Construction begins on $6.2M Pierce County housing development

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy joined volunteers, contractors and community partners Tuesday to kick off construction of “The Woods at Golden Given,” a new $6.2 million, 30-unit sustainable community in Pierce County. This unique community, located near 104th Street East and Golden Given Road on a seven-acre property in a wooded area outside of Midland, will feature cottage-style residences gathered around a central open space with natural areas and trails.

“This is [our] most ambitious project to date,” said Maureen Fife, Chief Executive Officer of Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat. “We would not be able to take on a development of this magnitude if it weren’t for the partnership with the Pierce County Department of Community Connections. The Woods at Golden Given will help bring affordable housing in Pierce County to a new standard, proving that it is possible to build housing that is simple, decent, affordable, and an asset to the greater community.”

All houses at The Woods will be Energy Star certified and receive a four-star rating through the Master Builders Association’s Built Green program. In addition to affordable housing, the project will include street improvements along 104th Street; sidewalks, crosswalks and connecting foot bridges; 40,000 square feet of open space; sports fields and basketball courts; 30 raised garden beds; rain gardens to control storm water drainage; meeting rooms, barbecue facilities and a common house which can be used by homeowners to host meetings and events.

Nearly one-third of this property is protected wetlands. In addition to meeting high sustainability standards for construction, plans call for landscaping with indigenous plant species to reduce the need for fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation.

“We’ve worked to accomplish a site design that minimally impacts the environment,” said Corey Lew, Capital Projects/Community Development Supervisor at Community Connections. “The Woods preserves the natural habitat by saving 50 percent of all existing trees on the property and improving the existing wetlands in the area. Pine and birch trees removed from the site will be milled, returned and used as materials for the houses on the property.”

Community Connections provided technical assistance for contractor bidding, facilitated the land acquisition and the environmental review, and invested significant public dollars to the project. Other financial partners contributing to Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity to support The Woods development include the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), United Way of Pierce County, and the Ben B. Cheney Foundation.