The pavement was poured for the new half basketball court at Evergreen Village Apartments and the kids were gathered around the workers, asking when they could start playing ball. This enthusiasm is what inspires Jamila Fahs, the project manager for Bayside Communities. Fahs oversaw the project, which invested over $14 million dollars into the renovation of Evergreen Villages. “We spent two years planning this project,” shares Fahs. “A huge point of focus was providing excellent amenities to our residents and creating community spaces.”

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Bayside Communities acquires and preserves affordable housing properties in Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. Photo courtesy: Bayside Communities

These community spaces were filled with laughing children and their families during the grand re-opening ceremony that took place on Thursday, August 16. Residents happily opened their homes to tours and shared their excitement about moving back into their community after a complete transformation to both the building exteriors and interiors.

Bayside Communities acquires and preserves affordable housing properties in Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. Evergreen Village Apartments on Olympia’s Westside is a great example of the work they do to provide affordable housing that is visually appealing, environmentally friendly and cost efficient.

Evergreen Villages is a garden style, affordable multi-family apartment community. The development contains nine villages, each containing five buildings with a shared community courtyard. There are 20 units per courtyard and the pride of the residents is evident throughout. Potted plants and brightly colored flowers grace many of the entryways.

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Evergreen Villages is a garden style, affordable multi-family apartment community. Photo courtesy: Bayside Communities

The property will continue to provide affordable housing to those households earning 60 percent or below of the area’s medium income. The property has a contract with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which through their Housing Assistance Payment contract ensures that residents only pay 30 percent of their income towards rent.

This massive public, private partnership includes tax credits, but required no direct funding from either local or federal government grants. Using Washington State’s Evergreen Sustainable Development Standards, the team of Rolluda Architects, Synergy Construction, Waypoint Consulting, FPI Property Management, Bayside Communities and the Hearthstone Housing Foundation worked in partnership to develop a thoughtful renovation plan that increases water and energy efficiency and improves the environmental quality for residents. As an added bonus the community has internet connectivity with free in-unit WiFi.

The new color scheme is vibrant and the addition of more community spaces have added to the quality of life at Evergreen Villages. As we strolled through the community, project manager Fahs and I noticed the residents sitting on recently added benches and the beginnings of charcoal fires for dinner in the new grills. “I have spent a lot of time on this site over the past two years and I have never seen so many children and families outside,” exclaimed Fahs. The expanded community room, new play structure and a community garden were all important additions to Fahs in the renovation plans at Evergreen.

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New outdoor areas, including playgrounds, encourage healthy living. Photo courtesy: Bayside Communities

What’s on the Inside Matters

While the visual appeal is clearly evident, underneath the shiny new building exteriors is an envelope system that includes a foam sheathing that provides increased energy efficiency. While residents may not see the difference in the new LED lighting, it is saving money and improving the environment at the same time. Brand new Low E double glazed vinyl windows have already been shown to keep out the heat and the smoke from the summer forest fires that burn nearby. And, this winter, residents look forward to keeping more of their heat inside the apartments thanks to the energy efficient windows.

The interiors of the apartments were completely upgraded as well, much to the delight of the residents who were moved to a nearby extended stay hotel for two weeks during the remodel. Residents returned to their homes and found their old carpeting replaced with new low volatile (VOC) resilient plank flooring, new low flow, water saving plumbing fixtures along with new kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Residents were amazed when they saw their units outfitted with brand new dishwashers and microwaves. Each was given fresh paint using environmentally and consumer friendly low VOC brands. “Is this really my home? I get to live here?” was overheard by a resident upon her return home.

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Potted plants and brightly colored flowers grace many of the entryways. Photo courtesy: Bayside Communities

As the costs of housing continues to rise and more families feel the squeeze of their finances, it is comforting to know that options like Evergreen Village Apartments exist for those families. Strolling through this beautiful community and seeing the pride that the residents have taken in their living space is a testament to the good work of Bayside Communities and the Hearthstone Housing Foundation. Hearthstone is a non-profit public benefit corporation that serves as the Managing General partner for Evergreen Village. Social services for residents are provided by the Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation. Rainbow is a non-profit organization that provides adult services along with a youth enrichment program for all school-aged children. These additional services are provided at no additional cost to the residents and highlight Bayside Communities’ commitment to enhancing the lifestyle and experience of their residents.

For more information, visit the Bayside Communities website.

Evergreen Villages
505 Division Street Northwest
Olympia, WA 98502


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