UPDATE: Demolition at Morgan Junction Park expansion site


12:47 PM: Thanks for the tip! Another long-in-the-works demolition has just begun – this time, on the former market/cleaners building at the Morgan Junction Park expansion site. Both of the businesses closed earlier this year, months after the demolition permit was issued. The city bought the site two years ago for $1.9 million. The plan for the site has yet to be designed, but the Park District levy will provide money for design and development, along with more than a dozen other “landbanked” sites including two others in West Seattle (40th SW in The Junction and 48th/Charlestown)

2:29 PM: They’re making fast work of it – just passed by again a few minutes ago:


Close to half gone.

46 Replies to "UPDATE: Demolition at Morgan Junction Park expansion site"

  • Michael Waldo August 10, 2016 (1:13 pm)

    What we need there is a parking lot, not another place for people from nearby bars to smoke.  Every time I drive by the current “park”,  it is either empty or there is someone smoking.

  • SeaVieu August 10, 2016 (1:15 pm)

    I didn’t realize this was planned for a park extension, what lovely news! Thank you for posting this information, WSB!

  • gatewoodhill August 10, 2016 (1:46 pm)

    Exciting! I’m so glad this end of the junction is getting transformed.  It’s been neglected for too long.

  • Craig August 10, 2016 (2:07 pm)

    Hopefully it’ll be a 80-95 unit apartment building.  Got to keep this progress in West Seattle going!  Build baby, build!  

    • WSB August 10, 2016 (2:27 pm)

      Sorry, Craig, it was for sale as a possible development site years ago, as reported here, and nobody bought it, so the city bought it instead and it will be open space – TR

    • Rick August 10, 2016 (2:40 pm)

      Don’t forget it should not have parking as it’s on a bus line and absolutely no one living there would have a car.  Seattle logic. (Or lack of)

  • Aero August 10, 2016 (2:21 pm)

    I would like to see them add something that will draw people to this park. I was honestly disappointed to learn they were expanding this park. Every time I drive past it, there are smokers (as listed above) and homeless people sleeping there. This is not a place I would feel comfortable hanging out or spending time because usually their things are strewn all over the place. I would like it to be a place the West Seattle community could actually use, without having to worry about who is living there.

    • JVP August 10, 2016 (3:39 pm)

      Skate park or basketball hoops!  Something for kids and us 40+ year old kids to do.

  • Kim August 10, 2016 (2:35 pm)

    I think they should create a space for food trucks!!!!

    • sw August 10, 2016 (2:47 pm)

      Ding ding ding!  Winner.

      Not sure how local restaurants would feel about that, but the idea has been suggested more than once.  A small extension of the park with a couple of pads and electrical hookups for food trucks would be awesome.  

    • Westsider August 10, 2016 (3:08 pm)

      Yes, I’m with you on that!!!

    • Paul August 10, 2016 (3:38 pm)

      I love that idea!

    • Brian August 11, 2016 (12:16 pm)

      great idea.

  • Jeanie August 10, 2016 (2:45 pm)

    This is another example of a poorly designed, unwelcoming park. Granted, it isn’t as bad as the pathetic patch of concrete “park” on Lower Queen Anne (I think it’s called Counterbalance Park) – it’s at the base of QA Hill.  But it saddens me that so-called planners often lack common sense. Let’s hope the Morgan Park expansion makes this precious piece of land more inviting. 

    • Marge E. August 10, 2016 (3:03 pm)

      the counterbalance park is bad, but did you see the ugly building that was there before? that was really hideous.

  • linconlnparkdude August 10, 2016 (2:48 pm)

    Welcome to Seattle, another park, just up the road from Lincoln and Solstice parks or and Holman park and whatever that park is down by the Vashon Ferry. I don’t want to sound like sour grapes but c’mon, are you saying they couldn’t do something better with the money?

    • WSB August 10, 2016 (2:58 pm)

      As we’ve been covering in development news, this area is rapidly densifying. This area, whether you agree or not, was identified as in need of more green space – the Morgan Junction urban village area, stretching mostly north from the park site. Originally, those who’ve been around a few years might recall, the spot that became Morgan Junction Park was going to be a monorail station. That went away. It’s a park. Yours to use, or not use. Once a design process for the expansion area is under way, we will of course amply publicize it, and you can watch for city postcards and other forms of announcements. (I’ll be checking with Parks regarding the latest timetable, and of course it’s an agenda item when the Morgan Community Association, which among other things sponsors the annual festival at the park, meets quarterly.) If you really do care about its future, when the design process begins, please participate. Community participation was invited before it was acquired, too, and we reported on that as well. – TR

  • Azimuth August 10, 2016 (2:55 pm)

    Small off-leash park would be nice

    • 23sites August 10, 2016 (7:45 pm)

      How about a ST station ?     Ok…. I am really dreaming now.    

  • Gina August 10, 2016 (2:59 pm)

    Would love to see food truck parking and picnic tables with a covered area for weather. 

  • Westsider August 10, 2016 (3:10 pm)

    Bye-by Short Stop. I sure did buy a lot of beer from you.

  • Martha August 10, 2016 (3:12 pm)

    Spray Park!

    • Carol Ellis August 11, 2016 (1:39 pm)

      Spray Park!  Yes!!

  • Kim August 10, 2016 (3:26 pm)

    How about food trucks and picnic tables encircling a little playground and spray park.  Boom, done. 

  • Kim August 10, 2016 (3:27 pm)

    And a small stage for musical performances. (I might be Leslie Knope-ing this…the space might not be big enough- haha). 

  • CeeBee August 10, 2016 (3:59 pm)

    Jeanie, how is the existing park a poorly designed park?

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man August 10, 2016 (4:17 pm)

    If this park doesn’t get overrun by over-night “campers,” (and it’s a big if, given that it’s right on a busline), then this will be a big improvement for the neighborhood. Though it sounds like a proper design is not yet in place, I don’t believe food trucks are part of the discussion. And, I hope not; it’s a park, not a concession stand. I believe it will be designed with families in mind, with swings and the like. Not a place to grub out between beers at BP. If there is anything like a neighborhood forum still to be held on the issue, I’d certainly want to attend.

  • wsn00b August 10, 2016 (4:56 pm)

    Wait a second. There is no design but they are demolishing the structures. So is it just going to be an open patch accumulating weeds and garbage, bang in the middle of Morgan Junction for X number of months/years? Or am I missing something?

    • Jon Wright August 10, 2016 (5:54 pm)

      You’d rather have an abandoned, dilapidated building with which to attract squatters? 

  • lel August 10, 2016 (6:19 pm)

    I wish the city could keep up on the parks they have.  Why can’t they clear the stairs from solstice park to the tennis courts.  They used to clear them in the summer, but they’ve been overgrown for the last 2-3 summers.

  • M August 10, 2016 (7:54 pm)

    I welcome more green space to our neighborhood. What he expansion needs is a Bocce court(s)!

    • John August 11, 2016 (6:41 am)


      Bocce courts are not green.

  • D. Radke-Bogen August 10, 2016 (8:35 pm)

    Well they didn’t tear down a landmark building. This one tried to be different but was never interesting.  As it aged it went downhill quickly, no bones no character more of a cardboard box building.

  • CeeBee August 10, 2016 (9:35 pm)

    Morgan is a Residential Urban Village.  We fall short of the Comprehensive Plan guidelines for open space and were allocated Acquisition and Construction Funds in the Pro-Parks Levy back in 2000 to purchase open space, which was used when the monorail station planned there went off the rails in 2006.  There were multiple park design meetings (at least 3) to design the current park, which was dedicated in 2009.   

    Even after that park was opened, we were still short on meeting the Open Space goals for Urban Villages and were allocated more funds in the Parks and Green Space Levy in 2008, and when the dry cleaners – deli location went up for sale, it was the best choice of the land available inside the Urban Village at the time.  But the money in the 2008 was only for acquisition, there was none allocated for design and construction.  So the park land will be “land banked” while we see how the building of the park can be funded.  If anyone is interested in working on this, please come to the next MoCA meeting on Oct 19 7:00 pm at the Kenney, or contact the MoCA board at http://www.morganjunction.org/contact-us.html


  • Friends of Morgan Junction Parks August 10, 2016 (9:59 pm)

    Thanks for the timely reporting WSB (as always). To reinforce what Tracy and the folks at MoCA have said, this is a unique opportunity for us to shape the design of some rare open space in our rapidly densifying neighborhood. The number of people who attend and provide input at these meetings is often minuscule compared to the impact the result has on all of us.  We look forward to participating in the process and supporting the community in their decision. 

  • Jeanie August 10, 2016 (11:19 pm)

    Marge E., I sure do remember that monstrous building where the Counterbalance “Park” now stands. Shudder! I think they called it The Blob. The so-called park is dismal, though.

    CeeBee: Just look at all the great suggestions from commenters here. All would be an improvement over the current swath of nothing. I like the idea of a small, fenced off-leash dog area, a kid’s playground, a skatepark, a spraypark, a water feature, a community garden, even food trucks (though many are trendy, overpriced, and mediocre). If the park had natural beauty with a great view, for instance, it would not be the seldom-enjoyed space it is now. It wouldn’t need inviting, family-friendly amenities like a playground. Now, it’s just a swatch of lawn with a few benches and a bit of greenery trimmings. 

  • Jeanie August 10, 2016 (11:24 pm)

    CeeBee, I want to add that I apologize if it sounded like I was criticizing the MoCA people,  who undoubtedly worked very hard. And it’s a shame there was funding only for the land acquisition, not the design and construction – certainly not MoCA’s fault. I wonder why there were even design meetings, if there was not funding for the next steps.

    The reality remains that, despite citizen efforts, the park is underused and unwelcoming. 

    • WSB August 10, 2016 (11:46 pm)

      Just to be clear, the design meetings that were referred to were for the park that is open now. It opened in 2009. (The design process was JUST before we really got going with WSB, so we don’t have any archives on it, but there are various documents and records online.)

      The expansion plan came about a few years later. Each park levy – including the current Park District – has had money for acquisition but not necessarily for development. The idea is that landbanking is necessary because otherwise, the opportunity to snag park space in a rapidly densifying city like ours will be lost.

  • Mel August 11, 2016 (3:25 am)

    A “SPRAY PARK” would be amazing. I have lived 3 blocks from this spot for 36 years (and counting). I would love to take my kids there instead of driving all the way to the Highland park one. 

  • hj August 11, 2016 (9:01 am)

    There are complaints about a park expanding? The people who post here are absolutely unreal. And I’m also rolling my eyes at the several commenters who drove by and said that they never see anyone. When I walked by on Sunday, like an actual person who enjoys our neighborhoods and what they have to offer, there was a family pleasantly  taking a break and eating ice cream.

    • Brian August 11, 2016 (12:17 pm)

      Amen HJ.

  • Todd August 11, 2016 (9:55 am)

    Like all other developments…residential, business or in this case, a park, the way to shape your community is by actually getting involved. Attend the meetings. Voice your opinion to the people who actually make the decisions. Be informed and stay current on what’s happening. The plan for the park was made public a long time ago – I can’t believe anyone who actually cares hasn’t known about it before now. Whether it’s the best use of funds or if it should have been developed privately, etc. is all pretty much moot at this point. The period of opportunity for a sale is over and the decision is made (it will be a park), but there is time to make your voice heard, as detailed by CEEBEE above. Private sale probably derailed by the fact one of the businesses was a dry cleaners (one of the top ground-polluting industries) and any development would involve environmental studies and likely lots of soil removal (not sure how this will affect any park design, though…). The current park used to be an auto shop before the Monorail Project used eminent domain to buy it out, then re-sell it (too long of a story for this space).  And as WESTSIDER said, I also bought much beer at the Short Stop…

  • The Truth August 11, 2016 (9:56 am)

    I agree that in the past the park had an element that at times was uncomfortable.  I had walked to the park with my little girl to a hot chocolate and get some fresh air.  Instead I got to drunk homeless folks smoking and loudly arguing.  Not want I want in a park.

    That being said, I walk by the park all the time and since the Short Stop Market closed I see way less of that going on.  Selling cheap malt beverages next to a park is not a recipe for sobriety and family environment.

  • Brian August 11, 2016 (12:20 pm)

    So let me see if I have this correct…more buildings / apartments = bad. More parks / greenspace = also bad.

    I’m confused by this logic. What exactly would make the complainers happy? 

    Note to self *I’ve got to stop reading the comments*

  • WSince86 August 11, 2016 (3:03 pm)

    Ditto, Brian. 

  • Jeanie August 12, 2016 (12:00 am)

    I think most – or not all – of us are happy to have more parkland. It’s welcome news. However, we’re just hoping that more planning goes into this, to make it a beautiful place that everyone can enjoy. The lone family enjoying an ice-cream cone in the park is nice, but not enough to make it a neighborhood greenspace. 

    In fact, I walked by the park yesterday, on a gorgeous day. Empty. No families, no dogs, not even an amorous couple PDAing! I guess that’s better than what I saw walking past Counterbalance Park in Lower Queen Anne this afternoon: One guy, apparently homeless, asleep on the concrete, and about five or so other scruffy guys gathered at one of the few tables, backpacks and garbage bags scattered about. Yes, they have a right to be there, but it was sad.

Sorry, comment time is over.