Campus Transformation FAQs
What’s happening at the Together Center campus?
In early 2021, the old strip mall that served as the Together Center health and human services hub was torn down. It’s being replaced with a modern complex of connected buildings that will house a wider range of human services, along with the addition of affordable residential housing. The new complex should be completed in 2023.
The old strip mall was over 35 years old, deteriorating and requiring increasingly expensive repairs. It no longer served the environmental, technology and meeting needs of a 21st Century community. In 2017, the Together Center board of directors paid off the mortgage on the property, providing an opportunity to leverage their equity to benefit today’s health and human service needs. After extensive study and discussion, the board chose to build a new, larger human services hub that also includes affordable housing.
How will the property look different?
When complete, the new campus will feature two adjacent buildings. On the ground floor of each building, an expanded Together Center will continue to serve as a health and human services hub. The five stories above the ground floor will feature 280 units of affordable housing. In place of an aging one-story strip mall, the overall design of the new complex will be clean, modern, and compatible with its neighborhood.
Why stay in the same location?
Together Center has conducted business on NE 87th Street for over 30 years. The location has been ideal for a health and human services campus – across the street from the Bella Bottega Shopping Center, three blocks from the Redmond Transit Center, and within walking distance of schools, grocery stores, shops, the library and restaurants. It is also located within five blocks of the light rail station that will open in 2024.
Will clients be able to access services during construction?
All 20 agencies are continuing to provide services during construction. Before demolition, Together Center worked with the agencies to find temporary spaces within a two-mile radius of the campus. With help from our development partners, Together Center provided moving costs into temporary relocation spaces. All but one of the agencies will return when construction is complete. Temporary location information for each agency is available on our Campus Map & Info webpage.
Who is able to access Together Center’s services?
Together Center’s services are open to everyone in need. Each year over 30,000 people visit our campus. They come from as far away as Renton in the south, from central Eastside communities like Issaquah, Bellevue and Redmond, from Bothell and Kenmore in the north, and from Duvall and Snoqualmie Valley to the east.
What services will be offered in the new hub?
The new health and human services hub will be 25% larger, and many of the current services will remain the same, including:
- Health Care
- Dental Care
- Mental Health Counseling
- Addiction support
- Case Management
- Behavioral Health Care
- Peer Support Groups
- Advocacy Services
- Childcare Resources
- Disability Services
- Economic Assistance
- Job Training
- Language and Translation Services
- Cultural Navigation
- Child Development and Child Therapies
Together Center staff, board of directors and partner agencies continually review community needs to determine where there are service gaps and how clients can be better served. The new campus provides space to welcome additional providers to the Together Center community.
Why add affordable housing?
The high cost of housing, a lack of housing supply, and inflationary pressures have driven housing out of reach for many, or perhaps most, Puget Sound residents. Fewer housing options create monumental changes in the makeup of local neighborhoods, commuting patterns, parenting concerns, childcare options, and many other factors. Affordable housing leads the list of community needs not only in Redmond, but throughout the Eastside and across the nation. Together Center wants to do its part to add to the much needed affordable housing supply.
Who will live in the affordable housing units?
The 280 affordable housing units will be reserved for working families with a range of household situations and needs. All tenants will pay below-market rents. The units will be divided into two groups:
- 200 “workforce” housing units will be operated by Polaris, a division of Inland Group. These units are reserved for those earning 50% to 60% of Area Median Income (AMI). The AMI for a family of four in Redmond is approximately $100,000 per year, so these workers will likely be teachers, nurses, counselors, trade and construction workers, small business owners, service industry workers and so forth.
- 80 “low-income” housing units will be operated by Horizon Housing Alliance, a well-respected nonprofit affordable housing provider. These units are reserved for those earning 30% to 50% of AMI – about 1/3 of Redmond’s workforce – which could include essential but poorly paid workers, such as food service employees, janitors, home-care aides and others. Residents may also include people with disabilities, and people transitioning into permanent housing. On-site, culturally aware case management will be provided for these residents.
- Both “workforce” and “low-income” housing will include larger 2- and 3-bedroom units to better serve families with children and multi-generational households.
What is your plan for traffic and parking?
Both the affordable housing residents and daily visitors to Together Center will be encouraged to utilize easily-accessible transit options and, in 2024, the Redmond light rail station. The campus itself will feature an underground parking lot shared by residents and visitors. In addition, Together Center’s one-stop model helps people receive services from multiple agencies in a single location, thus reducing the amount of in-and-out traffic at the site. Together Center’s traffic and parking plan has been reviewed and approved by the City of Redmond.
Who’s involved in this project?
Together Center, a 501c3 nonprofit, is the agency that conceptualized, catalyzed and is guiding this campus transformation project. Upon completion, Together Center will own the land and operate the ground floor health and human services hub. Together Center has entered into long-term partnerships with two respected affordable housing groups – Inland Group and Horizon Housing Alliance. Inland Group is the developer and general contractor for the project and, once complete, will also manage the 200 “workforce” housing units. Horizon Housing Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit, will manage the 80 “low income” housing units.
Where are you getting the funding for this project?
The funding for this over $100 million project comes from a wide variety of sources. Inland Group and Horizon Housing Alliance have secured over 90% of the project financing via a combination of tax credits, bank bonds and low-interest loans. Together Center is funding its portion of the project expenses with sources including an upfront ground lease payment and the “Together Strong” capital campaign. Capital campaign fundraising efforts are ongoing and funders to date include a mix of foundations, corporations, government grants, local businesses, and individuals.
Those interested in supporting this innovative redevelopment project should contact Anna Carroll, Together Strong Campaign Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, why is this project different from other construction projects?
In 1991, The Together Center created a first-of-its kind human services campus dedicated to breaking down the barriers between service providers and clients. Four nonprofit agencies came together to purchase the former strip mall that became the Together Center. The four nonprofits gained below-market rental space, were able to increase access to services for clients, and created a collaborative work environment that continues today. Their idea – once thought to be impractical and unsustainable – spawned collaborative non-profit service hubs across the country. Their vision, which was client-centered and focused on effective, whole-person health and service delivery, was a spark that continues to revolutionize how human services are delivered today.
Through this project, more Eastside residents will be able to access more services, located together on a modern and beautiful campus, and well situated near transit, shopping, businesses, and restaurants. In addition, the community will receive urgently needed affordable housing thoughtfully designed for a range of family sizes and income levels, so those who work in this region can also afford to live here.
The redeveloped campus will be a community asset for decades to come, supporting a strong and resilient Eastside community.