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The King County Library System approved the location for a new library to be built in White Center in a currently vacant lot on 107th SW and 15th SW.

King County Library System approves new White Center Library and location

The King County Library System Board of Trustees approved the new White Center library Tuesday night, Feb. 26 by a vote of 4 to 0, and approved locating the new library at a vacant lot on the corner of SW 107th and 14th SW (the preferred site by the White Center Chamber of Commerce, the White Center CDA, several school teachers and after school program directors, and many other White Center community members).

This location is directly across the street from Mount View Elementary School, directly across the street from Coronado Springs, a King County Housing low income facility with over 300 family and elder apartments, and the site is next door to almost 400 additional apartment units to the south.

All these residents will have an easy walking distance on non arterial streets to reach the new library.

The KCLS will now negotiate with the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, the owner of the site on the development process.

It is expected that the new $5+ million library will be a redevelopment opportunity for the White Center business district and become an anchor to the south end of the White Center business district.

The next phase will include outreach to the White Center community to help design the interior and determine the additional community amenities that will be included in the library design.

According to a briefing from KCLS Director Bill Ptacek, “KCLS has been told by the Housing Commission (who owns the land) that the library would qualify under the Rapid Response program for a long-term low or zero interest loan (30 years) with fully deferred payments for the life of the loan and no upfront cash other than closing cost.”

Ptacek wrote that the space is slightly larger than what is needed for the library, meaning KCLS could either resell that portion, or “find a community service partner organization that could co-locate with KCLS and potentially qualify for the same favorable loan terms under the State program.”

Time seems to be of the essence for the Board to OK funding and close the deal, as Ptacek was told another buyer recently put in an offer for the land “close to (the Housing Commission’s) asking price.”

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