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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


King County leases Metro's Lake Union property to The Center for Wooden Boats

Summary

King County today leased a small, but choice, piece of waterfront property on Lake Union to The Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) that could one day expand the educational and recreational opportunities there.

Story

King County today leased a small, but choice, piece of waterfront property on Lake Union to The Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) that could one day expand the educational and recreational opportunities there.

"This is a rare opportunity to expand public access to the urban waterfront, and support The Center for Wooden Boats and the community at large," said King County Executive Dow Constantine, who worked on the issue as a member of the Metropolitan King County Council.

King County and CWB today signed a lease agreement allowing the maritime museum to repair and begin using a surplus warehouse and storage yard on the north shore of Lake Union. Repair work at the quarter-acre site located west of Gas Works Park set to begin tomorrow (Tuesday).

CWB Executive Director Betsy Davis said her organization is excited about the lease arrangement and expects to complete repairs to the warehouse this winter and begin using the site for boat restoration in the spring.

"Cooperation from King County Metro, along with support from Executive Constantine, County Councilmember Larry Phillips, and the entire county council, has been critical to making this happen," said Davis.

"Dormant waterfront property on North Lake Union will be turned into a community gem celebrating our maritime heritage thanks to The Center for Wooden Boats' lease of King County-owned land," said Metropolitan King County Councilmember Larry Phillips, who sponsored legislation supporting the lease agreement. "This is an exciting partnership that will maximize community use of precious public property."

Councilmember Phillips and Executive Constantine today presented a recognition to CWB at today's Council meeting.

The new North Lake Union facility will give CWB a location for boat restoration now, and allow the organization to continue working with its partners to evaluate environmental issues at the site created by its proximity to Gas Works Park, once a facility for converting coal to gas.

The long-term concept for a Northlake Community Wharf, developed as a collaborative effort by CWB, Historic Seattle, a neighborhood steering committee, and many others, envisions it as a new point of access to the water for neighborhoods to the North of Lake Union and to be a place where people who live nearby can get involved in the restoration and repair of heritage vessels.

Davis also cited support and generous financial backing from 4Culture's Unforeseen Opportunity Fund.

"Together with the Wallingford and Fremont neighborhoods and maritime organizations – such as Northwest Seaport – we will begin fulfilling the vision of the Seattle/King County Maritime Heritage Task Force that called for the creation of a Northlake Community Wharf on this site nearly seven years ago," said Davis.

Metro has owned the property for several decades, but no longer needs it for transit operations. It had been used most recently by Metro for surplus property storage. The five-year lease was signed today by Metro Transit Deputy General Manager Jim Jacobson and CWB board members Lori O'Tool and Walt Plimpton.

Follow the progress on restoring the site in updates on the website for The Center for Wooden Boats at:
www.cwb.org



King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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