Another park update: What’s next for Dakota Place


That’s the historic ex-substation building (an official city landmark) at Dakota Place Park, which has mostly languished (the site sign and city webpage mention ’06 scheduled completion) at California/Dakota (map) north of The Junction for some time. In the comments on WSB coverage of the Prop 2 (parks levy) campaign stopping at Delridge Playfield weekend before last, DW asked what’s going on with Dakota Place; West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen (Parks Committee chair) then posted he’d get the answer. Here’s what he found out: Bids are due tomorrow on the “exterior construction” package for the park; the project is to be complete by next January, with elements including: “Plaza with integrated artwork, ADA access, site lighting, multiple seating elements, refurbishing existing historic elements, automated irrigation, and extensive community-provided landscaping.” Meantime, work is to be finished by next spring on the “building package,” which includes “hazardous material abatement, historically correct window replacement, new roof, brick re-pointing, and seismic upgrades are complete.” Though the above-mentioned city webpage for Dakota Place isn’t entirely up to date, you can see the site schematic design there; the website for the citizens’ group that announced in January the city had committed to finish the park by last May (WSB report here) is no longer up and running. TUESDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Councilmember Rasmussen asked the Parks Department what’s led to the delays on the Dakota Place project; he was told that one big problem was that the “… project manager was reassigned to finalize the Statue of Liberty project. That project came in on time and on budget. What is so challenging for the Parks Department is that they have only so many project managers and when their attention is moved to time-consuming projects with great sensitivity to deadlines like the Statue other things will be delayed. Park’s does a great job but is stretched thin.”

9 Replies to "Another park update: What's next for Dakota Place"

  • ward October 7, 2008 (1:25 pm)

    Another reason to vote NO on Prop 2.

  • KT October 7, 2008 (1:31 pm)

    Several things stand out in your post…..

    1) “Bids are due tomorrow on the “exterior construction” package for the park; the project is to be complete by next January” … exterior construction is going to be completed mid-winter?
    2) “extensive community-provided landscaping” … does this mean more fund raising?
    3) “the site sign and city webpage mention ‘06 scheduled completion”
    4) “announced in January the city had committed to finish the park by this May” … that would be last May now.

    A prime example of why I will not vote to extend the Parks levy.

  • WSB October 7, 2008 (1:32 pm)

    Thanks for pointing out my terminology error. Will change “this” to “last” wrt “May.”

  • GenHillOne October 7, 2008 (2:32 pm)

    *sigh…the group that had the website was comprised primarily of families from the small school housed in the church across the street…when a WS winemaker wanted to buy the space, restore it, and use it as a tasting room/event space, it was rejected because of its proximity to a school…I can’t tell you how many in the neighborhood would have welcomed the private ownership of this building. It’s not like they were going to be selling booze to school children and we would have a positive addition to the neighborhood by now.

  • homesweethome October 7, 2008 (3:05 pm)

    Parks take time. City governments take time. The citizens of Seattle take lots of time to make decisions regarding any public process – we cannot expect our city government which is made up of the citizens of our city to move any faster than a private citizen – city government is a mirror of its inhabitants. I will vote YES for any pro parks levy that comes along. Why? Because I am part of the city, part of the process and because its Seattle clearly someone at city hall will be forced to listen to my concerns. Taxes and voting give me access to city staffers and elected officials that a no vote negates.

  • KT October 8, 2008 (7:38 am)

    Parks take time? City governments take time? Please. This will allegedly be completed three years after they first said it would (assuming this estimate is any better than the others). And during that time we have been subjected to an empty, boarded up building, on a weed infested lot (trimmed twice a year), surrounded by a temporary chain link fence. A real benefit to the neighborhood. It is this willingness to accept poor government performance that allows it to continue as the norm.

  • greymatter October 8, 2008 (9:26 am)

    Maybe we should stop investing in public infrastructure like parks. Then they’d get spruced up mighty quick!…
    It would be refreshing to hear some solutions instead of complaints.

  • THD October 8, 2008 (9:54 am)

    So frustrating! I am a mom of a child at Tilden School across the street from this EYESORE. It is so sad to say to your child every day as we drive past the incomplete building and park – this park that was supposed to be completed the year you started at Tilden 3 years ago, is at a stand still and the reason is because of poor parks planning and a project manager who was reassigned to the Alki statue project. What does that say to them about our city and our priorities? Give me a break!
    How cool would it be to get this project done earlier than the timeline you state? May help re-instill good will towards the parks dept overall.
    Good luck and I hope you all can keep your word on this one – this time.

  • KT October 8, 2008 (10:36 am)

    You call this “investing in public infrastructure like parks”? Buying a piece of property and letting it sit abandoned and fenced off for over 3 years with no reliable completion date in sight does not make this a park. Here’s a solution for you, take on projects you have the money for. Saddling neighborhoods with abandoned, neglected lots of land is not creating park space.

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