Ground is set to be broken on a new four-story, 80-unit affordable housing apartment complex at 3335 Martin Way E. in Olympia.
The location was formerly the site of the Bailey Motor Inn, which closed in 2013 and was ravaged by fires two years later. A newly formed company called Fourth Street Housing is partnering with Olympia-based nonprofit Help Us Move In (HUMI) to make the new project — dubbed Merritt Manor — come to life.
“This is a very unique partnership because 95 percent of the time affordable housing projects involve government organizations, and in this particular case, the project is 100 percent privately supported,” said Burt Sarver, who incorporated HUMI with sister Ann Sarver-Merritt in 2015.
Merritt Manor is named after Sarver-Merritt and her late husband Tony, who gifted the funds to Fourth Street to acquire the land for the development. Partnering on the financing of the project is Olympia Federal Savings; Merritt Manor is one of the largest projects the company has ever been involved in.
“Every two minutes a child becomes homeless in America,” Sarver continued, “and the average age of a homeless person is nine years-old. We want to see to it that every child in our community has a chance to reach their full potential and this project is a step in that direction.”
Merritt Manor’s 5.72 acres will house the aforementioned 80 units in one residential apartment building, plus 104 surface parking stalls, a large resident courtyard, a clubhouse and fitness center, covered bike stalls and permanent wetland open spaces.
“This was an opportunity to turn a blighted property into a beautiful community asset,” said Olympia architect Glenn Wells, who is a member of Fourth Street Housing along with developer Scott Wammack. “In addition, Fourth Street Housing will donate $5,000/month, which HUMI will use as community matching funds to further their mission in eradicating child homelessness.”