The Theodora’s owners, Volunteers of America, describe the proposed closure and sale of the 114-unit facility as necessary to improve the lives of the residents, most who get by exclusively on public assistance and veterans benefits.
“The 50 year-old building – with small efficiency rooms, no individual kitchens and an overall antiquated design – no longer serves our mission or the needs of our residents,” said David Burch, a Volunteers of America spokesman.The charity is selling the building, and using the proceeds (up to $9,000 per resident) to relocate their tenants to other sites. They only went that route after considering their options;
Volunteers of America worked for years to craft a redevelopment plan that was feasible for The Theodora, Burch said by email. When none was found, the charity contacted 75 other nonprofits in an effort to offload the facility; none were willing to take on the property.
“Nonprofits told us that because of the building’s age and current configuration, they could not afford to acquire, renovate and operate the building,” Burch said. “This situation cannot be sustained long-term and we decided that selling The Theodora on the private market would be the most prudent solution.”Enter the professional kibitzers;
News of the sale prompted the formation of the Theodora Rescue Committee, which, with the help of the Tenants Union of Washington State, has held several protests calling for the building to be maintained as-is.At whose expense? We're guessing not the Tenants Union of Washington States's.
And is anyone surprised that this 'fight' is being billed as the rich against the poor;
Members of the committee have contended the building will be replaced with “luxury housing for the wealthy.” They’ve asked the supporters to fight to stop the redevelopment from going forward.I.e. to prevent Seattle from having more housing;
Goodman Real Estate Group [the developer buying the Theodora] President and CEO George Petrie rejected the contention that the recreated apartments will be out of the reach of Northeast Seattle workers.
Petrie said the apartments will be aimed at people earning 65 to 85 percent of the median income for the area. While the exact figure varies by family size, that amount equates to less than $45,000 a year for a single person or $64,000 for a family of four.
“The new apartments will not be luxury homes – rather we are committed to adding more workforce housing to the neighborhood and city,” Petrie said by email.Housing for all those newly-made-middle-class by Seattle's $15 per hour minimum wage?