Seattle Parks and Recreation Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent
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Smith Cove Acquisition
Pro Parks Project Information

Two locations: W Galer Street, west of the Magnolia Bridge; and 23rd Ave W, at the southeast foot of Magnolia hill, between the Magnolia Bridge and the Elliott Bay Marina.

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Donald Harris, Property and Acquisition Services Manager
Seattle Parks and Recreation
800 Maynard Ave S, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98134

Meeting Presentation
Meeting Presentation
You will need adobe acrobat reader to view this document.

Smith Cove Map
2003 Smith Cove Acquisition

Smith Cove view
Ursula Judkins Viewpoint
(upper site)

Smith Cove view
(lower site)

Select an image to enlarge


Thank you Seattle. This acquisition is complete.

This webpage reflects the earlier Pro Parks acquisition in 2003 and Parks current work with the Port of Seattle and King County on a new project.

At a public meeting on March 3, 2011 the Port of Seattle and Seattle Parks and Recreation lead a discussion about their properties in Smith Cove. The King County Wastewater Treatment Division also presented their proposal to construct an underground CSO holding tank in the area to protect water quality in Puget Sound.

The community advocated for the Port's property West Yard to become Park land and that the CSO facility be accommodated therein. With community and political support, Parks and King County negotiated this result.

In March 2013, an agreement was reached between the City, King County and the Port of Seattle to acquire the West Yard property for the Magnolia Combined Sewer Overflow project and as an addition to Smith Cove Park.

The cost to the City is all to be covered by funding that is or will be available to Parks and Recreation. The total acquisition cost is $5,216,000. Funded from the following:

  • 2000 Pro Parks Levy
  • 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy Acquisition Reserve (Note the above allocations have been recommended by the Levy Oversight Committee)
  • 2013 Conservation Futures Funding (CFT)
  • 2008 CFT (this was a reallocation of previously approved funding)
  • 2014 CFT recommended by King County CFT Committee
  • Fees from sale of easements to King County for the Magnolia CSO.

While this acquisition has been driven by King Countys need to site the Magnolia CSO facility, and they have been a helpful partner in these negotiations with the Port, what the City and the public will gain, is a long desired 5+ acre waterfront park on Elliott Bay. It can be viewed as the terminus of what will be a great new public amenity at the completion of the Central Waterfront project.

For more information view this news release.

LOCATION Two locations: W Galer Street, west of the Magnolia Bridge; and 23rd Ave W, at the southeast foot of Magnolia hill, between the Magnolia Bridge and the Elliott Bay Marina.


Thank you Seattle! This acquisition is complete.
Seattle Parks and Recreation, in cooperation with King County, purchased 7.3 acres from the U.S. Navy on August 29, 2003.

The Pro Parks Levy includes Smith Cove Acquisition as a Neighborhood Parks Acquisition project. In addition to Pro Parks Levy funds, this acquisition was made possible by funding from the Shoreline Park Improvement Fund and from King County.

The property is comprised of:

  • 2.4 acres of property on W Galer St on Magnolia hill, at the top of the Magnolia Bridge. This site includes panoramic views of downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay and was opened to the public in April 2004. This portion of the site has been named "Ursula Judkins Viewpoint."
    > view press release
  • 4.9 acres of property along 23rd Ave W ("lower site"). This property is primarily a level site at the southeast foot of Magnolia hill, between the Magnolia Bridge and the Elliott Bay Marina. Utilities serving the adjacent property were removed from the lower site, and interim improvements to the lower site included grading and seeding of the interim open play field.
    A public meeting was held on February 10, 2004 regarding interim improvements to a portion of the lower site.
    > view meeting notes
  • Southern part of the lower property: While it does not include waterfront property, the southern part of this site is within the shoreline zoned area.
  • Northern part of the lower property: $300,000 of the funding provided by King County was used for interim improvements to this part of the property to accommodate youth sports activity. These interim improvements included removing paving, bringing in soil, and grass seeding. A public meeting was held on February 10, 2004 regarding these interim improvements.

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Updated October 13, 2015
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