Seattle officials are close to announcing a winning bid to renovate and operate Magnuson Park’s massive Building 2. They originally said they’d make an announcement last August.
When Seattle solicited bids to renovate and reprogram Magnuson Park’s massive Building 2 a year ago, officials said they would announce a winning bid in August 2016.
That announcement has yet to be made. Parks and Recreation has received two bids and is still working through its selection process, a spokeswoman said last week.
“This is a large-scale, complex project with a large investment of city resources, and we want to be thorough in selecting and vetting a partner who will do the best possible job in redeveloping Building 2,” said the Parks spokeswoman, Rachel Schulkin.
“We do anticipate the process will be complete very soon,” Schulkin added.
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The spokeswoman said Parks isn’t yet releasing information about the nature of the bids. She said she couldn’t share whether officials have yet picked one over the other.
Building 2 is the last large, undeveloped building from the former naval air station that’s now a Northeast Seattle park. Parks decided to field proposals for the 144,000-square-foot double hangar last year after receiving multiple inquires about the site.
The inquiries came from parties interested in using the building for a range of activities, including film production, swimming, basketball, archery and rock climbing.
Used during World War II and until 1970 as an airplane assembly and repair shop, Building 2 includes a north hangar built in 1929 and a south hangar built in 1941.
The north hangar’s ceiling truss hangs 45 feet above an expanse more than half the size of a football field. Since 1970, Building 2 has been used at various times by the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Marine Corps and for art exhibitions, indoor sports and films, including 1995’s “Assassins,” starring Sylvester Stallone and Antonio Banderas.
But the structure is now in sorry shape. Its roof must be replaced and its utilities redone. Seismic reinforcement is needed. To obtain a certificate of occupancy, the site will need to undergo at least $20 million in repairs, officials said last year.
In soliciting bids, officials said they were looking for a bidder willing to make a significant capital investment in exchange for a long-term lease or concession deal.
The officials said they wanted Building 2 to host recreation, arts and cultural or environmental programming that would be open to the public. Parks has no funding of its own designated for the enormous structure’s redevelopment, officials said.