Done deal: $2 million Parks price tag for Federal/Republican acquisition

Actually, we rounded up. Donald Harris, acquisition manager for Seattle Parks, tells CHS that the acquisition of 12,000 square feet of empty land at the corner of Federal and Republican has cost the city $1.975 million. That’s $164.58 per square foot. That’s just under the median price per square foot you’ll pay for a single family home in Seattle — though a bargain compared to Capitol Hill averages. No homes in this deal though. And that’s partly why the price was higher than expected for the city.


Parks planners had said they expected to spend about $1.3 million on the acquisition. Harris says the investment group’s plans to create another townhome project for the space drove the 52% increase in cost compared to the original projections.

The Parks Departmentannounced they had arrived at a deal for the land in early June after a protracted negotiation with the investment group that purchased the lots following a failed attempt to develop a townhome project. While it might not seem entirely logical for the department to be acquiring more land for parks when it is struggling to maintain the green spaces we already have in Seattle, the acquisition budget is powered by the parks levies voters have — so far — continued to approve.

As for what comes next, to give you some sense of the timeline, the first public presentation of design concepts for the Summit and John park happened in spring 2008. If construction schedules hold, that park will be completed this fall. Given that, we’ll meet you in FedRep Park in spring 2013.

8 thoughts on “Done deal: $2 million Parks price tag for Federal/Republican acquisition

  1. I’m stunned, the city is spending 2M on this lot when we can’t even keep the parks we have serviced properly and there is talk of shutdowns. What do you think the open market would have paid for this? 1M tops, especially in this market. Shame on you seattle.

  2. You shouldn’t be stunned and the article tells you why.

    Voters made the Parks Department function this way. The Parks Department is merely doing what the people of Seattle asked it to do.

  3. Looking at the tax assessed value for these 2 parcels (’0325 and ’0330), in 2007 they totaled $1.364M. Looking at other properties in the area, tax assessed value is up to 20% off from actual sale price, so that gives a purchase price of $1.637M. However, the value of the property, according to the city, has decreased to $931k as of 2009 (last year assessed on record). Applying the 20% factor to this leaves a sale price of $1.117M.

    There is value in having an empty lot when building a park. Let’s say it costs 100k per property to remove it. This normally wouldn’t be a selling point, but consider the city’s obvious intentions it is in this case. That raises the total value of the property to $1.317M to the city.

    So, the city most likely wasn’t going to get it for $1M, even ‘in this market’. However, $2M seems like quite a stretch. I get the impression that the comments from the city earlier that “we’re prepared to pay what it takes” probably wasn’t the best standpoint for negotiating. I get the impression they paid 2007 prices while the rest of us are living in 2010. What do you expect from the government? Efficiency?

  4. Over the next 100 years price differentials are just not important.

    Will make a great pocket park.

    Three cheers, and please, not a P Patch ….

  5. Though there may be desent on the cost or purchase price, I beleive the value is there for the neighbors. This small open space can do nothing but increase the property values of the local area, as most of us appreciate a little added green space. Now, lets hope this small space gets a few trees, inviting benches, and becomes an integral part of our neighborhood. I thank the Seattle voters that appreciated the need for these small parks, and that were willing to vote to tax themselves to create it.