In 1898, a group of Seattle landowners gave the land that became Fort Lawton to the U.S. government for military use. In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) decided to close the 70th Regional Support Command headquarters located at Fort Lawton no later than 2009. The Army named the City of Seattle the Local Reuse Authority (LRA), responsible for the redevelopment of Fort Lawton. In 2008, the City created the Fort Lawton Redevelopment Plan with extensive community input that seeks to make Fort Lawton a livable and diverse mixed-income community that fits into the surrounding neighborhood. The redevelopment plan balances several priorities, including open space, heron habitat, market-rate homes and housing for formerly homeless individuals and families. In 2011 the Army vacated the base, leaving it in caretaker status until a decision is made on transfer of the property. The Army still owns and maintains the facility and is responsible for securing the property until transferred to the City.
The Fort Lawton Redevelopment Plan was put on hold following a lawsuit in 2008 and changing market conditions. In 2012, the City received a grant from the Department of Defense's Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) to review and update the market study, financial models, and the other assumptions and data that informed the 2008 redevelopment plan. The analysis is expected to be complete in early 2015 and presented to the Mayor. An updated plan will be presented to the community in 2016.
- Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (BRAC)
- City Council Ordinance 122502, authorizing acquisition of Fort Lawton
- Fort Lawton Redevelopment Plan (2008) and Appendices
- Public involvement process
Visit the archived Ft. Lawton site for additional historic information.