Greenbridge sits at the center of KCHA’s ambitious effort to revitalize the White Center neighborhood. Together with nearby Seola Gardens, we have committed more than $250 million in public and private funding since the early 2000s toward this goal. A pair of vibrant, mixed-income communities is the result.
KCHA developed Greenbridge to replace Park Lake Homes, a collection of World War II-era dwellings built to house defense workers. The new, modern, brightly colored apartments and townhomes of Greenbridge stand in stark contrast to the run-down, outdated buildings that low-income residents of Park Lake called home until 2005.
By the time all renters and homeowners have moved in, the community will be home to more than 3,000 people. With on-site facilities that include an elementary school, a community center, and a library branch, it emphasizes educational opportunities as well as housing. Greenbridge also boasts many sustainable features that conserve resources and limit its impact on the environment.
A Commitment to Mixed-income Housing
Located just a few blocks from the commercial core of White Center, Greenbridge will include 900 to 1,000 homes when complete. This collection of housing spreads over 100 acres and consists of both rental and for-sale homes. It also incorporates a variety of styles, from townhomes and cottages to apartment buildings and, in the future, single-family homes.
The people who will call Greenbridge home come from all parts of the income spectrum. Many have very low incomes. In fact, nearly 60 percent of its units are occupied by residents who lived in the neighborhood prior to redevelopment. Others are part of working families with moderate incomes. And as for-sale homes become available, homeowners able to pay market rates will start to move in. In the process, Greenbridge will become a true mixed-income community.
Resources that Enhance Community
Anchored by a new White Center Heights Elementary School and the renovated Jim Wiley Community Center, Greenbridge offers an array of community services. The neighborhood also features an Educare Early Learning and Head Start Center, a YWCA Adult Learning Center, and a King County branch library. Together, these facilities provide educational and advancement opportunities for residents of all ages.
Greenbridge also boasts an extensive network of open spaces and parks. New and improved pedestrian paths and trails link residents to the community center and White Center’s commercial core. These elements give residents a variety of ways to interact and play. In addition, public art projects embellish street corners, trails, parks, downspouts, balconies, and other neighborhood fixtures. Altogether, Greenbridge incorporates more than 50 different art pieces. They celebrate the diversity of ages, races, and cultures of the community.
A Greener Greenbridge
Greenbridge was engineered to limit its environmental impact. To start, its buildings are designed to conserve natural resources and reduce energy consumption. The community center showcases a 5-kilowatt solar electric installation, and all other buildings are designed to be solar ready. In addition, KCHA installed solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roofs of 24 public housing units. The 50.1 kilowatt array, made up of 213 panels on nine buildings, was the largest residential solar array in the state when constructed.
The community’s sustainable features include an innovative storm water management and drainage system. The system uses a series of bio-filtration swales to clean and filter runoff before it leaves the site. Greenbridge also maintains more natural surfaces by using narrower roads, sidewalks, driveways, and smaller parking areas. Together, these design changes decrease the area of impervious surfaces by about 20 percent.
In recognition of its creative approaches to sustainability, the Greenbridge redevelopment has been certified as 3-Star Built Green by the Master Builders of King and Snohomish Counties.