Seattle City Council approves $138.5 million sale of Mercer Mega Block

Sep 16, 2019, 5:44 PM
Mercer mega block...
The Mercer Mega Block is three properties on Mercer Street and Dexter Avenue. It spans three blocks, and sits on 2.86 acres for just over 124,000 square feet of space. (City of Seattle)
(City of Seattle)

Seattle City Council approved a proposal to sell three properties in South Lake Union, known as the Mercer Mega Block.

Durkan proposes Mercer Mega Block sale to fund housing, streetcar

The deal was voted through unanimously by the council Monday. The properties will go to Alexandria Real Estate Equities, who will pay $138.5 million to the city, as well as a one-time $5 million payment toward addressing Seattle’s homeless crisis.

The Mercer Mega Block spans three sites on Mercer Street and Dexter Avenue, and sits on 2.86 acres for just over 124,000 square feet of space.

The agreement with Alexandria also stipulates that the company build 175 units of affordable housing, a space to lease out to the Department of Parks and Recreation for a community center, and daycares.

In total, the properties will feature at least three licensed childcare facilities, in hopes of providing accessible, affordable options to Seattle parents.

“This is not a study, and this is not a test — this is a policy solution to a pressing crisis we see throughout the city of Seattle,” said Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda.

The city has yet to decide on how it will spend the money from Mega Block sale. According to Councilmember Mike O’Brien, Mayor Jenny Durkan will submit her proposal in a week.

Durkan has described the deal as a boon to jobs, housing, and more.

Seattle unveils new plan to curb affordable housing crisis

“This was a generational opportunity to take an underutilized city-owned property, and to make a real, transformational investment to create jobs, create more affordable and mixed income housing, and to build more safe transportation connections,” she said in an August briefing.

The city put out a request for proposals in July of 2018, looking for specific models from a buyer. It got six offers it liked, and asked for best and final offers, suggesting improvements. Three came back with stepped-up proposals, including Alexandria, which the city says upped its price 40 percent to secure the deal.

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Seattle City Council approves $138.5 million sale of Mercer Mega Block