residents. The goal is to apply it to other Seattle neighberhoods eventually.