(King County Assessor photo)
The issue of blighted properties got a little attention citywide this week with an action by the city in North Seattle.
While we haven’t heard of anything similar in our area just yet, we did discover recently that one of West Seattle’s most visible blighted properties has new ownership.
It’s the house above, 3804 23rd SW, isolated and deteriorating on the slope along the Delridge onramp to the West Seattle Bridge.
Vandalism and squatter trouble has ravaged it for years. In 2009, it was a stop on a tour organized by then-North Delridge Neighborhood Council chair Mike Dady, who invited City Councilmembers and department heads to come see several blighted ND sites firsthand. (You’ll see a photo in one of our reports from that tour.) It came up again during a 2012 walking tour organized by later NDNC leadership, with a suggestion the city acquire the site, then listed at $79,000. And city acquisition was suggested again in passing at a recent community meeting.
Checking subsequently to figure out the property’s status, we found it had changed hands recently – at a foreclosure sale. County documents showed its longtime owner hadn’t paid its property taxes since at least 2008, and that piled up to more than $25,000 owed. So the house wound up on a long list of properties the county sold on December 12th to cover tax liens. Its new owner is the Eastside-based Wayne Seminoff Company‘s Money Purchase Pension Plan (WSCO MPPP); While county websites don’t show the purchase price, we obtained it from the KC Treasury Department: $68,000. (Its previous sale was in 1989, for $50,000.)
For its $68,000, the WSCO MPPP got the 66-year-old house and its 7,700-square-foot site, which is platted as four lots, zoned LR (lowrise) 1, meaning multifamily development such as rowhouses/townhouses would be allowable. No reply so far to our inquiry about the company’s plans for the site; nothing’s on file with the city (at least in terms of development or remodeling), so far.
–WSB editor Tracy Record