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City Considering Selling South Seattle Land In Order to Fund Homelessness Fight

A huge chunk of land in South Seattle is burning a hole in the city's pocket and they might sell it and use some of the profits to fight homelessness.

Let's be honest, we tend to spend most of our time talking about North Seattle, the Downtown area or West Seattle and we don't spend too much time, here or elsewhere, focusing on what's going on at the very bottom of Seattle. While we're so focused on cramming as much development as we can into the region surrounding Lake Union, we can lose sight of the fact that there's lots of empty space yet to be developed right below all of that.

Take the 40 acres that some locals call "Discovery Park South," which sits right on the border of Seattle and unincorporated King County by the Duwamish River. The Seattle side of the land remains pristine, wide open space. The King County side is about to become, what else, high-density housing. It's the hope of some, as KUOW reports, that the Seattle side stay as it is. In fact, they'd like it to be turned into an official city park.

Only problem is, the city's not interested.

Chip Nevins, Seattle Parks and Recreation: "And when we look at a property, we look at one main thing: We look at a gap analysis, which I am showing you right now."

Nevins points to bright orange areas on a map of Seattle.

Nevins: "It shows the areas that are underserved – or unserved by park space. And those are the gaps that we really target our acquisition money for."

Looking at the linked map, you see bright orange blotches throughout SoDo, Denny Triangle, First Hill, Ballard University District, and Bitter Lake, to name a few. But you don't see quite the same amount of orange near this spot, so there isn't much excitement from Seattle to do anything other than let capitalism run its course.

Hillary Hamilton: "The most likely purchaser would probably be a large distribution warehouse."

Hamilton is in charge of selling the city’s extra land. She says the city could probably get $12 million for the flat part of the property. The City Council says it wants $5 million of that to fight homelessness.

The city listened to public comment on the land on Monday night and now Hamilton's office will draft their initial recommendation. With bigger fish to fry and other land to consider, expect Seattle to move forward on turning that open space into cash. At least if they make that money count in the fight against homelessness, that'll be something.
· Seattle May Sell This Park-Like Land To Help Fight Homelessness [KUOW]
· Parks Gap Analysis Map [SPR]