Saint Mark’s is exploring the redevelopment of the St. Nicholas property for affordable housing as a key strategy in the broader vision of the Cathedral’s mission and purpose to seek and serve Christ in all persons. 

In September 2022, the Vestry formed the Affordable Housing Exploratory Committee (AHE) to further assess the opportunity of affordable housing on campus. This work is guided by our mutual ministry goals of Restorative Justice and Systemic Change, Intergenerational and Innovative Community, and Creation Care and Carbon Reduction. The Committee is still in an exploration phase to refine the vision of such a project on campus.  

There are two opportunities to learn more and ask questions:

1. Special Wednesday Evening Cathedral Commons:

Exploring Affordable Housing on Campus

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall or Online via Zoom. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family)


  • The slides from the Wednesday night presentation are now available here.
  • Resources shared to learn more about affordable housing are available here.
  • The Visioning document distributed at the meeting can be found here.
  • A complete video recording of the Wednesday evening forum may be seen on this page or here.

Special Sunday Morning Parish Forum

A Conversation with the Affordable Housing Exploratory Committee

SUNDAY, SEPTMEBER 24, 10:10–10:50 A.M., Bloedel Hall only

A complete video is now available below.

AHE Committee Members include:

Co-chairs: John Hoerster and Emily Meeks

Members: Dean Steve Thomason, Lynne Cobb, Scott Kovacs, Re Knack, Scott Hulet, Roberta Nestaas, Alexandra Thompson  


Complete videos of the Wednesday evening forum on September 13 and the Sunday morning Q&A on September 24 may now be seen below.

Please use this form to submit your own responses to the questions raised.

F.A.Q. about Affordable Housing and the St. Nicholas Site

Why is Saint Mark’s exploring affordable housing?

The Vestry has identified affordable housing as a missional initiative worthy of our consideration. The continued rise in the cost of buying and renting homes in Seattle has exacerbated a housing crisis. Growth in the private market housing sector does not address the needs of those with lower incomes. More housing is needed that will remain affordable to lower-income households for the long term.

We see the possible redevelopment of the St. Nicholas property as a strategy serving the broader vision of the Cathedral’s mission and purpose to seek and serve Christ in all persons, to strive for respect and dignity for all people, and to build on our long-term commitment to address homelessness and hunger in our region.

If affordable housing is developed on campus, what is envisioned?

Neighborhoods matter to the fabric and well-being of families. This project tangibly creates an opportunity for many individuals and families to experience an affordable home closely connected to schools, transit, urban amenities, and green spaces.

We are looking to serve a multigenerational population at a variety of lower income levels.  We envision the design would be fitting architecturally with campus, include initiatives to minimize carbon impact, and create opportunity for meaningful connection for residents, parishioners, and community members to interact as part of daily life.

What is the plan for the St. Nicholas building?

No decision has been made, and any change in building use would unfold over a period of a few years. The structure has aesthetic beauty, history, and personal connection for many, but also has major repair, maintenance, and operational challenges. We are carefully assessing the costs and benefits of preserving the building, modifying the building, or pursuing new construction with the primary goals of safety for residents, sustainability, and financial viability.

Has a decision been made?

No. This exploratory process was initiated by the Vestry at Saint Mark’s and will continue to be guided by its leadership and the work of the Affordable Housing Exploratory (AHE) Committee. We recognize there are many stakeholders in this process.

How can I learn more?

Visit this page for updates, contact, or subscribe to the Cathedral’s newsletter here. (Check the "All-parish Announcements & Newsletter" box.)