A Redmond company plans to build a senior assisted living center next to Queen Anne Bowl, surprising some neighbors who believed the land was part of the city park. The plot in question sits just to the northwest of Queen Anne Bowl, immediately west of the Northwest Center Kids facility.
Here’s a sketch of the proposed development (.pdf), which is currently in design review. If approved, the three-story facility will feature about 100 apartments, a center square, outdoor gardens and roof terraces. You can see the playfield immediately to the right of the development.
The lot is currently home to four abandoned tennis courts, a house, large trees and a couple trails that wind through the property. While some neighbors believed the city owned the land, the lot was owned by Seattle Pacific University, which sold it to Aegis Living for $9.5 million.
Several neighbors told our partners at the Seattle Times that the sale came as a surprise, and they wished SPU would’ve worked with the city to preserve the land as a natural extension of Queen Anne Bowl and David Rodgers Park. The Times reported that both Seattle City Parks and Seattle Public Schools (which leases the former North Queen Anne Elementary School to Northwest Center Kids) had expressed interest in owning the land before, and SPU said it notified both about the impending sale — but didn’t hear back.
The view from the entrance of Queen Anne Bowl, looking toward the lot.
Queen Anne Community Council’s Don Harper told the Times that SPU didn’t give the city enough time to react. “There’s so many things that could have happened here,” Harper said. “A basketball court, a playground for little kids while their siblings are at the bowl. I just don’t think SPU gave the community enough time.” Added neighbor Denise Derr, “This is a significant loss of parkland for the entire city.”
The university provided Queen Anne View with a timeline of its communication with the city and the neighborhood. In October, SPU says it contacted each member of its advisory committee — some of which are neighbors — that the land was going up for sale. SPU also contacted Seattle Parks and the Seattle School District but “neither party responded back with any interest.” On November 14, the SPU advisory committee met with a number of Queen Anne neighbors in attendance. A few days later, a summary of the meeting was emailed to “lengthy neighborhood email distribution list.” On March 2, the committee was notified the land was sold.
Nevertheless, SPU Senior VP Don Mortenson told the Times that the university may not have notified enough people: both the Queen Anne Community Council and Northwest Center Kids right next door say they were not told about the impending sale.
The lot is heavily wooded in parts, and Aegis Living says an arborist has determined that seven of them are “exceptional” per the City of Seattle’s tree preservation program. The preferred design option, shown above, would preserve all seven of the trees, but the rest would likely be removed. The house on the property would be demolished, as well.
SPU says the plan is to use the funds from the sale to fund a new facility planned just to the south of SPU including a “performance auditorium, classrooms, faculty development center and facilities for SPU music and visual arts academic programs.” You can see more details on that project here.
The plan is currently in the design review process. We’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, what do you think of the planned development?