Nonprofit El Centro de la Raza has bought Pattison’s West Skating Center in Federal Way as part of a planned expansion that will bring a community center, affordable housing, a child development center and other services into the area.
The $6.5 million transaction was finalized on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2022.
Pattison’s West Skating Rink was slated to close, but El Centro de la Raza, which already has an office at the site, bought the venue because of the positive impact it has in the community.
“The rink brings the community and families together and creates jobs for area youth, so we saw it as an essential piece of our plans,” said Estela Ortega, executive director of El Centro de la Raza. “It is not just about the community center and affordable housing. The rink is a local cultural fixture that we see as part of our overall efforts to bring services to the area.”
Ortega stressed that the development in Federal Way will support all small businesses to set up shop at the location. Plans also include social services and the development of a mercado, or market, for small businesses and entrepreneurs to sell their products.
The complex will be built in phases, which will include construction of a total of 208 affordable housing units. The community center will include youth services and space for artists. It is located at the intersection of Pacific Highway South and 16th Ave. S.
Funding for the development is expected to come from the state of Washington, federal funds, a loan from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, and other sources. Construction is expected to begin in 2025.
The Federal Way project is not the first large project El Centro de la Raza has undertaken. Plaza Maestas, a mixed-use building in Seattle containing 112 affordable housing units, an early learning, and office and retail space, was built in 2016.
The organization is also getting close to completing fundraising for another affordable housing development in Columbia City. That $58-million, family-oriented building will have 87 apartments, most of which will be two-and three-bedroom units. It will also provide community services and will have murals by local artists.
“Affordable housing development is new to community-based organizations and communities of color,” Ortega said. “When community-based organizations develop affordable housing and services, it creates stability for the organizations, communities, and other good things begin to happen.”
About El Centro de la Raza
As an organization grounded in the Latino community of Washington State, it is the mission of El Centro de la Raza (The Center for People of All Races) to build the Beloved Community through unifying all racial and economic sectors; to organize, empower, and defend the basic human rights of our most vulnerable and marginalized populations; and to bring critical consciousness, justice, dignity, and equity to all the peoples of the world. We envision a world free of oppression based on poverty, racism, sexism, sexual orientation, and discrimination of any kind that limits equal access to the resources that ensure a healthy and productive life in peace, love and harmony for all peoples and our future generations.
Learn more at www.elcentrodelaraza.org.
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