Shoreline Council approves Affordable Housing Tax Exemption for The Line Apartments

Friday, February 9, 2024

The Evergreen Point website shows the crane being dismantled from above The Line apartments

By Oliver Moffat

The crane above 132 NE 145th Street in the Parkwood neighborhood was dismantled in January, marking a milestone toward completion of 241 new homes in an apartment building to be called The Line.

In another milestone for the building, at the February 5, 2024 Shoreline City Council meeting, the council approved an affordable housing tax exemption for the apartments.

The Woonerf, looking south. Concept drawing

The Line will include more than 1,900 square feet of ground floor retail space and a Woonerf (pedestrian friendly road) will run through the property.

The developer is the Evergreen Point Group, who previously built the Träd apartments in Shoreline’s North City neighborhood which has since been renamed the Green Leaf.

Evergreen Point plans to build the Leeway apartments nearby at 104 NE 147th St. (see our previous article

Addressing the city’s housing affordability crisis while preserving open spaces by concentrating development in high density areas has been a priority for the city. 

A graph from the city of Shoreline shows the estimated number of new homes needed in the next twenty years versus the number of homes in 2019

According to data from the King County Housing Needs Dashboard, Shoreline needs to build 13,330 new homes before 2044 to accommodate our rising population and more than two-thirds of those homes need to be affordable to people making less than 80% of the area’s median income.

Scheduled to open in 2024, the Line apartments will have 241 homes of which 41 will be affordable to people earning less than 70% of Shoreline’s area median income (AMI) and eight will be affordable to people earning less than 80% of the AMI. Most of the affordable homes will be studios and one-bedroom apartments.

As an example, to be considered affordable a studio apartment could be rented for $1,578 per month to someone earning no more than $63,100 per year (70% AMI).

Despite the tax break, city estimates show tax revenue will increase overall. The apartment developers will still pay one-time taxes and fees totaling an estimated $1,750,000 according to the city. Because the building will have 241 homes, the city estimates it will collect $160,900 in annual tax revenues compared to the $5,300 per year it would have collected from the seven homes previously on the site of the new building.

However, to receive the tax break, apartment owners are required to present documentation to the city each year - which means city staff must spend time administering the program and enforcing compliance.

Although Shoreline’s MFTE program only requires 20% of units to be rented as affordable by the city’s definition, most buildings exceed that ratio according to city data. Shoreline currently has 14 buildings in the MFTE program that are providing 476 units of affordable housing out of 1,705 total - about 28% affordable. The data also shows another 22 MFTE apartments currently under development that will provide 1,168 affordable units out of 4,910 total (almost 24% affordable).


Anonymous,  February 10, 2024 at 7:19 AM  

Where is the incentive for people to earn more money then? The government is walking a fine line between helping and hurting when they give incentives based on income. Whatever happened to working an extra job? What happens if these people get a raise and push them $1,000 over the limit?

Anonymous,  February 10, 2024 at 11:33 AM  

The problem is the developer is also getting a abatement tax relieve For those who don’t know about it, what happens is the developer dose not have to pay property taxes for 12 years as long as they give a percentage to low income. If i recall its 25%

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