Whispering Pines Redevelopment Project
This web page will provide information for tenants, neighbors, and interested community members about the Housing Authority of Snohomish County’s (HASCO) plans to redevelop the Whispering Pines Apartments property. HASCO will update the page as there is additional information to share.
Whispering Pines is located in the City of Lynnwood along 52nd Ave West, just southeast of Highway 99. The site is over 12 acres and is developed with 240 apartment units in numerous small, two-story buildings.
HASCO purchased Whispering Pines in 1995 and completed significant renovations to the property using funding through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. In exchange for the tax credits, HASCO agreed to rent the units to households with income below 60% of area median and to cap the rents to be affordable to families at this income level.
Apartments today are constructed to be energy efficient and last for 50 years or longer. Common spaces and a percentage of units in new buildings must be fully accessible to people with disabilities. Whispering Pines was constructed to average quality over 50 years ago. The buildings and systems at Whispering Pines are reaching the end of their economic life and it is not feasible to improve the existing structures and utilities to last another 50 years.
Meanwhile, Snohomish County and the entire region face a housing affordability crisis. Vacant land appropriate for new apartments is scarce and expensive.
The redevelopment of Whispering Pines is an opportunity to create a vibrant, modern community that makes better use of the large site. HASCO envisions that the new development will be more pedestrian-focused and contain increased open space and modern amenities for residents.
HASCO is currently in the beginning stages of the land use approval and design process. The existing zoning only allows for 219 units to be replaced on the site, which would result in a loss of greatly needed affordable housing. HASCO is applying to the City of Lynnwood in 2018 for a Comprehensive Plan map amendment and rezone from medium-density to high-density residential zoning.
At this time, HASCO anticipates giving tenants a one-year notice to vacate in August 2020, and that the property will be vacant by the end of 2021 so that demolition can begin in 2022. HASCO is still finalizing its plan and schedule, so this is subject to change.