The Sunday Seattle Times article gave a nice overview of the history of the Villa Apartments. It did not mention Capitol Hill Housing’s role in reviving the building. While rooms may no longer rent for $2.50 a week, the Villa Apartments still stands because of the work of Capitol Hill Housing. In the late 1990s, this affordable housing and community building organization purchased the Villa, which had fallen into disrepair. The commercial facades were restored, strong retail tenants were attracted, and a major extension was added on to the back side of the property. The renovation was a key early act in helping transform Pike/Pike from a driving corridor to a destination. In a neighborhood where new studio apartments now rent for more than $2,000 a month, the Villa is an example of CHH’s efforts to strengthen the community and keep rents affordable for regular working people.
A few years ago, in collaboration with the Northwest School, CHH added a mural to the west side of the site. I’ll attach a photo of it. The muralist was Derek Wu working with NW School students.
Michael Seiwerath, Capitol Hill Housing