The old Holly Park consisted of 871 units of low-income housing spread over 102 acres along curvilinear streets.
Built in 1941 to house defense workers, the one- and two-story wood frame buildings were designated as public housing by the Lanham Act in the early 1950s. They housed returning veterans and low-income families for five decades.
As years of use and weathering took their toll, Holly Park became expensive to maintain and less effective as public housing.
Reconnecting with South Seattle
The HOPE VI grant that made redevelopment possible was designed to knit the distressed Holly Park neighborhood back into the surrounding community.
Streets were redrawn to reconnect to the area's street grid and New Urbanist planning and design principles were applied. Housing was designed to bring together the people of the neighborhood as well. Narrow streets slow traffic and front porches located closer to the street give residents a good excuse to trade greetings and share experiences. Low fences around private back yards provide each household a sense of security and ownership of their own space, but still allow for visibility and conversation with neighbors.
Developing neighborhood amenities
NewHolly's Neighborhood Campus sits at the heart of the neighborhood. A group of non-profit partners work together at the campus to provide beneficial services to the community, including a learning center, a Seattle Public Library branch, classrooms for South Seattle Community College, Head Start, a pre-school, youth tutoring, and employment programs, among others.
Trees and open spaces are also key features at NewHolly. Van Asselt and John C. Little Sr. Parks offer large areas of green space, while a number of smaller community and pocket parks are spread throughout the neighborhood.
Starting in the summer of 2009, LINK Light Rail service will serve NewHolly at the Othello Street station, giving residents more convenient access to the Rainier Valley, downtown Seattle, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Creating a livable mixed-income community
A cornerstone of the redevelopment is the transition of the neighborhood to a mixed-income community, where approximately one-third of the housing will be low-income rentals, one-third market rate rentals, and one-third privately-owned homes. When complete, more than 1,400 units of housing will be available at NewHolly.
By returning land at NewHolly to private ownership, several goals have been accomplished. First, proceeds from the land and home sales have helped fund low-income housing in the neighborhood and elsewhere. Second, the land is returned to the city’s property tax rolls, where it can generate revenues to help keep the neighborhood economically self-sufficient. Finally, it means that new in-city homes have been made available at reasonable prices for Seattle residents in a revitalized neighborhood.
The mix of housing at NewHolly now includes units for residents with extremely low incomes (30 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|
|Public housing||Extremely low income||400|
|For-sale housing||Any income level||364|
|Affordable rental housing||Low income||288|
|Affordable for-sale housing||Low income||112|
|Senior housing||Extremely low income||80|
|Senior housing, assisted living||Any income level||54|
|Senior housing, assisted living||Extremely low income||50|
|Senior housing, assisted living||Low income||50|
|Rental housing||Any income level||16|
|Units of on-site housing||1,414|
Redevelopment resulted in 463 more units of off-site housing for extremely low-income residents. An additional 250 housing assistance vouchers were also awarded to Seattle Housing Authority.
Total investment at NewHolly will reach $340 million. This money provides for housing construction, the development of infrastructure—including new roads, sidewalks, and utility systems—and the creation of parks, playgrounds, open spaces, and important community amenities like the Neighborhood Campus and Elder Village:
|HOPE VI grant||$50,000,000|
|Other public funding||$50,000,000|
|Tax credit partnership equity||$40,000,000|
1995 — The Holly Park community is awarded $47 million in HOPE VI funding for redevelopment.
1996 — Residents of Holly Park receive counseling and assistance for their temporary relocation off-site.
1999 — Rental housing in Phase I is completed and residents begin returning to NewHolly.
2001 — Phase II rental housing and the community's Elder Village senior housing are both finished.
2004 — Seattle Housing Authority turns over market-rate home construction to private builders.
2005 — NewHolly's last rental housing, located in Phase III, is completed and occupied.
2007 — The last of 871 Holly Park replacement housing units is available for rental.