FOLLOWUP: Demolition planned at Orchard Street Ravine expansion site

In summer 2018, we reported on the city’s plan to expand the Seattle Parks-owned area of Orchard Street Ravine by buying 7137 38th SW, a 5,600-square-foot parcel (map) holding the century-plus-old house shown in the King County Assessor photo above. Today, Parks announced it will be tearing down the house soon:

Seattle Parks and Recreation is moving forward with the structure demolition in the Orchard Street Ravine at 7137 38th Ave. SW. SPR purchased the property in 2018 to increase the green space in the Orchard Street Ravine, a natural area and important green space connector for the West Seattle community.

Watterson Excavating will be working in late May to demolish the structure on site. Between May and September, the Seattle Conservation Corps will put in erosion control measures and hydroseed the site. The property was purchased with community support and funding provided by the Seattle Park District.

In 2018, the city said the purchase price would be $235,000 (records verify that’s what was paid), and that it expected additional costs of $25,000 for “staff time, title insurance, and closing cost,” plus “up to $100,000 for demolition of the house.”

4 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Demolition planned at Orchard Street Ravine expansion site"

  • JVP May 23, 2020 (1:33 pm)

    I like seeing our parks and natural spaces expanded. But $100k to demo a house? I sure hope they stated that incorrectly, as that would be wildly out of range for what it should cost. Our city is so inefficient and not focused on managing costs. It’s so frustrating. 

    • Ed May 23, 2020 (7:06 pm)

      I’m pretty sure the words “up to” precede the amount.  It makes sense to include a buffer in the event they encounter anything unexpected while demoing it.  Asbestos or anything else requiring abatement would definitely drive up the cost.  Hardly inefficient or unfocused on management cost to allocate funds in advance that can be unallocated if not needed.  Beats having to halt the project midway for lack of adequate funding.

      • RCS May 25, 2020 (12:44 pm)

        Yah, they might find toxic stuff in there that would require specialists to come in. Asbestos is no bueno. Which in this case might be highly likely considering the age of the house. On another note, I never noticed this house until just a few days ago when I was walking my dog through the ravine. I looked up and thought, is that a house?! Sometimes Seattle is like the northwest version of the jungles in the Yucatan. Structures buried under ivy and trees. Who knows, they might find a pyramid in one of these cleanups. 

  • Ann May 24, 2020 (8:14 am)

    The community has worked hard to make the Orchard Street Ravine a welcoming site for people to enjoy the native beauty of our city. We are so grateful that, after years of trying to expand this small refuge, the city is moving forward with this expansion. The removal of this structure will allow us to continue our efforts to replace invasive plants with native species. Thanks to all who make this possible!

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