New Evergreen Impact Housing Fund, GMD Development Project Watershed Brings 145 Affordable Housing Units to Seattle Area

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Watershed
Located in Renton, Watershed brings 145 affordable apartments capable of housing over 350 individuals.

The Evergreen Impact Housing Fund (EIHF) and GMD Development are pleased to announce the grand opening of the Watershed apartment community.

The units are designed to be affordable to families earning 50-60% of King County’s annual median income, approximately $71,170 for a household of four. Watershed offers a mix of units, including spacious two- and three-bedroom units, addressing the common challenge of inadequate space in metropolitan affordable housing. 20% of the units are three-bedrooms for larger families.

“Washington State has an affordable housing crisis. There’s no denying it,” says Kris Hermanns, fund manager of EIHF at Seattle Foundation. “It’s difficult to build large-scale, affordable housing with family-size units. By investing in innovative funding solutions and working in collaboration with seasoned partners like GMD, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC), and Microsoft, we can bring more housing to more working families. That’s what Watershed represents.”

Watershed proves what’s possible when cross-sector capital comes together to make affordable housing happen and ensure working families can take part in the growing employment and educational opportunities available in this region. WSHFC’s Expanded Land Acquisition Program, supported by Microsoft Corporation, facilitated the land purchase. The nonprofit AOF/Pacific Affordable Housing Corp provided the predevelopment financing. The permanent financing for Watershed included Low-Income Housing Tax Credits allocated by the WSHFC, tax credit equity investment from Boston Financial, construction and permanent financing from Citi Community Capital, and gap funding from Microsoft through EIHF.

Microsoft has pledged $50 million to Evergreen Impact Housing Fund to support much-needed affordable housing in our region. “Watershed is proof of what can happen when the public and private sectors work together to address our region’s housing and affordability crisis,” says Jane Broom, senior director at Microsoft Philanthropies. “We are proud to partner and provide necessary resources to help get projects like this across the finish line.”

GMD Development specializes in building affordable housing, and Watershed’s strategic location prioritizes the needs of working families. Situated just blocks from downtown Renton, the building is near essential services, parks, dining, and public transportation, including the future South Renton Transit Center. With convenient access to Interstate 405, Seattle, and SeaTac, Watershed is an ideal location for working families.

“As a mission-based developer, we know how difficult it is to create affordable housing for families,” said Steve Dymoke, partner at GMD. “We’re excited about improving our local community by providing families with safe, accessible, and sustainable homes at Watershed.”

A grand opening ceremony was held yesterday, featuring speakers from GMD, EIHF, the City of Renton, and Microsoft. The event culminated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Watershed is fully leased and is EIHF’s second project to open to families this year, with two more apartment communities expected to open later in 2024.