City park across from big project: What do YOU think?

November 2, 2012 at 11:58 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 46 Comments

Earlier this year, we noted that a vacant lot at 4731 40th SW (map), toward the east edge of The Junction, was up for sale. We’ve just learned that the city is planning to buy it as potential parkland, with levy money specifically targeted for securing more open space in urban areas before it’s all gone. And, it so happens that the site is directly across the street from the future west side of the 4755 Fauntleroy Way megaproject. The city is wondering whether you think this site makes sense as a park. First, background from Chip Nevins of Seattle Parks:

The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy allocated $24M to the acquisition of neighborhood parks in areas of the City that were experiencing significant growth and had a lack of park space; West Seattle Junction was one of the 18 urban villages identified in the Levy. Partly in response to DPD’s West Seattle Triangle UDF [Urban Design Framework], Parks has been looking for a property close to the Fauntleroy/Alaska junction to serve the new and proposed developments in that area. We recently got the vacant property at 4731 40th Ave SW under contract and are in the process of doing our due diligence on the property. One aspect of the due diligence is to make sure that the property makes sense as a park as it relates to the people, properties and projects around it.

This is the time for the city to take a close look at that, as the project goes to its second Early Design Guidance public review next Thursday (here’s our most recent report, with updated renderings). Nevins would like to hear what you think, along these lines:

I am looking for thoughts about whether this site makes sense. And if it does make sense, comments about how the design of the project at 4755 Fauntleroy SW could be changed to improve the functionality of a park at that location (which ideally would be mentioned at the EDG meeting).

Three ways to offer your thoughts on this: 1. Comment on this story. 2. E-mail Nevins directly – 3. Talk with him before or after the 4755 Fauntleroy Design Review Board meeting next Thursday (it starts at 8 pm, at the Senior Center of West Seattle, California/Oregon).


  1. I think its a great place for a park, but I think the kind of park we need the most is a dog park. There are so many people using non-off-lease parks for their dogs and I think if we allocated new park space for use as an off-leash area, it would get a TON of use and reduce the unauthorized use in other parks. Please please please!!!

    Comment by EmmyJane — 12:38 pm November 2, 2012 #

  2. park or….. park and ride ?
    they should build a park and ride with a park on top !
    (haha, yes I know that would never happen but that would help with the ‘area… experiencing significant growth’)

    Comment by sam-c — 12:39 pm November 2, 2012 #

  3. I thought that property was sold earlier this year. Must have not gone through. I think it would make a nice park. I also think the city should require these big development companies to provide these types of areas and maintain them.

    Comment by wetone — 12:44 pm November 2, 2012 #

  4. Hey, anything parklike is a good idea. Otherwise we’ll have nothing but bleak corporate architecture buildings throughout that area.

    The space should have plantings/design so pedestrians feel welcomed — a respite from the unfriendly sidewalk space between lanes of traffic on one side & tall commercial buildings on the other side.

    Comment by LivesInWS — 12:45 pm November 2, 2012 #

  5. Now this is an appropriate location for where the reported 60 unit Alzheimer facility should be built.

    Not in the middle of a residential, L2 zoned block of 4500 41st Ave SW.

    Comment by DTK — 12:46 pm November 2, 2012 #

  6. This is the perfect spot for the UNDERGROUND LIGHT RAIL STATION we will one day be needing a site for. Of course, this is Seattle, so by the time we go through the painful consensus process and all the lawsuits, the entire Junction will be full of 6-story buildings. And then Sound Transit will have to buy one and evict everyone and the hand-wringing will NEVER END. And we’ll be spending three times what we do now on cars, gas and insurance and wondering what happened to the dream.

    God, I’ve gotta find an early happy hour somewhere.

    Comment by JW — 1:14 pm November 2, 2012 #

  7. Light rail.

    Comment by WorldCitizen — 1:21 pm November 2, 2012 #

  8. I’d like to see a dog park there myself.

    Off topic a bit, but can the city also buy “The Hole” and turn that into a transit center and park & ride? It’s ready to go for the inevitable subway/underground lightrail, good spot for buses, pedestrians, etc.

    Comment by Mr Bob H. — 1:34 pm November 2, 2012 #

  9. I love this idea. I live right by there and this lot is a great spot for a park/dog park. I hate looking at this great space fenced/barbwire sitting vacant for years.

    Comment by AD — 1:35 pm November 2, 2012 #

  10. These tiny park are vastly under utilized from what I’ve seen around the Seattle – and for a very good reason. Who wants to sit in a park next to a noisy street? Kinda negates the whole idea.

    Besides, we already have of plenty of parks and green buffers, let’s save the space for a park and ride, or similar.

    Comment by G — 1:43 pm November 2, 2012 #

  11. Perfect. Another park for the homeless people to loiter in. And another place for people to let their dog crap. Great. Real excited about it.

    Comment by A — 1:51 pm November 2, 2012 #

  12. Yes we need all the park space we can get. Don’t underestimate the value of open space to the quality of life.

    Comment by dsa — 2:01 pm November 2, 2012 #

  13. Much rather this be a park than another megaproject or apartment complex.

    Comment by CE — 2:09 pm November 2, 2012 #

  14. Transit center and/or park and ride to address capacity issue would be a fantastic addition to the community. The Alaska Junction “transit center” is congested and will not serve its purpose effectively in the future. Buses should continue to stop there, but a real transit center would be great at the 40th street location. I agree that small parks are underutilized or unusable because people are not consistent about picking up their dog waste. I wouldn’t lay out on the grass at the Junction mini park….Let the developers include open spaces on their properties.

    Comment by sgs — 2:09 pm November 2, 2012 #

  15. Lets use the money to take care of the parks we already have. Budget cuts are letting them fall apart. (I know, that isn’t what this funding is for).

    Comment by I Wonder — 2:13 pm November 2, 2012 #

  16. Very good place for park. Good thinking city! This area used to be mostly light industrial/retail (car lots, dry cleaners, etc) but now with condo/apartments moving in, there is a need for a park in that section. Perfect location, right across the street from the “mega project”. How great is this new project? Right on top of groceries, walking distance to near everything else, park across the street, rapid ride and buses right across the street. Now THAT is an example of good urban planning.

    Comment by And Now For Something Completely Different — 2:14 pm November 2, 2012 #

  17. For context’s sake:
    Right now the nearest park is Junction Plaza, which is considerably smaller than this parcel, I believe. (Am looking that up.)
    In terms of a park to throw a ball around or use play equipment, Ercolini Park is close to a mile west, and then there’s Fairmount Park a little shorter distance to the southeast, along Fauntleroy.
    I can’t think of any remaining parcel that’s not paved over or spoken for. Huling Properties is the owner listed for a parking lot across Edmunds immediately south of the development site. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:32 pm November 2, 2012 #

  18. I think a park is a great idea, but then again, anything that isn’t an empty run down lot would be a good idea.

    There are other parks in the area. Fairmount park is close, but there seems to always be dogs off leash on the field.

    Comment by Cormac — 3:22 pm November 2, 2012 #

  19. I was just sitting outside of Bakery Nouveau this weekend with my friend,enjoying the harvest festival and lunch (from the bakery) when I mentioned that it would be great if there were a park nearby where we could have more elbow room to eat and not have to eat from plates balanced on our knees while juggling coffee. This park would be a great addition to the Junction!

    Comment by MBanana — 3:22 pm November 2, 2012 #

  20. If WS doesn’t want a new park, other communities will surely use the money.

    Comment by dsa — 3:56 pm November 2, 2012 #

  21. Was that photo taken at the West Seattle state prison?

    Comment by Robert — 3:59 pm November 2, 2012 #

  22. Is it bad that at a quick glance, what with the backside of the Cityview Apts Bldg, and the undeveloped lot surrounded by fencing topped with razor/barbed wire, that it looks like a prison?



    Comment by miws — 4:01 pm November 2, 2012 #

  23. Yes. Park, please.

    Comment by D — 4:03 pm November 2, 2012 #

  24. A park in that area would be lovely! Green space is going to be more and more critcal to keeping West Seattle’s feel as we continue to grow. We just have to step up to take care of it as a community so that it doesnt go the way of Morgan Junction’s park :*(

    Love the idea of a park and ride or transit station in the Hole too.

    Comment by AB — 4:46 pm November 2, 2012 #

  25. Park-n-ride garage would be ideal for this location. Not sexy, but sure useful to everyone who commutes downtown and is underserved by buses, especially now with these new half-baked metro changes.

    Comment by G — 4:49 pm November 2, 2012 #

  26. Hum the parks department seems to be following developers around! If a park is built there the only people using it will be the tennants at the mega complex.

    Comment by Silly Goose — 5:47 pm November 2, 2012 #

  27. Dog park bad idea, I think a nice sandbox would be a good idea!

    Comment by Men who obey cats — 6:33 pm November 2, 2012 #

  28. Yes, dog park! Ercolini and Fairmount for kids, this is perfect for dogs. Pretty nice for standing around with your coffee and watching your dog, not enough room for kids. There used to be a nice Monkey Puzzle tree there before they scraped it for the extra Huling parking, so I’m sure all those apt/condos would like some more trees.

    Comment by Junction Mom — 6:53 pm November 2, 2012 #

  29. This is kind of a forlorn place for a park–very little pedestrian traffic, no good connections for bikes, bound by high traffic streets. It’s really too bad the adjacent apartments to the west turn their back on this site. The new development should embrace this space and make key connections to the park. As for use, I would see either a great playground (spray park feature?) or a grown up plaza with a fountain, seating. Depends on the demographics of the folks in the new development. Need something to encourage pedestrian activity in this area.

    Comment by TEB — 8:35 pm November 2, 2012 #

  30. I dont’ have dogs, but I vote for trees and a dog park. The area is too small for my kids to play in and there are better options relatively near by.

    Comment by K8 — 8:53 pm November 2, 2012 #

  31. If the Schmitz Park Elementary site is unavailable, I think this might be a good permanent place for the homeless encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville”.

    Comment by West Seattleite — 8:57 pm November 2, 2012 #

  32. A park? Yes, please!

    Comment by junctioneer — 9:13 pm November 2, 2012 #

  33. A park for kids would be great. I live near Ercolini and it is packed on a sunny day.

    Comment by WS concerned parent — 9:20 pm November 2, 2012 #

  34. Park yes. Totally agree with TEB comments.

    Comment by NWmama — 9:36 pm November 2, 2012 #

  35. The jct definetely needs a dogpark and I apprecieat K8′s comments. We share a home with a dog in the jct, we all would love an equal opportunity park where dogs can run and folks can gather in rain or shine!

    Comment by mt — 10:14 pm November 2, 2012 #

  36. A park, yes. Humans need greenspaces, children included. Urban density is coming, and a public park in the junction with trees, a fountain, places to sit, gather, play, watch birds and butterflies, smell floweres, stretch, meet, relax, and breathe fresh air would be beneficial for peace of mind and a healthy community. I suggest naturescaping rather than a dog park.

    Comment by J — 10:45 pm November 2, 2012 #

  37. Dog park please! Or at least half of it. Would be awesome if there was a place kids can play without being too close to a main street.

    Comment by Elynne — 12:02 am November 3, 2012 #

  38. The park makes sense for the location with lots of residents even if in high rises. However creating a park that brings out people, dogs and children and not taking seriously the conflict between pedestrians and traffic does not. The city really does need to take seriously just how hostile many drivers are and take more steps to protect those not driving from them.

    Comment by cj — 2:07 am November 3, 2012 #

  39. I hope people realize that the property for sale is not the hole fenced off area. The fenced off area I believe is four lots and the parcels for sale are the middle two (11,500)sq ft. Asking price of $1.6 mil. very expensive piece of property. Add the cost to have the city convert it a park $$$$$ Money could be better spent elsewhere I think. If you want a park there it should be the big devlopers paying for it and giving something back to the community. It’s their tenants that will be using it. By the way the reason it was fenced off was to keep people from dumping stuff and illegal things going on.

    Comment by wetone — 4:48 pm November 3, 2012 #

  40. County records show it as one 11,500-sf lot inbetween two lots with different ownership, each half its size. It’s a little less than twice the size of Junction Plaza Park. The plat map on the real estate flyer though, fwiw, suggests it was originally four lots! – I will have to ask Parks if they would be holding out any hope of eventually buying either of the adjacent lots (which are Huling holdings) if this one did go through – TR

    Comment by WSB — 5:05 pm November 3, 2012 #

  41. Yes! Park!

    Comment by Herman — 5:09 pm November 3, 2012 #

  42. Size does matter. And I do wish there was a way to make developers give back a fraction of the open space that they consume. Every individual project probably gets a finding of no significant impact “fonsi”, but collectively the impact is overwhelming.

    Comment by dsa — 5:38 pm November 3, 2012 #

  43. This is an awesome thing for the area, and I’m adding my vote to sectioning off at least some of the space for a dog park—West Seattle is one of the biggest neighborhoods in the city but dog park options are awfully scarce.

    Comment by AdmiralGal — 7:19 pm November 3, 2012 #

  44. Why can’t we have both a park and ride and put the park on top? Other cities are doing exactly this and the results are amazing. It’s time to think creatively and outside our little boxes. It could be really beautiful!

    Comment by Neighbor — 7:27 pm November 3, 2012 #

  45. Parks and open space levy money was never intended for parking lots. It is for preserving green spaces, forever, from private development.

    Comment by J — 1:21 am November 4, 2012 #

  46. I think its a great place for a dog park. For a neighborhood of our size we don’t have many. The closest is Westcrest.

    Comment by Spencer — 9:41 am November 4, 2012 #

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