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Seattle City Light LARRY WEIS, General Manager and CEO
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Seattle City Light’s disposition of its 8th & Roy site

What City Light is trying to do and why

City Light has owned a property in South Lake Union for some time now and no longer has a use for it. City Light is considering selling or transferring the property for full market value. The proceeds of this sale or transfer would be used to keep electric rates lower than they would otherwise be.

The property disposition process

State law requires City Light to receive full and fair market value for its property (mentioned further below). In addition, the Mayor and City Council have established in Resolution 31424 procedural requirements for the disposition of City Light’s property. These include:

  • circulation to other departments and agencies
  • attendance at district council and community group meetings
  • hosting a community meeting and a public hearing with specific notice requirements. (Meetings and public hearing to be held in the neighborhood during evening hours)
    • City Light staff present to explain statutory constraints in disposing of utility properties and transferring to other City Departments
    • Parks and Recreation Department will explain their process
    • The Department of Construction and Inspection will explain what zoning will allow
    • SDOT will answer questions about the traffic and parking impacts from possible future development
  • posting the property disposition on City Light’s website
  • consideration or reconsideration of any public uses that might be recommended by the public
  • transmittal of all accumulated public comments and City Light’s recommendations to City Council, after notice to all commenters

The full text of Resolution 31424 can be found here

If the property is sold for residential development, the new City requirements for the provision of affordable housing are expected to apply, as they would to any other residential development.

Property location

Seattle City Light’s (SCL) 8th and Roy Building is located at 800 Aloha Street in the South Lake Union neighborhood. It is bounded by Aloha St to the north, 8th Ave N to the west, Roy St to the south, and an alley to the east. The property constitutes a half block. It measures 66,000 sf of land area upon which is a structure of 54,456 sf (2 floors at 27,228 sf).


The property and its immediate neighborhood.

The property in its wider South Lake Union setting.

The south side of the property from Roy St, looking northwest.

The north side of the property from Aloha St, looking due south.

The east side of the property from the alley, looking south-southwest.

Condition of the property

The building shell and all mechanical systems are in need of major maintenance or replacement.

Several underground storage tanks have been removed from the north parking lot and there is some residual petroleum contamination of the soil there. There is also a plume of contaminants which appear to emanate from the neighboring former American Linen property, and which extend entirely under the 8th & Roy building to the alley on the east. These contaminants are currently being treated in place. There is also lead and asbestos contamination inside the building.


The property is zoned SM-85. This is suitable for a wide variety of uses such as (but not limited to) residential, hotel, or offices.

Value of the property

The value of the property is estimated to be $20 to $30 million.

Utility Property Sale or Use: Legal Requirements

By State law, City Light property cannot by used for any non-utility, general government or private purpose, without payment of true and full market value.

Property transferred from City Light to another City department must be paid for at its true and full value

Recent court decisions underscore the inability for the electric utility to subsidize general government activity (Okesen v. City of Seattle, Lane v. City of Seattle)

Landmark Designation

In 2013 the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board designated the 8th & Roy Building as a Seattle Landmark. The features and characteristics of the property that were identified for preservation include: “the exterior of the building; the following first floor interior spaces: the high-bay warehouse room in north wing, and the loading dock truck bay room and the raised warehouse platform room of the center section; and the site, but excluding the adjacent parking lot…”.  Any purchaser of the property would need to meet the requirements of the Landmarks Code, including the negotiation of a Controls and Incentives Agreement with the Landmarks Preservation Board.

Community information meeting date, time, location

City Light will co-host with the South Lake Union Community Council a community information meeting about the property and the plans to dispose of it 7:30 pm on April 25, 2017 at the South Lake Union Discovery Center at 101 Westlake Ave N. in Seattle. There will be representatives of various City departments there to answer the community's questions about the proposal. The meeting will be preceded by a community open house from 6:00 to 7:30 at which a range of City departments will share information about other projects affecting the South Lake Union neighborhood

There is some pay parking just north of the Discovery Center, on the street and in several nearby lots.

Public hearing date, time, location

City Light will also host a public hearing on the property and the plans to dispose of it at 7:00 pm on May 1, 2017 at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) at 860 Terry Ave N. in Seattle. The purpose of the public hearing is to take testimony about City Light’s plans to dispose of the property. (This will be the public hearing that will comply with the requirements of RCW 35.94.040.)

The link for a location map and parking information is:

Opportunities for the public to comment on the proposal and/or to indicate interest in being notified of actions taken on the site

  • You may attend the community meeting on April 25 to ask questions and/or to sign up on the interest/notification list.
  • You may attend the public hearing on May 1 to offer testimony and/or to sign up on the interest/notification list
  • You may e-mail your comments and/or indicate your interest in being notified of actions taken on the site at SCL_RealProperty@seattle.gov
  • You may share your comments and/or indicate your interest in being notified of actions taken on the site via US Mail sent to:

    Timothy Croll
    Seattle City Light
    700 Fifth Ave
    Suite 3316
    Seattle WA, 98104

  • Comments must be received by May 5, 2017, to be included in the record developed for the City Council.
Related Content

Administrative Fees for Use Permits, Leases, Consents, and Easements

The Department may charge administrative fees for processing each application.

contact us

City Light can answer your questions about property usage by phone (206-684-3312) or email.

  • Contact Seattle City Light

    700 5th Avenue
    Suite 3200
    P.O. Box 34023
    Seattle, WA 98124-4023

    Account & General Questions:

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