Lynnwood will not pursue Rodeo Inn

Edmonds School District initially supported idea for housing homeless students and families
By Brian Soergel | Apr 04, 2019

The idea of housing homeless students and their families at Rodeo Inn on Highway 99 in Lynnwood is dead.

The Lynnwood City Council voted on March 25 not to pursue the purchase of the motel, which is across the street from Edmonds City limits. Councilmembers received a due diligence report along with a presentation from consultant Tim Jewett of Dykeman Associates.

Councilmembers cited the high cost, about $4 million, of renovating the motel to meets its needs.

The Edmonds School District had said it would possibly support the motel’s purchase, as had Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling and Housing Hope.

The latter works to combine affordable housing with tailored services such as life-skills training, trauma-informed child development and child care, case management and employment assistance.

“After careful consideration and consultation with affordable housing consultants, City staff and Mayor (Nicola) Smith made the administrative recommendation to council to not move forward with the purchase of the Rodeo Inn,” said Julie Moore, public affairs officer for the City of Lynnwood.

“The Council voted unanimously to remove the item from the agenda.”

Rodeo Inn has 55 studio motel rooms, and in their current state, are not suitable for housing families, Moore said.

Dykeman Associates presented three redevelopment strategies. The first and second scenarios yielded too few units to make the project financially sustainable, according to Housing Hope CEO Fred Safstrom.

The third scenario involved complete demolition of the existing building and a total rebuild. Since that was the case, the City of Lynnwood determined that the $4 million dollar purchase was not a good use of City funds, or those of its partners, Moore said.

“The City remains committed to working with our partners to address the needs of our homeless students and their families,” Moore said, “and we will continue to explore alternative options.”

Since the Council did not take action on the purchase agreement, it expired on April 1.

 

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