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Originally published Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 9:14 PM

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HUD secretary, lawmakers tour Yesler Terrace revamping

Members of Congress and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan toured Seattle’s Yesler Terrace neighborhood Tuesday to observe progress on redevelopment.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Adam Smith toured Seattle’s Yesler Terrace neighborhood Tuesday to see the area’s progress toward redevelopment.

The visit highlighted roughly $30 million in Choice Neighborhoods grants awarded to the Seattle Housing Authority to begin redeveloping the public-housing project and improving community services in the neighborhood.

Work on some replacement housing and the Epstein Opportunity Center is expected to be completed this year, according to the Seattle Housing Authority website.

The Baldwin Apartments will hold 15 housing units while the Epstein Opportunity Center, previously called the Yesler Terrace Steam Plant, will house tutoring services and a Head Start program, among other things.

Redevelopment of the 30-acre site is expected to cost $300 million, financed in part through a sale of some of the land to a private developer. When completed, the project will include both affordable-housing and market-rate units, new parks and street improvements.

In addition, the housing authority is partnering with various agencies to increase health-care, education, job-placement and other services in the neighborhood.

Donovan praised the effort.

“I just want to say congratulations already, thank you, and this work could not be more important to not just this community, but I’m here because this is work that’s important to our nation,” he said.

Material from Seattle Times archives was used in this report.

Safiya Merchant: or 206-464-2299

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