Discovery Park, considered arguably the crown jewel of Seattle city parks, will grow by an additional 23 acres under an agreement between the city...

Share story

Discovery Park, considered the crown jewel of Seattle city parks, will grow by an additional 23 acres under an agreement between the city, the Navy and American Eagle Communities, a private developer.


The city announced this morning that it has agreed to purchase a 23-acre Naval housing site, known as the Capehart property, for $9 million and a yet-to-be determined land parcel. Under a memorandum of agreement, American Eagle will demolish 66 housing units at Capehart, turning it into green space. As part of the deal, the developer will also acquire 26 historic homes elsewhere in the park that are currently being used as officer housing. No new development will be allowed on that land, but a representative with American Eagle said the historic homes are likely to be sold for private use.

The land deal brings an end to the emotional and contentious debate over the Capehart property. The Navy opted to divest itself of the Capehart property under the 1996 Military Housing Privatization Initiative. Magnolia neighborhood residents as well as park activists had fought against private development at the Capehart site.

The city’s own master plan for the park calls for incorporating federal land into the park. In announcing the land deal, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and various other public officials praised the agreement as a “win-win solution.”

The agreement, which will be forwarded to the Seattle City Council for its approval, stipulates 18 months for the city and American Eagle to identify a second land parcel. The $9 million, Nickels explained, will be paid for through city, county and state funds.

“We’re committed to making this happen,” Nickels said.