Followup: What the city will pay for Dakota Place Park expansion

(King County Assessor’s Office photo of 4041-4045 California SW)
One week ago, we reported that the city was moving forward on buying a 5,750-square-foot site north of Dakota Place Park so the park, dominated by its remodeled, landmarked ex-substation building, can be expanded. One key piece of information was missing at the time, however: How much the city will pay. That information is available today, along with other details of the city’s plan for the site, now that the legislation is officially in the council’s online files. From its “fiscal note” document:

… The City presented several offers to the previous owner; however, there was never any agreement on price. A developer acquired the property, subdivided it into two parcels, each now owned by a different limited liability company controlled by the same managing member. Both limited liability companies are willing to sell to the City. The two parcels will be acquired under separate purchase and sale agreements and conveyed under separate deeds. It is anticipated that after the acquisitions close, the City will manage the site until park design/construction funding becomes available by demolishing the three residential cottages and two small outbuildings on one parcel and managing the lease in the commercial building on the other parcel until it is time to develop the park, depending on the terms of the lease and the condition of the building. …

The current budget for this project is $795,087. The costs of negotiations with previous owner were $20,087. The current purchase price is $477,000 for one parcel and $238,000 for the other for a total purchase price of $715,000. The additional budget of $60,000 is for appraisals,administrative time, title insurance and closing costs, environmental testing, survey, and demolition of the residential structures and outbuildings. The acquisitions are scheduled to close at the end of March 2014 with demolition of the structures happening at the end of 2014. …

We checked on the site’s history; its longtime owner sold it for $550,000 last October, according to county records. The subdivision mentioned in the city “fiscal note” above was not actually a step taken by a developer, but a confirmation they sought from the city that the site could be considered two separate lots, since there is currently a commercial building fronting California and three homes behind it. The city issued a confirmation letter last December.

9 Replies to "Followup: What the city will pay for Dakota Place Park expansion"

  • AEP February 28, 2014 (3:53 pm)

    Nicely done, unnamed LLCs. Quite a tidy profit for owning the property less than six months. I’d love to know how the City of Seattle managed to pay $165,000 more for the property than the intermediate owner, after all those prior negotiations.

  • wetone February 28, 2014 (5:25 pm)

    Our great city of Seattle seems to work very well with Dan Duffus. Duffus is tied to both property owners DL Dalton LLC & Soleil Improvments Co LLC. The city let them split the 5750sqft lot into 1080 sqft & 4670sqft. As for the city negotiating on properties they buy for parks it seems to be open check book, what ever owner wants especially here in W/S with all the building there allowing here. City did same thing with 2 future park properties they bought last year 4700 block of 40th SW. They will bill us soon :)

  • sc February 28, 2014 (8:41 pm)

    I’d rather pay for a park then look at one of those ugly square box buildings by Dan Duffus.

  • Maggie February 28, 2014 (10:31 pm)

    Just genius! Have the city spilt the parcel, then sell it back to them for a large profit 6 months later! Maybe one of these developers can split up the old Charlestown (aka Tagger-town) and sell it back to the city in pieces too? I’m in the wrong biz…

    Oh, and what exactly are they going to build on these sites? Another meeting space the public can rent for $675/minimum on the weekends?


    • WSB February 28, 2014 (10:47 pm)

      The city didn’t split up the parcel. The city issued a decision affirming that it could be treated as two parcels. Sounds like semantics, I know, but read the document we linked. Meantime, you might already know this, but the Charlestown site already has a development plan. (Update in the next few days, in fact.) Don’t know what the city plans with the Dakota Place expansion – the general expectation is open space, after the little cottages are demolished, but I’ll check next week.

  • AmyCA March 1, 2014 (11:02 am)

    Having been a former tenant of one of the cottages on this property, it’s bittersweet reading this. It’s a great location (as both residences & greenspace), but the cottages, dating from ~1927, were in severe disrepair. (My old cottage had quite the foundation settlement at the south side, & it was lovingly nicknamed “The Tugboat.”) I’ll always fondly look back at the time I lived there, however: long live the The Tugboat!

  • wetone March 1, 2014 (11:26 am)

    King County records show DL Dalton LLC owner of parcel 301030-1056 4670sqft tax value $420,300.00 and Soleil Improvements Co LLC owner of parcel 301030-1055 1080sqft tax value $98,200.00 If the lots are not split up there must be some interesting stuff Duffus has figured out along with Director of DPD Director Diane M. Surimura and Land use Planner Supervisor Andrew Mckim for allowing this type of practice that we are seeing all to often in this city these days.

  • sun*e March 2, 2014 (11:54 pm)

    Oh no! This is the site of The Gold Thread – where I have all my alterations done. Where are they going?!

    • WSB March 2, 2014 (11:56 pm)

      Sun – if you read the fine print, it does not appear they will be leaving any time soon – the city says the commercial building lease is expected to continue while they figure out how to develop the expanded park site. Probably longer than they would have been able to stay if the developer/owner proceeded with plans.

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