Mithun, SvR Design, Nakano Associates, Seattle Housing Authority residents, West Seattle community members, and Housing Authority staff worked together to create High Point's award-winning redevelopment plan.
The plan includes three major components: quality design, a healthy environment and an engaged community.
Redevelopment at High Point incorporates the community and the environmental sustainability of the area. It calls for creating a safe, high quality and healthy residential environment with a range of housing types, each constructed to Built Green standards. The redeveloped High Point became fully integrated with the surrounding community.
Reconnecting with West Seattle
New streets have been realigned and reconnected with the West Seattle grid, new neighborhood facilities and community services operate at more inviting locations, and the mix of housing and resident income levels are more compatible with the greater neighborhood.
Seattle Housing Authority has worked from the start to include residents and community members in redevelopment planning. Through many meetings and collaborative design workshops, the residents and planners kept their eyes on making High Point a home for children and people of all ages and cultures. More than 450 High Point residents and their West Seattle neighbors participated in a design survey and hands-on workshop that considered what the redeveloped High Point should look like.
Placemaking is an ongoing process, and programs focused on afterschool activities, daycare, healthcare and community gardening keep residents engaged as neighborhood stewards.
Planning for open spaces
To maintain the green, garden-like feel, the plan designated over 20 acres of land for parks, open spaces, and playgrounds. A four-acre, central park is at the heart of the community. Another park features a large pond and a jogging trail, and several other community and pocket parks are scattered throughout High Point.
Even planting strips along streets are greener and wider than elsewhere in Seattle. The plan tripled the number of previously existing trees. More than 100 mature trees have been retained and about 2,600 new trees have been planted along streets and parks. Homes were located to preserve trees where possible.
Creating a livable mixed-income community
As a result of a decade-long redevelopment, High Point has grown to include hundreds of affordable and market-rate units with a final build-out capacity of approximately 1,700 units. Most homes have private yards and porches and sit on safe streets with controlled traffic. The homes show great variety in architecture, with varying character and styles on each block.
Proceeds from the land and home sales have helped fund low-income housing in the neighborhood and elsewhere. In addition, the land has been returned to the city's property tax rolls, where it can generate revenues to help keep the neighborhood economically self-sufficient.
The completed High Point neighborhood includes housing units for residents with very low incomes (50 percent of area median income or below) and low incomes (80 percent or below) in addition to market-rate rental and for-sale housing:
|Housing type||Income Category||Units|
|For-sale housing||Market rate||790|
|Public housing||Very low income||350|
|Affordable rental housing||Low income||250|
|Senior housing||Market rate||160|
|Senior housing||Very low income||75|
|Affordable for-sale housing||Low income||56|
|Units of on-site housing||1,681|
Redevelopment at High Point has resulted in the creation of 291 additional units of off-site housing for extremely low income residents. In addition, 397 new housing assistance vouchers have been added to Seattle Housing Authority's inventory.
In total, $550 million has been invested in the redevelopment of High Point. This money has gone toward the construction of energy-efficient public and private housing, the development of infrastructure—including High Point's innovative natural drainage system—and the creation of parks, community gardens, open spaces, the library, the Neighborhood Campus, and more:
|Other public funding||$106,000,000|
|Tax credit partnership equity||$56,000,000|
|HOPE VI grant||$35,000,000|
2000 — The High Point community is awarded $35 million in HOPE VI funding for redevelopment.
2001 — Relocation counseling and assistance for more than 700 High Point households begins.
2003 — The City Council approves High Point's Master Plan. Demolition of old public housing units starts.
2005 — Families return to new public housing units in Phase I. For-sale home construction begins.
2006 — Families continue to move into finished Phase I homes. Phase II infrastructure construction begins.
2008 — Families begin moving into rental and for-sale housing in Phase II of the neighborhood.
2009 — Natural drainage construction will be complete, and High Point will be reconnected to West Seattle.
2010 — The construction of all rental housing was completed. Private homeownership development contrinues until the nearly 1,700-unit capacity of the site is reached.