FOLLOWUP: Only one Lowman Beach decision so far – no new tennis court

(WSB photo, last week – Lowman Beach tennis court and swing set)

About 50 people showed up online Tuesday evening for the third meeting about a possible racket-sport court for Lowman Beach Park once the current one is removed along with the failing seawall nearby. Here’s what it boiled down to: Seattle Parks says it’s open to the idea of a pickleball court in currently open space on the south side of the park, but not another tennis court. And Parks doesn’t have money for any added features, so if a pickleball court is proposed and approved, the estimated $450,000 cost would have to be covered by a community fundraising campaign. A community group, the Seattle Sports Complex Foundation, got a grant to cover the cost of the process up to this point, working with HBB Landscape Architecture on concepts, but as was made clear last night, this meeting marked the end of that process. Furthermore, Kliment said Parks’ approval wasn’t guaranteed if this community group or someone else decided to pursue the pickleball option – just that Parks isn’t opposed to it, as long as it wouldn’t require removal of the park’s popular swing set, but Parks is opposed to a new tennis court. So now the ball is in community advocates’ court, so to speak. As for how much longer the current court will be available, the removal project (also grant-funded) is out to bid right now and expected to start later this summer. As explained in a separate series of public meetings, it will result in beach restoration and Pelly Creek daylighting.

P.S. Parks says it’ll post video of last night’s meeting on this page soon – we’ll add that link here when it’s available.

22 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Only one Lowman Beach decision so far - no new tennis court"

  • Rico June 30, 2021 (1:09 pm)

    Too bad.  While I generally agree we need grass more than concrete, this was a great tennis court location – and tennis is a very inexpensive sport that can be enjoyed by all.  In addition, one can play pickle ball and basketball on a tennis court, but not the other way around.Why are the city of Seattle parks and facilities so poorly maintained compared to surrounding municipalities?    Baseball, basketball, tennis, etc    There is just no comparison.      The story says, “Parks doesn’t have money for any added features,”  why?  All we hear from city leadership is we need more taxes.  Fact:    City revenues are at an all time high and have increased over 70% in the last 7 years.       

    • DH June 30, 2021 (6:27 pm)

      Sorry, no not everyone can enjoy tennis. I have shoulder issues that make it impossible. 

  • Happy June 30, 2021 (1:22 pm)

    Thanks for this update. Lowman Beach is a special park. Any news on what is going on at the Morgan Junction land banked site? They’ve been moving dirt there. 

    • WSB June 30, 2021 (2:38 pm)

      Yes, story sometime soon, it’s staging for a utility project at another site, the city does that sometimes (also recently on the Myers Way Parcels).

  • cjboffoli June 30, 2021 (1:28 pm)

    Installation of a pickleball court usually ranges from about $30,000-$50,000 (tops). But the City of Seattle’s budgeted cost is $450,000?! Once again….municipal accounting at its finest. Must be that new math.

    • Morgan June 30, 2021 (6:44 pm)

      Spot on CJ; buedgeted for removal but not replace, and the cost is as much as a single family house build. There’s some local pickle ball companies; perhaps a sponsorship? Doesn’t the parks department have a foundation?  Too few active Recs places in west seattle and the setting is great. WSB: any word on Lincoln Park south play structure..?

      • WSB June 30, 2021 (10:42 pm)

        The city website has it going out to bid in the third quarter (which starts tomorrow)/

  • AN June 30, 2021 (1:49 pm)

    450,000!!! That’s a total joke! I priced one for my back yard and it was about 30,000, including grading, then a fence and net – Can’t be more that 100,000, and that’s going all out!

  • pickleballplayerand fan June 30, 2021 (2:11 pm)

    Pickleball is an amazing sport with so much support in the community.  But, $450,000?? Really?? I’d rather see that money go to Audubon or something to nurture the environment. There are plenty of unused tennis courts in the area that can be modified for pickleball. I’m at Lowman almost every day and I only see the tennis courts being used about 5% of the time.  Make room for more animal habitat. 

  • Auntie June 30, 2021 (3:05 pm)

    More green, less cement. I’ve read that tennis courts can be striped to accomodate both tennis and pickleball, so why not do that to some existing tennis courts? The number of pickball players vs the number of people who would rather just enjoy a nice green park – not even close.

    • WSB June 30, 2021 (4:30 pm)

      I don’t know whether this is officially sanctioned or not and at the time we couldn’t stop to investigate, but we recently passed temporary pickleball courts in use in the Madison MS south parking lot.

  • Also garden fan June 30, 2021 (5:13 pm)

    Actually, wouldn’t an organic, pesticide and fertilizer-free pea-patch be really cool there?  Great sun, low cost, and would serve a lot of people.

    • Anyone For Tennis July 1, 2021 (1:24 pm)

      A Go-Kart track would be way more fun for more people. Kids love them!

  • Deb Barker June 30, 2021 (6:05 pm)

    RE: Morgan Junction Park expansion site: I’m under the impression that the stockpiles of soil and gravel are part of the soils remediation project (STILL FUNDED) for the  land banked parcel. I’ve put in a request for confirmation to the Parks planner in charge of the soils remediation. The rest of the Morgan Junction Park expansion project is on HOLD due to pandemic related  Parks funding shortages. Hopefully more information will be available from Parks staff by the time that Morgan Community Association (MoCA) has its quarterly meeting on July 21, 2021, at 7:00pm via Zoom. Contact for MoCA is

    • WSB June 30, 2021 (6:35 pm)

      This is a direct quote from Parks’ Kelly Goold: “Morgan Junction Addition site is being used by a contractor associated with a SPU project under a Revokable Use Permit. Instead of fees the contractor will perform work on the site – clearing and grubbing of blackberries and invasive, rough grading, limited demolition, and the like.” I had asked him a while back about the status of the soil project. As of that inquiry two months ago, it had yet to go to bid.

  • Robert J Schmidt June 30, 2021 (10:09 pm)

    Any reason they why they decided there should be no tennis court?

  • BigB July 1, 2021 (7:49 am)

    Such a short sighted decision. Boo hiss.  A well designed clay court would have been nice.

    • Auntie July 1, 2021 (2:00 pm)

      There are plenty of tennis courts nearby, as listed in WSB’s previous article. For the majority of the people (who don’t play tennis or pickleball) the decision to have this park more green than cement or clay is a good one.

  • J July 1, 2021 (2:56 pm)

    Clearly the parks department has some kind of major issue with tennis players.   They do a generally terrible job of maintaining existing tennis courts, and why would they allow a pickleball court but not tennis?   Why not build one that can accommodate both such as what exists at High Point?   Finally, the $450,000 cost is ridiculous.    There is no way the community is going to be able to raise that much money on their own.   

    • WSB July 1, 2021 (3:14 pm)

      The pickleball court would be smaller, for one.

  • EyeRoll July 4, 2021 (6:59 am)

    Welcome to Seattle: “Where The Fun Never Starts” 

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