Members of Ethiopian Community in Seattle, Beacon Development Group, and HumanGood Affordable Housing celebrated the grand opening of Ethiopian Village over traditional Ethiopian food, coffee, and wine. Ethiopian Village is made possible by Ethiopian Community in Seattle and HumanGood Affordable Housing partnering to provide 90 units of culturally appropriate, affordable senior housing. This new project synergizes with the existing community center which was renovated and expanded to meet the current and future needs of the Ethiopian Community in Seattle.
One of the most prominent features of Ethiopian Village is the large vinyl prints which grace the sides of the Ethiopian Village with murals of Ethiopian traditions, motifs, and values. These murals were designed by a local artist from the community.
The building is connected to the renovated ECS headquarters and a coffee shop to recognize the social tradition of meeting over coffee, and the beginning of a community. Ethiopian Village welcomes all residents who meet the income qualifications, and residents do not need to be Ethiopian to live in the community.
Ethiopian Village is currently accepting applications from low-income seniors 55 years and older.
Solar panel installation reduces carbon footprint and costs for affordable housing sector.
HumanGood has been making strides in our efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and costs for our properties and residents. Beacon Development Group, HumanGood’s development arm, has been installing solar panels on new affordable housing communities and rehabilitation projects using two solar technologies: solar photovoltaic, which uses sunlight to generate electric currents, and thermal, which uses sunlight to heat water used in the communities. Currently, more than a dozen affordable housing communities own their own solar system whether it is solar electric or solar hot water. Outside ownership, there are also other options to provide these technologies for our communities.
The Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) and Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) programs help provide clean energy and save costs for residents at no cost to the property. The programs are offered to select California utility providers and present financial benefits, improve environmental sustainability, and offset the costs of climate change for communities. Approximately 50 percent of the solar produced will reduce residents’ energy bills while the other 50 percent benefits the communities themselves.
“We have the footprint across our portfolio to use the sun to power our buildings and in some cases, heat the water used by our residents,” said George Sousou, construction management director, Beacon Development Group. “There are many benefits to solar whether it’s the reduction in our buildings’ carbon footprint, the cost savings to daily operations and residents, or just doing our part of being responsible building owners.”
Beacon’s construction management department installed solar technology on four HumanGood affordable housing communities across California through the SOMAH program: Valley Vista, Judson Terraces Homes, Life’s Garden, and Sycamore Terrace. Fern Lodge is also 75 percent complete with its installation. Beacon plans to complete installation at six more communities in the next year under a contract with SunRun.
“I hope to one day see solar and other renewable energy alternatives across our entire portfolio of affordable housing and life plan communities,” said Sousou. By the end of 2024, Beacon plans to install solar panels in a total of 23 HumanGood affordable housing communities in California.
Beacon Development Group was honored as LifeWire’s Community Partner of the Year at their Hope Starts Here Luncheon, held on May 25th in Bellevue, WA. Beacon has been working closely with LifeWire to develop affordable housing for individuals and families escaping domestic violence. We are in the final stages of renovating an existing apartment building with 25 one- and two- bedroom units as well as the new construction of a 2,900 square foot resident service building.
“It is an honor to partner with LifeWire to build housing for survivors facing the impossible choice of staying in an abusive relationship or becoming homeless,” shares Alberta Bleck, the project manager. “We encountered unique challenges in developing this housing, but the strength of the team allowed us to overcome barriers, adding needed shelter and transitional housing units in an area rich with amenities and opportunities for survivors and their families to heal and thrive.”
LifeWire is Washington State’s largest provider serving survivors of domestic violence, offering holistic support, including homelessness and housing stability services, legal assistance, and advocacy. In 2022, LifeWire provided life-saving services to 3,300 survivors across Washington State. Since its formation in 1982, LifeWire has served 160,000 survivors, more than the population of Bellevue.
HumanGood affordable housing community Castle Argyle was recently announced as a winner in the 60th Annual Gold Nugget Awards 2023 Award of Merit list for Best Affordable 55+ Housing. According to the Gold Nugget Award website, Award of Merit winners are selected by a panel of top industry experts who reviewed nearly 650 entries that showcase the most exciting trends in design, planning, and building. Castle Argyle serves seniors 62+ and adults 18+ with disabilities earning less than 50% of the area median income. With efforts from Beacon Development Group, Walton Construction, and Relativity Architects, the nearly 100-year-old building underwent renovations in 2022 that feature upgraded units and common spaces, energy-efficient appliances, new elevators and HVAC systems. The exterior also features new landscaping and a unique, custom mural by Puerto Rican-based artist Roberto Biaggi. Restoration of the Castle Argyle building was brought back to its classic Hollywood style.
“I want to recognize the perseverance, innovation, and resilience of the entire design, development, operations, and resident services team, that overcame so many challenges to do what is right,” said Cindy Proctor, vice president at Beacon Development Group. “They, along with the residents themselves, endured COVID-19 isolation, temporary relocations, and the stress of rehabilitating the building.” Castle Argyle’s renovations were graciously funded by Citi Bank and U.S. Bank, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Golden Nugget Awards celebrates art, innovation, and development in categories such as senior housing, mixed-use, educational, and indoor-outdoor lifestyle. The awards are presented at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, the leading event of Leading Builders of America. This year, the event will be held on May 24 in Anaheim.
Beacon is proud to announce the financial closing of KWA 15th & Tacoma for the Korean Women’s Association. The new building in downtown Tacoma will include 88 units of deeply affordable housing for seniors, with a focus for seniors with limited English proficiency. To support residents’ ability to age in place, an onsite social services coordinator will assist residents identify, access, and coordinate services. The building will also include a 2,300 square foot Learning Center where residents and community members can benefit from events and programs of the Korean Women’s Association, including an onsite meal program.
Korean Women’s Association’s 15th & Tacoma project is made possible through funds from the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Community Redevelopment Association, Pierce County, Pierce County Community Development Corporation, the Washington Housing Trust Fund, the HUD 202 program, Key Bank, Key Community Development Corporation, Heritage Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank, and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. Design and construction partners include Environmental Works and Marpac Construction.
In December 2022, Filipino Community Village was recognized by the Senior Housing News Award for excellence in affordable housing. The 95-unit affordable senior housing development features a 5,000 square foot Innovation Learning Center for seniors and students to access Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) programming. The highlight of this project is a commissioned set of four murals in the new plaza by an internationally renowned Filipino artist. This artwork educates the community about the history of Filipino Americans from pre-Spanish occupation to Seattle’s present day Filipino community.
Filipino Community Village is the result of a partnership between HumanGood Affordable Housing, Beacon Development Group’s parent company, and the Filipino Community of Seattle (FCS). FCS has provided services to Filipinos in Seattle for decades and for many years has had the goal of building affordable senior housing. The site is adjacent to the existing Filipino Community Center, where residents have access to programming including a food bank, health screening, and cultural programs.
Beacon and HumanGood Affordable Housing are honored to receive the national 2nd place award in the Affordable Housing category from Senior Housing News Award and look forward to future projects with the Filipino Community of Seattle.
The redevelopment of the 64-unit Canterbury Village in Santa Clarita, CA and 75-unit The Gardens in Glendale, CA have both reached 50% completion. Canterbury Village started its rehab in May 2022 with completing 4 out of its 6 phases. Closely behind, The Gardens started its rehab in June 2022, with completing 5 out of its 9 phases of the renovation. Completed rehab to date includes renovations of their property management offices, laundry rooms, libraries and community rooms. New mailbox locations and elevator shafts work has been completed as well. Both properties are expected to be completed by mid-2023.
HumanGood Affordable Housing in partnership with Sunnyvale Life, Inc. has secured financing for a new affordable housing community in Morgan Hill, CA. Morgan Hill Senior Housing will be a 3-story apartment building consisting of 83 large one-bedroom units serving low-income and special needs seniors.
Outdoor amenities include a central courtyard, raised planter beds, drought tolerant landscaping, a covered walkway and drop-off area that leads to 37-pervious resident parking spaces. Equipped with photovoltaic solar panels on the roof top, this apartment building will be fully electric only. Interior features include a welcoming lobby, manager and service coordinator offices, community room, secured laundry room, media room, fitness center and a 3rd floor roof deck open space. The total building square footage is estimated to be 69,825 sq. ft.
After nearly two years of construction, Beacon Development Group and HumanGood Affordable Housing celebrated the grand reopening of Castle Argyle Apartments in Los Angeles, CA. With construction completed back in May 2022, this 96-unit senior housing community has been redeveloped to be better than ever.
The building renovations included seismic upgrades; new mechanical systems such as two new elevators; new electrical systems and energy upgrades through solar voltaic panels to help offset electricity costs; as well as new plumbing systems. On the interior, the grand lobby was designed to highlight is classic Hollywood style and new offices layouts including space for resident services and a nurse. All unit interiors received new appliances, kitchens, and bathrooms. Each unit also received a central heating and air conditioning system for the first time. Exterior site work upgrades include new drought-tolerant landscaping and concrete/asphalt repaving, exterior building repairs and painting.
The iconic “Castle Argyle” sign that sits atop the building and the historic “Castle Argyle Arms” sign above the entry staircase on Argyle Avenue were also restored to its original neon colors and are fully operational again. Two new murals were also added; one inside the lobby and an external mural on the parking structure wall. The lobby mural provides a decorative and welcoming visual feature for residents and visitors which has a prominent position upon entry. The exterior mural serves not only as a powerful artistic feature enhancing a large concrete wall, but also represents the diverse history of Castle Argyle, its residents and the community. Muralist Roberto Biaggi, an artist based in San Juan, Puerto Rico who has over 125 international installations, developed the final design.
A combination of tax-exempt bonds and low-income housing tax credits was used to fund the rehabilitation of the entire building. The tax credit equity partner and construction lender for the building was U.S. Bank, and permanent financing was provided by Citibank Community Capital. Special thanks are due to the project team of Relativity Architects and Walton Construction, the general contractor.
Beacon Development is pleased to announce the recent hiring of five new team members: Cacima Lee, Roberta Schur, Miranda Nelson, Anna Bascom, and Amar Halaweh.
Cacima Lee is a seasoned community and political organizer with her most recent project the resettlement of Afghan refugees. She recently graduated from the University of Washington’s Evans School with her Master’s in Public Administration. We are excited to welcome her as our office manager.
Roberta Schur brings over 20 years of experience in affordable housing and community development to the team as our
new Senior Housing Developer. Roberta worked previously with the Tacoma Housing Authority and similar nonprofits in the Chicago area and the Puget Sound.
Miranda Nelson joins us as an Asset Manager, helping oversee properties with HUD and LIHTC layers in Washington State. Prior to joining BDG, she worked for the Washington State Department of Commerce overseeing a portfolio of affordable housing as a Compliance Asset Manager.
Anna Bascom began her affordable housing career 11 years ago as a HUD Performance-Based Contract Administrator where she supported the preservation of thousands of affordable housing units. She joins Beacon Development Group in 2022 as the Asset Manager Lead.
Amar Halaweh is a senior at the University of Washington studying Real Estate. Prior to joining Beacon, she worked as an Escrow Assistant at Shannon Escrow Inc. We’re excited to have her join us as our Housing Development Intern through the Housing Development Consortium.
Finally, Beacon proudly celebrates George Sousou’s promotion to Construction Management Director – California. We look forward to expanding the work we do in California to better serve the community.