Morgan Junction Park, just north of Beveridge Place Pub on California Ave S.W., is one real estate deal away from expanding an additional 20,000 square feet. Seattle Parks and Recreation is in talks now with the owners of the land to the north, currently home to a dry cleaner and convenience store.
City moving forward with plan to expand Morgan Junction Park
The nook of a park at 6311 California Ave S.W. (just north of Beveridge Place Pub) is nearing a significant expansion at the Seattle City Council Parks and Neighborhood Committee approved a plan on Sept. 20 to move forward in acquiring land to the north, currently in use by a drycleaner and Short Stop convenience store.
Lise Ward with the Parks Dept. presented the latest in their acquisition efforts to purchase the land and expand Morgan Junction Park from 8,500 square feet to 28,878 square feet (as seen on the Seattle Channel).
The final acquisition go-ahead will be before the full City Council on Monday, Sept. 24, for a vote.
Providing history on the park’s inception, Ward said, “Several years ago we purchased a property in the Morgan Junction Urban Village and it was quite a creative deal actually.”
Ward said Gary Sink with Beveridge Place Pub purchased the land from the defunct monorail project and Parks worked with him to create a lot line adjustment.
“(Sink) kept what he needed for the pub and we have a park next to a pub now.”
Morgan Junction Park is currently less than 10,000 square feet, the Parks Dept.’s general minimum for park size, so Ward said they have been trying to acquire the land to the north for “quite a long time,” but the buyers were reluctant to sell.
“The market has changed significantly, (the owners) decided to place it on the market, and we were able to follow up with a second appraisal that reflects today’s market conditions and now we are talking.”
She said while a deal is not fully negotiated, the sale could go through very quickly, hence the need to get the go ahead from the council now.
Acquiring the land is the first step, then onto planning the look of the expanded space which includes figuring out what to do with S.W. Eddy St., possibly the most rarely used roadway in West Seattle that bisects the park and potential new land.
Parks officials said the road provides access to an alley and only one house has access off the alley, although they can get to it from the north instead of using Eddy. Early indications are that Parks will try to vacate the road so the entire space can become green.
“It was the community who identified these urban centers and said, ‘What we want to offset the density we’ve agreed to take as part of neighborhood planning is open space,’” a Parks employee added during the conversation in Council chambers, applauding the input from Morgan Junction residents.
“One of the criticisms about this park in the past is that it is too small, not enough space for family activities,” he added.
If the City’s land acquisition goes according to plan, that could all change for Morgan Junction families.