After a study prepared by city staff in 1990 revealed that Seattle was almost devoid of public restrooms, LIHI launched a campaign to establish several hygiene centers.

Three years later, LIHI bought the Glen Hotel on Third Avenue and Pike Street with the intention of putting a hygiene center in that building. However, nearby merchants and property owners, including the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) filed a lawsuit to block the project. LIHI resumed its hunt for a suitable building.

The Julie Apartments on Ninth Avenue and Virginia Street in downtown Seattle was built in 1929. It was the last building by designed by architect John Creutzer, who designed buildings throughout Seattle, including the Medical & Dental Building on OliveWay. The building, which was designed as a swank residence for single young professionals working downtown, was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1999, and was then renovated by the Low Income Housing Institute as 47 units of low-income housing and a public shower/restroom facility.