Chinook Building to house center that will serve up to 60
StoryThe Metropolitan King County Council today unanimously approved the construction of a child care center in the County’s Chinook building. The adopted legislation authorizes the Executive to execute a 20-year covenant with the city of Seattle for dedicated child care space along with authorizing a 20-year sublease with Northwest Center to provide the child care.
The Chinook Building, which opened in 2007, houses Public Health, the Office of the Public Defender, the Department of Community and Human Services, the Office of Information Resource Management, and the Finance Division. During its construction, the County reached an agreement with the city of Seattle that allowed the building to have additional floors without paying added development right costs. The County received a waiver from the city because it agreed to implement certain features that benefit the public. The child care center is the result of that agreement.
“Finding quality childcare can be a daunting task for families in the downtown core,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett, the sponsor of the ordinance. “When we voted to build the Chinook Building, we decided that we were going to make space for a childcare facility. Through the partnership of King County, city of Seattle, Northwest Center and the developers, Wright Runstad and Associates, we will make this childcare facility a reality in the very near future.”
“When the Council approved building the Chinook building, I advocated for the building to include child care space, and our vote today brings that vision to reality,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “It will be so beneficial for King County employees and families of all income levels to have access to childcare right in the downtown core. Northwest Center has an excellent reputation and will provide quality care to all children including those with disabilities.”
The interior of the child care center will be nearly 7,000 square feet with an additional 2,900 square feet of outdoor play area. It is expected that the facility will be able to provide child care for up to 60 children, and the agreement between the County and the city of Seattle reserves 20 percent of the available slots for low income families.
Northwest Center will operate the facility, serving children from infants (6 weeks) to preschoolers, with and without developmental disabilities. The organization will pay $0 base rent for 20 years, but will be responsible for costs associated with the county’s exterior maintenance of the area, such as outside window washing.