New ‘West Seattle Athletic Complex’ idea and more, @ Southwest District Council

By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Three major topics when the Southwest District Council met Wednesday night at the Senior Center/Sisson Building, with featured guests City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, Susan Oatis of Anti-Hate Alaska Junction, and Lisa Corbin of Friends of Southwest Tennis:

Tennis & More?

According to Lisa Corbin, there are 35 outdoor tennis courts in West Seattle, but proper resources for winter weather are much more limited, with just 20 indoor courts in the entire city.

Corbin’s group, Friends of Southwest Tennis, has been working to expand the area’s indoor options for the game, citing the need for more facilities to be able to introduce children to the game outside of summertime.

The group had originally begun discussions to convert the courts west of Southwest Pool/Teen Life Center into a covered, revenue-generating solution, but were told earlier this year that the property would not be made available. So now they’re pivoting.

In their search for four acres of available space to convert for their desired use, the group came across 12 acres just south of Jack Block Park along Harbor Avenue SW. Rather than moving on from the larger parcel, however, the group worked to design a plan for a broader athletic complex to potentially turn the space into a facility to serve participants in multiple sports.

Though the idea is still in very early stages, Corbin believes that with support from the West Seattle community, their proposed “West Seattle Athletic Complex” could allow residents even more sporting options that would keep them from having to potentially cross the West Seattle Bridge.

The “CEM site,” where Corbin’s group is now focusing, is expected to be the subject of a request for proposals next year, she told WSB. Her SWDC appearance was more in the FYI mode since they’re in the early stages of planning a proposal. (WSB archives reveal an unrelated sports proposal for the site a decade ago.)

Vacant Building Monitoring Program

Councilmember Herbold was invited to the meeting to discuss continuing efforts to enhance the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections’ Vacant Building Monitoring Program. A recently adopted city ordinance strengthened maintenance standards for vacant residential structures and diminished barriers to demolition of those former homes failing to meet safety code requirements.

Among the new standards are provisions for Seattle fire and police departments to initiate the take-down process for vacant houses that are frequently visited by either service due to complaint calls.

But as Herbold told SWDC attendees, identifying houses to monitor is less of an issue than finding the resources to manage the workload.

In 2017, 434 buildings received complaints, but fewer than one-quarter of those were then monitored. Currently, there are 43 buildings in the monitoring program, but at least 70 identified by either fire or police personnel as potential candidates for the program.

Efforts to shift some of the financial burden of vacant homes to their owners have been unsuccessful, as only about one-third of the fines issued are ultimately collected, according to Herbold.

“There is interest among my colleagues to pursue this,” says Herbold. “Fees are a ẗough nut to crack.¨

Anti-Hate Alaska Junction

Susan Oatis of Anti-Hate Alaska Junction introduced her group to the council, sharing its origin as a response to a rising trend in hate-based incidents in Seattle and across Washington.

The group is hoping to grow enough to offer its ¨bystander intervention” program to all local churches, schools, and organizations interested in hosting those practice sessions.

A series of meetings open to the public will be held at Admiral Congregational United Church from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on November 4, November 11, November 18, and December 2.

Also of note from last night’s meeting:

Emergency Preparedness Workshops

Cindi Barker of West Seattle Be Prepared announced that the group’s upcoming workshops on October 7 and November 3 are nearly at capacity and encouraged those interested to reserve spots as soon as possible.

The group is also hosting a “Disaster Trivia Night” next Wednesday (October 10th) at Talarico’s Pizzeria in The Junction. The event begins at 8:30 pm, with prizes for top finishers and a raffle of disaster supplies.

West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival

Lora Radford, executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association, offered a reminder that community groups are able to have a free booth during the annual Harvest Festival, scheduled this year for 10 am-2 pm October 28. Interested groups can find application information on the group’s website.

The Southwest District Council, including representatives from community groups and organizations in (mostly) western West Seattle, meets first Wednesdays most months, 6:30 pm, at the Senior Center/Sisson Building in The Juncion.

33 Replies to "New 'West Seattle Athletic Complex' idea and more, @ Southwest District Council"

  • c October 4, 2018 (3:12 pm)

    Wish a pool was in the plans. Our high school teams have very limited practice times and a pool for a south end water polo team would be great.

  • WSEA October 4, 2018 (3:16 pm)

    Yes. I would love to see this spot used for something. I can already see it now. Drop my kid off for soccer and go for a run on the path. Win Win.

  • the truth October 4, 2018 (3:17 pm)

    I love the idea of this and would be super excited about some batting cages. I have fond memories growing up and going to the cages with my dad. I still love to go but there is nowhere close to hear that I know of (please correct me on this, it would be welcomed info) so it makes it hard to do. Lets get folks out and moving!!!

  • Westside J October 4, 2018 (3:35 pm)

    Really? Tennis and basketball courts? Lame… as noted, there is already both of these available in multiple places on the west side. How about an indoor skate park or roller hockey rink? something that actually requires a dry surface….? Basketball and tennis can both EASILY be played on a wet court.

    • Bruce October 4, 2018 (7:27 pm)

      Basketball and tennis cannot be played on wet courts. They’re slippery and can cause player injury. There are no indoor tennis courts on the WestSide and indoor basketball courts are limited as well. This project will provide far more community benefits and access than an indoor skate park or roller hockey rink.

    • KT October 4, 2018 (9:45 pm)

      “Basketball and tennis can both easily be played on a wet court. ” Wow, really? You first!

    • wscommuter October 4, 2018 (10:19 pm)

      You are crazy. Wet courts are incredible dangerous – no one plays tennis on a wet court.

      More to the point – indoor tennis is wildly underserved in Seattle. This would be an amazing asset to West Seattle. I’m strongly in favor of this.

    • JVP October 5, 2018 (1:03 pm)

      Why not both? Skate, tennis and hoops are all treacherous (and not realistic) in the wet. 12 tennis courts and 5 full court hoops seems like overkill 8 and 4 would still be a good amount. You’d want everything here to utilized instead of sitting idle.

      Put a killer pump track in one of the corners and a line of dirt jumps along one edge while you’re at it for kids (of all ages) who aren’t into organized sports and have a little more adrenaline to burn off.

      W Sea has a real lack of things for active and athletic kids and adults to do in the winter. Our parks are pretty lame this way. Where’s there even a basketball hoop near the AK Junction?

      Even though tennis isn’t my thing, kudos for putting this idea forward. Anything that can get us more active, and cut down on winter boredom, is needed.

  • oakley34 October 4, 2018 (5:58 pm)

    Love the Bball courts.

  • Mj October 4, 2018 (5:59 pm)

    The site appears to be on industrial land?

    • Bruce October 4, 2018 (7:28 pm)

      It’s a former landfill and not considered industrial lands.

      • CC October 4, 2018 (8:12 pm)

        It is zoned general industrial but I think it’s a great use for that sliver of land. I would love to see some indoor courts like this for the west side.

  • Curtis October 4, 2018 (9:01 pm)

    This spot would be ideal for a soccer complex… there are already dozens of tennis courts around west seattle and they are underutilized (we use them for soccer tennis). We really need a soccer complex… the site is ideal, amazing views, room for parking too.

    Does the Port of Seattle own the land? It has been vacant for quite some time.

    • Dawson October 5, 2018 (8:47 am)

      Would like to see two soccer fields, one full-size and the other U10 size. This is the old tiling pile that was compacted and covered as part of the reclamation down there back in the late 90s early 2000s. What a great use of this land and potential for that area along Harbor avenue

  • sc October 4, 2018 (9:23 pm)

    I hope the multi-sport field will be a turf surface and lighted. There is such demand for Hiawatha, Delridge, and Walt Hundley that we could use more space like those.

  • DBurns October 4, 2018 (9:34 pm)

    @The Truth we always took our kids to the cages at Tukwila Fun Center – not toooo far :)
    I think this idea is amazing and a great contribution to West Seattle. Please consider having it partially run by volunteers who get an advantage to usage. We need more opportunities for people to see and learn the value of volunteering – especially young people.
    Indoor basketball courts are super scarce in this town for practices and organized play for all ages!
    Also, I have gone out to Amy Yee for years in the colder months and it would be a dream come true to have covered tennis courts right here!!
    I will help in any way I can to make this a reality! Please let us know how we can help.

  • uttermadness October 4, 2018 (11:00 pm)

    This industrial parcel quite likely would be in the direct path of a tsunami in the event of an undersea earthquake along the Seattle Fault zone. And if the area in question was once a landfill, the unstable soil would only amplify the earthquake’s intensity. Tennis anyone?

    • tennis anyone- soccer too! October 5, 2018 (10:34 am)

      funny i was just looking at the ‘Seattle Hazard Explorer’ map yesterday. Yep, right in the liquefaction zone.
      But it still seems like a great idea and the facilities would be well used.
      (Building codes address the issue, right ? )

  • Daphneadora October 5, 2018 (12:32 am)

    I love this idea! While there are a lot of free outdoor tennis courts in Seattle, they are unusable for much of the year because they’re wet. And since you don’t know what the weather will be like, there are no outdoor classes offered except late June-end of Aug.
    As a parent of a child who is passionate about tennis, the only places I’ve found to take him for lessons during the majority of the year are Amy Yee, the Boeing Employees Tennis Club in Kent, and the Tennis Center at Sand Point. The only public option is Amy Yee.
    Not having enough indoor tennis space and classes limits not only how many people can play but how many people can develop tennis skills. There are lots of soccer teams but no tennis teams for children (that I have been able to find) in Seattle.

  • uttermadness October 5, 2018 (5:58 am)

    Not a great location. In the event of an undersea earthquake along the Seattle Fault, this area is in the path of a potential tsunami. Imagine a 50 mph wall of seawater swallowing everything in its path. Tennis anyone?

  • wetone October 5, 2018 (8:58 am)

    Great idea, but ingress/egress from area is terrible and only is going to get worse with all new construction in area. During commute times and nice days traffic along Harbor ave . can easily back up 1/2 mile in that stretch of roadway. Would be great to do this at T-5 location as it has much better access. Then move foot ferry to same location so one has real dedicated parking and bus hub. Use T-5 area for the people, not the Port and city’s wasteful spending boondoggle……. ;)

    • dftl October 5, 2018 (6:07 pm)

      Terminal 5 is Port of Seattle property, per the RCW; nice try though.

  • KM October 5, 2018 (9:12 am)

    This would be really fantastic.

    Agree with wetone on the ingress/egress, I think we would need a light or traffic configuration to make it safe for all users, especially with such a heavily used bike trail crossing the entrance of the future site. Cars leaving the site will need a SB exit, or we’ll have a lot of crazy, unsafe u-turns further north on Harbor (there are already enough).

  • JC October 5, 2018 (9:59 am)

    Pool and tennis courts are a great idea! Real swimming options are extremely limited for dedicated swim programs outside expensive member only gyms and swimming clubs with long wait lists. A real 50 meter pool like Rainier Valley, Redmond, or Federal Way with diving pool would change the lives of many kids and families. Two sports that really need indoor support to flourish in our climate. Also while some may see these sports as “elite” they have that reputation because they haven’t been made accessible to everyone. The suits and rackets are not more expensive than other sport equipment.

  • quiz October 5, 2018 (10:14 am)

    yes, please.

  • Erin98126 October 5, 2018 (10:57 am)

    Yesssss!!!!! Indoor tennis courts in West Seattle are a dream come true! How can we support/help make this happen?

    • LC October 5, 2018 (1:38 pm)

      To follow the project, send your email to Updates are sent as we make progress.

  • HS October 5, 2018 (12:33 pm)

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know why the SW athletic complex was not available for indoor tennis court conversion? I’m disappointed, having heard about the possibility a few years ago, I was looking forward to it.

    • LC October 5, 2018 (1:36 pm)

      The School district pulled the location of the earlier project.

  • Menin October 5, 2018 (10:22 pm)

    Fantastic news and progress.

  • justmet October 6, 2018 (5:41 pm)

    It needs an eSports lounge over in the corner. ;-)

  • kj October 7, 2018 (1:01 pm)

    Ping pong?

  • Wily Wench October 19, 2018 (11:10 am)

    Agree wholeheartedly with “Wetone”; picturing Incredible traffic jam!

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