The city of Seattle's deal with the U.S. Navy over housing at Discovery Park is a good one. The Navy gets paid, so that it can replace the housing in Everett, strengthening its...
The city of Seattle’s deal with the U.S. Navy over housing at Discovery Park is a good one.
The Navy gets paid, so that it can replace the housing in Everett, strengthening its investment there; the officers’ houses are preserved by private owners; the enlisted housing is torn down and a Seattle park is made finer.
It is odd to have private houses in a park. But the park is the former Fort Lawton, and this is only a corner of it. The houses were for military officers and are handsome and historic. It would be a shame to knock them down. A private developer, American Eagle, will restore them, and sell them under covenants that will allow no other structures to be built. Their setting will make them some of the most distinctive residences in Seattle.
By tearing down the enlisted housing, the city will reclaim a large area for park uses. This land will cost $9 million in cash plus a piece of city property, half a block or less in size, elsewhere. That added property has not been chosen. Of the $9 million, the city expects some money from the county, some from the state, some from the federal government and some from itself.
The people of Magnolia are obvious winners. Less obvious may be the people of Everett, who are always at some risk of losing their Navy base. This will allow the Navy to invest in housing in Everett — and the more investment it makes there, the stronger will be the argument that it ought to remain.
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So far, a good deal all the way around.