Affordable Housing Update – April 2024

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Since the Annual Parish Meeting update in February, the Affordable Housing Committee and Vestry have continued to make progress in taking the next steps in the predevelopment process to explore affordable housing on campus.

NEW Update, April 24, 2024:

The Affordable Housing Committee is now in a period of accepting Expressions of Interest from affordable housing developers who meet criteria outlined by the Committee and Vestry. This decision process will be guided by the Committee and Vestry. No decisions have been made, but this is a key next step in the project to realize the vision of a multi-generational affordable housing community on the St. Nicholas site. A link to this Request for Expressions of Interest along with other updates recently share can be found at Questions? Email

Update from April 7, 2024:

  • On March 14, Saint Mark’s received an additional grant from Trinity Church Wall Street in the amount of $150,000 to complete pre-development studies and support the process of identifying a development partner.
  • On March 19, the Vestry approved moving to the stage of selecting a development partner. While feasibility analysis will be ongoing, the Committee and Vestry believes that feasibility has been demonstrated at a level that supports initiating a process to select a development partner with which to pursue affordable housing on the St. Nicholas site, in anticipation that the development partner would bring its expertise, credibility, and financial strength to the project, while being aligned missionally with Saint Mark’s and being supportive of the project criteria that were approved by the Vestry.
  • Continued participation in Enterprise Community Partners Faith-Based Development Initiative as part of a community of faith organizations looking to explore use of property for missional purposes.
  • Engaging in sustainability planning work with The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) This collaboration is part of a planned path to “Core” certification for ensuring sustainability and carbon reduction goals on top of the base standards for affordable housing in Washington State.

Integral to this work has been continued analysis on further historical rehabilitation of the building. Saint Mark’s has been working with atelierjones, an architecture firm, for initial predevelopment planning that includes two options—(1) retaining the historic wing of the St. Nicholas Building through historic rehab or (2) new construction entirely on the site. A key next step in this work will be a meeting with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection (SDCI) this spring to review an initial enhanced site plan to get feedback from the City on key aspects about the project design.

“There are still many questions to answer, but we are getting closer to a more informed view of what redeveloping the St. Nicholas property could look like for affordable housing on campus,” said Dean Steve Thomason. “The Committee and Vestry are working diligently and intentionally to ensure that such a project design remains congruent with the Cathedral’s mission and serves a multigenerational population at a variety of lower-income levels.”

The parish is invited to join in two opportunities to learn more and share questions:

  1. Wednesday, May 22 (6:45–8:15 p.m., in person in Bloedel Hall and by Zoom) – A Cathedral's Complicity in Redlining and Restrictive Covenants: a forum exploring the impact of Civil Rights history and racial segregation to consider how church communities, including Saint Mark’s, have a responsibility to honest face this and respond in just ways in our time.
  2. Wednesday, June 5 (7–8 p.m. by Zoom) – An Update on Affordable Housing at Saint Mark’s: an opportunity to hear from Committee and Vestry leadership on the project plans and ask questions.

The Affordable Housing Committee meets on the first Wednesday of each month. For questions, email

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