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Council News Release

9/23/2008  2:05:00 PM
Brian Hawksford, Rasmussen Office, 206-684-8808

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

Rasmussen: Private sector will upgrade park buildings to ensure continued community and recreation use

SEATTLE The Seattle City Council Parks and Seattle Center Committee approved contracts that will lead to the renovation of two key buildings at Warren G. Magnuson Park. Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chair of the Committee, said, Todays action brings funding from the private sector to renovate and repair public buildings to help fulfill Seattles plan for Magnuson Park.

If todays committee action is approved by the full Council, Building 11 LLC, a private for-profit company will invest approximately $8 million to renovate Building 11 located at the northshore of the park. When completed the 58,000 square-foot building will be used for a variety of aquatic and recreation activities including sailing, kayaking, boat rental and related retail sales. Childcare, artist studios and limited restaurant services will also be permitted. The contract requires the developer to continue to house Sail Sand Point, a non-profit small boat organization. In exchange, Building 11 LLC will be able to lease approximately 25,000 square feet of the building for non-park purposes.

The Committee also approved today a contract with Arena Sports to invest $5.5 million in renovations upgrading the 80,000 square foot Building 27, a former aircraft hanger into a site for indoor sports programs. As part of this agreement, up to 55,000 square feet of space will be available for community use. Arena Sports will offer a free indoor youth soccer league for up to 2,000 children, programming for low-income youth, seniors, and people with disabilities, and 30 scholarships per year.

The city acquired Magnuson Park, a former U.S. Navy base, in the mid-1970s. Since then, the park has undergone major transformation. In the late 1990s, the city obtained buildings with one million square feet of roof, mostly aging Navy-era structures located in the Sand Point Historic District. There are 11 major city-owned buildings in the park. Magnuson Park sits on a mile-long stretch of Lake Washingtons shoreline in northeastern Seattle. At 350 acres, it is Seattles second largest park. It is home to a variety of nonprofit arts, civic, environmental and sports organizations.

Councilmember Rasmussen said, These agreements will bring resources needed to Magnuson Park to repair deteriorating buildings for public use. In doing so, we are fulfilling the vision of transforming Magnuson Park into a great recreation and arts center that will benefit the entire region.


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