Drawing of proposed development. (City of Lynnwood)

Drawing of proposed development. (City of Lynnwood)

Lynnwood council OKs another city center housing development

Among 239 total housing units, Kinect@Lynnwood is set to bring 48 low- to moderate-income dwellings.

LYNNWOOD — Another housing development is coming to Lynnwood’s city center.

Kinect@Lynnwood is a 239-unit housing project slated for Alderwood Mall Boulevard. The city council voted unanimously Monday on a development agreement with the builder, Bellevue-based American Property Development.

“It’s exciting to see so much activity in the city center and see so much of this actually get developed,” council member Ian Cotton said during the meeting.

The 1.6-acre site currently houses a Hertz Car Rental and a closed coffee stand.

Kinect@Lynnwood’s units will range from studios to two-bedroom apartments.

Inside, the development will offer a gym, library, lounge, outdoor recreational area, a courtyard with green space and package pickup and delivery lockers.

Construction is set to start May 1 and is expected to last 20 months, chief investment officer BJ Kuula said Tuesday.

The agreement comes less than a week after a study from a countywide task force showed the housing supply in the county was 90,000 units short of the demand.

At the same time, the area is expecting continued growth as Lynnwood awaits the arrival of the Lynnwood Link, an extension of the light rail system, which is set to open in 2024.

In December, the council OK’d a similar agreement for Northline Village, a development with 1,370 housing units, seven-story office buildings and 170,000 square feet for retail shops, all near incoming light rail.

Unlike Northline Village, Kinect@Lynnwood’s agreement includes affordable housing.

In return, American Property Development will use two incentives the city installed to spur development, the multi-unit housing tax exemption (MFTE) and the transportation impact fee program.

Kinect@Lynnwood is the first project to use the local multi-unit housing property tax exemption, which gives tax breaks to builders.

To qualify, at least 20% of the development must be for low- to moderate-income households. For Kinect@Lynnwood, that would be 48 dwellings.

Low-income households are individuals or families who make less than 80% of the county’s median income — about $70,000 per year or less. Moderate-income households are individuals or families earning between 80% and 115% of the county’s median income — $70,000 to $104,400 per year.

“I appreciate that we’re going to have a first step toward affordable housing,” council member George Hurst said during the meeting. “It’s a moderate step, but it’s a step.”

The transportation impact fee program was enacted in 2010 to attract housing projects in the city center and boost the need for transit in the area. Northline Village, the CityCenter Apartments and Lynnwood Senior Apartments also took part in the program.

Additionally, the city center is located in an opportunity zone, a federal government designation that gives tax breaks to business investors.

“I don’t think we should be naive that the developers aren’t getting a pretty good deal for not a lot of affordable housing,” Hurst said.

Based in Bellevue, American Property Development has built and manages housing developments in Tacoma, Olympia and Puyallup.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

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