Cascade Landing

Leasing will begin Spring 2022

Skagit County Housing Overview

Skagit County’s current housing market is the worst in the state.

Community Action has plans to change this!

The individuals and families Community Action serves are struggling to secure affordable housing due to rising housing costs, a limited supply of homes people can afford, and limited access to housing resources. In 2021, Skagit County has the biggest shortage of apartments of any county in the state. According to the Skagit Council of Governments “Skagit County Housing & Transportation Analysis”:

  • Skagit hasn’t built enough housing, especially affordable rental homes.
    • 2010-2020 produced fewer housing units than any decade in the last 40 years.
  • Skagit’s housing stock does not match the diversity of its residents.
    • The population is growing, aging, and becoming more diverse. Over 60% of existing housing is single-family homes. But young families, workers, downsizing seniors, and others need smaller apartment homes.
  • Most emerging demand is for lower-priced housing.
    • Low- and moderate-income households are a growing share of the population.
  • Building new apartment units is the most direct strategy for addressing the shortage of affordable housing.
    • New housing development requires upfront resources, and gap financing to deliver rents that are affordable long-term.

Creating substantially more housing people can afford will require for-profit and nonprofit development communities and local governments to bring their commitment, expertise, and resources to build smaller apartments and other homes people can actually afford.

The Cascade Landing model: Renovate existing commercial space to provide beautiful, energy efficient apartment homes. The partnership of nonprofit with for-profit provides significant economic advantages to the community.

Cascade Landing

A Win-Win-Win Partnership

We are making a courageous commitment to our community.

By partnering with a for-profit developer to create homes in a commercial space, the project offers benefits to the developer, the agency, and the community – a true win-win-win.

Cascade Landing is considered a pilot project. The success of Cascade Landing will inform how we aggressively work towards helping to mitigate the lack of affordable homes. As a nonprofit organization, Community Action works with local government, for-profit developers, and the community we serve to solve the puzzle of creating housing people can afford. By partnering with the property owner of an existing building, we can move quickly to reconfigure what once were offices into cozy, affordable apartments homes for approximately 45 people.

Once situated in their homes, there will be no need for tenants to requalify. Cascade Landing apartments are permanent homes – not shelter, nor transitional housing. Increases in rent will be modest and aligned annually with the Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA).

This project adds an additional 35 affordable apartment homes to the Skagit County housing pool. This is significant, considering that the 2021 vacancy rate is only 0.3%. Cascade Landing will have full-time leasing agent/customer service representative located at the facility to manage the site.

Beautiful, affordable homes where people can feel safe and build community.

Offices to Apartment Homes

This innovative model of creating housing in under-used commercial space is time and cost efficient. The cost to convert office space is less than $70,000 per apartment home.

By converting the second floor of a 27,000-square-foot commercial building in Burlington into small residential rental units, Community Action is able to provide 35 affordable rental homes.

Cascade Landing provides permanent long-term housing. Rents will be scaled to be affordable for qualifying tenants. The initial Master Lease is on a 12-year term with extensions in 5-10 year increments up to a maximum term of 47 years.

These homes consist of 27 studio apartments, 6 one-bedroom apartments, and 2 two-bedroom apartments all on the second level of a repurposed commercial building.

These comfortable apartment homes have their own bathroom and kitchen, and three of the homes are ADA compliant. There is a laundry room complete with commercial-sized washers and dryers, and an elevator for easy access. There are common areas where families can enjoy the open space in the garden, a community room for gatherings to celebrate birthdays and special occasions, an outdoor patio to BBQ, and an abundance of free parking.

These apartment homes are for young families, workers, seniors, veterans, and others.

Cascade Landing Floor Plan

Each apartment home has 9’ high ceilings for a feeling of spaciousness, large windows allowing lots of natural light, new energy-efficient appliances, and thoughtfully designed kitchens and bathrooms. Each apartment home includes heat exchange venting, LED lighting, heat pumps, water heaters, and mini-PTACs, these are Packaged Terminal Air Conditioning units.

Cascade Landing offers:

  • 27 studio apartment homes, approximately 270 square feet
  • 6 one-bedroom apartment homes, between 285-386 square feet
  • 2 two-bedroom apartment homes, approximately 500 square feet

The building design includes major energy efficiency upgrades including new windows, sound barriers between units, onsite laundry, community rooms, outdoor patio, and ample parking for residents, first-floor commercial tenants, and visitors.

Timeline & Finances

Construction Budget

Total Cost of Conversion: $2,300,000
Cost per unit: $70,000

Each unit costs approximately $70,000 to convert into an apartment home.

Quality rental homes are incredibly scarce and breathtakingly expensive. If we don’t address the rental housing crisis now, the problem will only get worse, and many of our neighbors are in real danger of homelessness.

We all benefit when workers, families, and seniors have safe, affordable homes.

Cascade Landing Endorsements

“I am in full support of the Cascade Landing project. Without projects like this it is much harder for Friendship House to fulfill its mission of empowering our guests because there is such a shortage of low income and affordable housing. This project fills a gap in our housing continuum that has been lacking for so long.”
Tina Tate | Executive Director | Friendship House

“The Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce enthusiastically support’s Community Action’sCascade Landing project. It directly addresses our area’s most critical need, which is affordable housing. The severe shortage impacts businesses directly because it reduces the labor pool on which they depend, because people will only travel so far to work. The Cascade Landing project is particularly important because it is a model that can be replicated, until the housing supply is adequate.”
Andy Mayer | President | Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce

“We at Skagit Regional Health understand the important role affordable housing plays in the community’s health and well-being. Many important studies show that the acute lack of affordable housing and growth in homelessness in a community creates stress on Emergency Departments, increases demand for mental health resources and reduces the chance that people are receiving preventive care and management of chronic medical conditions. We see these impacts on a daily basis at Skagit Regional Health. We applaud the effort of Community Action of Skagit County to move forward with Cascade Landing as a project to make a difference for those seeking housing stability in our community.”
Brian Ivie | Chief Executive Officer | Skagit Regional Health

“The concept of repurposing vacant underutilized commercial space into mixed-use housing projects is a great tool for our Community to combat our Housing Crisis we face. I reviewed the housing style of this project, and from my personal experience as a multifamily developer, the style of the units will be well received. I fully support the Cascade Landing project, and I applaud Dan Mitzel, Patti Burkland and Community Action for their efforts.”
Paul Woodmansee | President | BYK Construction

“I’m very excited to see the unfolding of Cascade Landing Housing and with Community Action spearheading the project, it’s precisely what the community needs. Affordable housing is so critical, and many don’t understand the benefit of affordable housing. It will help the people of Skagit County get back on their feet and feel better about their place within their community. I believe increasing availability of affordable housing will, in return, help create/fill vacant employment positions that are causing our businesses to close or run at half capacity.”
Stephanie Vervaart | President | Burlington Chamber of Commerce

“Efforts to build more- and more affordable- housing units are critical to growing well, attracting workforce and helping those experiencing homelessness in our community get back on their feet. These 35 units located at 160 Cascade Place are one such project and will help some of those living in Skagit find an affordable home.”
Ron Wesson, Lisa Janicki and Peter Browning | Skagit County Board of Commissioners

“PeaceHealth puts a high-value on whole-person care and understands both the physical and mental strain for our patients that are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Cascade Landing will help support the very basic need of housing by means of affordable housing. This will in turn help turn the focus of our patients from housing to healing.”
Chris Johnston | CAO | PeaceHealth United General Medical Center

“There is an acute lack of housing solutions for our community members who are in great need. PWT is excited to support such a wonderful organization in Community Action of Skagit County as they work to tackle such challenges with the Cascade Landing project.”
Dan Milfred | SVP & CFO | Pacific Woodtech