Named for the Arbutus trees common to the area, Madrona’s hills rose from the Vashon Glacier that melted 40,000 years ago, shaping Lake Washington and other Pacific Northwest landmarks. By the 19th century Seattle’s Union Trunk Line Railway chugged up the hill along a new town center, up 34th Avenue toward Madrona Park.
Conveniently located ten minutes from Seattle’s business and cultural core, Madrona is prized for its village ambiance and diverse housing styles. Here behind a block-long old laurel hedge you might discover a neighborhood institution called Genesis House.
In the 1970’s, founders of Genesis House cobbled together this small urban campus from the foundations of large homes and a turn of the century coach house. Today the buildings encompass dormitories, administration & counseling offices and a State-licensed day-care. Zoned for single-family homes, the city has “grandfathered in” these institutional uses, thanks to Genesis House’s 40-years of continuous operation.
Genesis House combines residential addiction treatment with therapeutic childcare, parenting classes and gender-specific group therapy sessions. This long-term approach helps families disrupt generations of addiction, substituting healthy living for hopelessness.
Recent budget cuts by the State of Washington and the Federal government forced all addiction treatment providers including Genesis House to examine their business models and to adjust operations. During this evaluation, Genesis House determined that its Madrona location—distant from public transit hubs—had grown difficult for its largely low- and no-income population to reach. Leaders also determined that the Campus buildings were due for extensive capital improvements.
Genesis House leaders decided it was prudent to sell the Campus property—nearly an acre of flat land zoned for many single family homes in the heart of one of Seattle’s most coveted neighborhoods. The economic recovery of 2010-13 had heightened demand among residential single-family developers, investors, and even institutional users for well-located land.
So, in 2014, Genesis House sought our help in selling their Campus. By recapturing equity from the Campus property Genesis House will be positioned to continue to support addiction treatment in Washington State.
Dormitory and Counseling Building Arial View of the Genesis House Campus Carriage House