Expand Dakota Place Park? Junction Neighborhood Org. pitched

That’s Jennifer Cargal at the dedication of Dakota Place Park one year ago, an exciting occasion for Cargal and other neighborhood advocates who worked hard to get the old substation site (map) turned into a park. Last night, she was at the Junction Neighborhood Organization‘s meeting, requesting support for a possible expansion of the year-old park. She says there’s a chance that money from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Acquisition Fund could be used to buy a parcel just north of the park, once planned for residential development. According to Cargal, this idea is in a very preliminary stage – negotiations aren’t even under way – but Parks is doing some appraisal work “and trying to get a measure of community support.” One key point, though: Levy money would just cover the costs through purchase of the land and clearing it – actual park development would then require a community campaign (which is what it took to finalize Dakota Place, and other neighborhood park projects such as Junction Plaza Park and Ercolini Park). One park neighbor who came to the JuNO meeting says she’s “amazed” at how many people use Dakota Place Park as it is now; Cargal also mentioned the students at nearby Tilden School, who (as reported here last spring) have “adopted” the park and do regular cleanups there during the school year. “I think there’s a really powerful argument for adding open space while we have this opportunity,” she said. What do YOU think? Comments, she said, can be sent to Chip Nevins, in the Parks Department’s real-estate division (here’s his contact info); Cargal’s making the rounds of community groups asking for their support, and JuNO pledged theirs. One more report from last night’s JuNO meeting – a followup on the Junction Parking Program – coming up later.

6 Replies to "Expand Dakota Place Park? Junction Neighborhood Org. pitched"

  • GenHillOne September 15, 2010 (9:46 am)

    Are the amazing numbers of park users mostly from Tilden though? I appreciate that it makes a great playground for the kids, and that more outdoor space would be of interest to them, but could we PLEASE finish the building first? It has been sitting empty for years and that should be the priority. We’re heading into another winter that may very well bring further deterioration. Until that is complete, it’s still an epic fail. Thank you for the Parks contact information; the real estate division is someone new to try I guess.

    • WSB September 15, 2010 (10:18 am)

      GHO, Jennifer said her understanding – though I have not had time to verify this with Parks today – is that the building work will be done within 6 months. I’ll be checking with Parks as soon as a traffic jam of morning events (at City Hall right now) ends … TR

  • GenHillOne September 15, 2010 (11:02 am)

    That would certainly be good news!

  • Herman September 15, 2010 (2:37 pm)

    Ercolini park has been immeasurably successful in terms of community-building and giving kids a place to play. I think Dakota park could too, with a move like this.

  • Jennifer Cargal September 15, 2010 (8:13 pm)

    I think we are all disappointed that the building isn’t yet complete, but I am hopeful it will be done soon. (Please note that the roof, windows and other exterior work is finished so that should prevent any weather related damage to the building.) The proposal is that it will be managed by Hiawatha Community Center. Here is the contact information for the project manager.

    Kelly Goold
    800 Maynard Ave S
    Suite 300
    Seattle, WA 98134-1336
    (206) 684-0586

  • 22blades September 16, 2010 (4:35 am)

    I was really excited when this building began being renovated, but now, it seems to be in a dead zone. I didn’t realize that it wasn’t finished! I can’t even figure out some basic things like when can I take a peek inside or how to find out how to use it… The signage was just some self-congratulating stuff instead of telling the community how to use it.

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