Here’s why WSDOT paid $1.9M for this Montlake house — UPDATE

(Image: WSDOT)

In the middle of the Montlake neighborhood bracing for big changes and years of construction as WSDOT completes the replacement of SR 520, one building got a lot of attention as the landowners finally struck a $16 million deal to sell the Montlake Market property to the state. But it wasn’t the only private property in the neighborhood to change hands for the 520 project.

Turns out, in May, the state also struck a deal to pay $1.9 million for a two-story, three-bedroom, single family-style Lake Washington Blvd E home. The property will be unveiled Saturday to start a new chapter in its life as the state’s Montlake Project Information Center: 

We’ve opened a neighborhood drop-in office in Montlake to give the community another way to reach us regarding the SR 520 Montlake Project. Please join us Saturday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to noon for the center’s grand opening. Our project team will be on hand — with coffee, pastries and giveaways — to address your questions and comments about our ongoing work.

With an appraised value just under $1 million according to King County, the transaction was a good deal for longtime property owners Stan Moshier and Lori Campbell. They purchased the house for just under $700,000 back in 2007.

“WSDOT negotiated with us in good faith for nearly a year,” Moshier tells CHS about the Montlake sale, saying he “agreed with their concept, their need and future use of the property, so we struck a deal.”

A spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Transportation said the deal isn’t typical of the department’s projects and the information center is a first of its kind effort for WSDOT. No other private property beyond the house and the market is being acquired for the Montlake Project, the WSDOT spokesperson said.

UPDATE 9/22/19: In response to questions on social media following CHS’s report, WSDOT has added some new information to why it bought the property saying it needed the property to relocate a water main. We’ll follow up with WSDOT to learn more.

One interesting thing to watch for when the Montlake Project is finally wrapped up — WSDOT plans to eventually put the house back on the market.

The sale, meanwhile, was the second big deal of the summer for Moshier. He told CHS he sold Broadway Tex-Mex concern Rooster’s before kissing the neighborhood goodbye in August.

Saturdays’ grand opening, by the way, coincides with the Montlake Yard Sale 2019. Go shopping.

The new information center is located at at 2209 E. Lake Washington Blvd, with regular hours Mondays and Wednesdays from noon to 6 PM, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 AM to noon, and the third Saturday of each month from 9  AM to noon.

 

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4 thoughts on “Here’s why WSDOT paid $1.9M for this Montlake house — UPDATE

  1. Utterly baffling. They own the entire market site and car park – just drop a portable office in that somewhere. Then spend the $1.9m policing the night noise that is keeping most of their neighbours awake. Go wsdot !

    • Larry, that “appraised value” mentioned by “Scoop” the CHS reporter is a King County value, not an MAI appraised value, the County is customarily lower than actual value…there are also two lots involved, about 9,000 sq. ft. and WSDOT needed the property to install a new water main to service the area.

  2. While WSDOT runs roughshod over the community, they add insult to injury by squandering tax payer funds by overpaying for a property they don’t need to build an information center that nobody wants.

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