Africatown Community Land Trust and Community Roots Housing Break Ground on Affordable Mixed Use Development in Central Seattle

Feb 11, 2022 9:00 AM ET
Artist rendering of Africatown affordable housing development in Seattle, WA.

SEATTLE, February 11, 2022 /3BL Media/ – Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT) and Community Roots Housing (CRH) break ground today at 23rd and East Spring Street in Seattle’s Central District, marking the beginning of construction on their Africatown Plaza development.

The seven-story building planned for the approximately half-acre site, designed by GGLO, DREAM Architects, and David Baker Architects, aims to stem the tide of displacement impacting the African American community by providing 126 affordable housing units, including 59 studio apartments for households earning up to 50% of the area median income (AMI). Responding to the community’s need for more affordable housing for families, there will be 36 one-bedroom and 31 two- and three-bedroom units for households up to 60% AMI. Heat, hot water, potable water, sewer, and trash collection will be provided by the landlord. The building’s ground floor will contain space for ACLT’s new headquarters, an affordable space expected to house a commercial kitchen to be used by local culinary entrepreneurs, a community room, and bike storage. A standing art collection will focus on healing, restoring, and celebrating Black and Pan-African communities in the Central District.

ACLT and CRH are working to maximize the participation of African American contractors and subcontractors to create economic opportunities for the community during the construction process. The general contractor group is a joint venture of Absher and MAD Construction. MAD is an African American-owned general contractor. In addition, 30% of the total value of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work has been awarded to Adept Mechanical & General Contracting, an African American subcontractor.

“We are excited to break ground on Africatown Plaza, continuing a legacy of community building on the site of the former Umoja PEACE Center - the grassroots, Black-led community organization where the Africatown Seattle movement began over 10 years ago,” said K. Wyking Garrett, President & CEO, Africatown Community Land Trust.

In addition to $1.26 million raised by ACLT and CRH, the City of Seattle’s Office of Housing provided $13.4 million in acquisition and construction financing and The City of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development provided $1.6 million in Equitable Development Initiative funds, with a further $2 million in construction financing from King County’s Transit Oriented Development Program.

KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment is providing $37.4 million of construction financing and $14.2 million of permanent financing, and Key Community Development Corporation is providing $25.7 million of low income housing tax credit equity.

About Africatown Community Land Trust

Africatown Community Land Trust was formed to acquire, steward and develop land assets that are necessary for the Black/African diaspora community to grow and thrive in place in the Central District as well as support other individuals and organizations in retention and development of land. Learn more at

About Community Roots Housing

Everyone has the right to a quality, affordable home. At Community Roots Housing, this truth drives our work. By embracing community-led development and engaging in deep-rooted partnerships, we’re fostering vibrant, equitable communities where everyone has access to safe, affordable, and welcoming homes. Today, with nearly 50 apartment buildings and over 2,000 residents, we continue our commitment to build community with and for people. Learn more at

About KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment

KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI) finances projects that stabilize and revitalize communities across all 50 states. As one of the top affordable housing capital providers in the country, KeyBank’s platform brings together construction, acquisition, bridge-to-re-syndication, and preservation loans, as well as lines of credit, Agency and HUD permanent mortgage executions, and equity investments for low-income housing projects, especially Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) financing. KeyBank has earned 10 consecutive “Outstanding” ratings on the Community Reinvestment Act exam, from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, making it the first U.S. national bank among the 25 largest to do so since the Act’s passage in 1977.

About KeyCorp

KeyCorp's roots trace back nearly 200 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $186.3 billion at December 31, 2021. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,000 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC.