8 thoughts on “Does anyone see space in Eastlake for a new park?

  1. striatic

    But let’s see if we can list some candidate spaces.

    1] Hillside park under I-5, north of E Allison St. across from Lake Union Sea Ray.

    This isn’t really a great spot. Not sure if it is privately owned. Probably too close and too similar to Olmstead park to be worthwhile.

    2] Waterfront park on NOAA land between Fairview and Newton and Fairview and Blaine.

    I don’t want to see NOAA leave the area, but if they do it would be good to see some portion of that land be converted to public parkland. This land is privately owned and leased to NOAA, so securing a portion of it for parkland might take some doing, but it could benefit the property values of the existing facility, depending on what the land ends up getting used for.

    3] Eastlake Ave Park in the current parking lot behind the Eastlake Starbucks.

    Don’t know who owns this parking lot or who uses it, but it is similar in some ways to the Summit and John proposed park in Capitol Hill, which is also in a former parking lot near a Starbucks. Parking is scarce in Eastlake and sacrificing it is unpopular, but something could probably be done here with half the lot or less by primarily cutting into the overgrown hill that buffers the parking lot from Eastlake Ave. Seems like a small park where people could sit and have coffee could be popular.

  2. EastOfTheLake

    Hi Striatic,

    Thank you for your suggestions. I hope that representatives of ECC have access to these forums and take into consideration the possibility of the increase of greenspace and public use land in our neighborhood.

    Although I would hate to see NOAA leave seattle as well I think if possible at least part of that land if we can get find the funding to purchase part of that property would be a great addition to the Eastlake neighborhood. Something to definitely consider if NOAA does leave Lake Union. It would be much better than a whole lot of new condos being built.

  3. striatic

    Not surehow the current NOAA property is zoned, but it might be zoned for industrial use and not for residential condos. That could always be changed though, and might not even be the case now.

    I’m not totally adverse to more condos going into that space, but agree that some attempt could be made to acquire a portion of the property for public use. If done thoughtfully, it could even increase the value of the rest of the property by attracting more activity to the southern end of Eastlake.

  4. striatic

    While having a proper waterfront park in Eastlake is very tempting, hopefully NOAA will stay.

    In that case, I think that a park between Louisa and Lynn, on Eastlake could serve as a place for people working and living nearby to sit and have lunch, or just relax and read. Maybe install some tables with chess boards or something. This could possibly be a boon for local businesses, creating a kind of anchor space in one of Eastlake’s busiest areas.

  5. eric

    It seems that options for new parks in Eastlake are very limited and will require more creative approaches than most neighborhoods. The combinations of weird geography and outrageously expensive real estate may preclude traditional approaches to park development. It may also require rethinking the notion of parks. If the definition of a park is simply a place for public enjoyment and recreation (as opposed to a quite, tree filed expanse of grass) it may be possible to use some of the geographic characteristics of our neighborhood to our advantage. Specifically the steep slope in parts of the neighborhood suggest to me some of the best options for new public spaces. Further it may be necessary to develop novel public-private partnerships to utilize elements of the landscape for public spaces.

    For example, across from the NOAA complex and next to Siam, is a parking lot that runs from below Yale Place to Fairview. This is the parking lot for the adjacent building that, I think, is presently occupied by Hart Crowser. It seems that considerable synergy could be achieved by building a terrace (landscaped public space) and steps above the parking lot that could provide transition from Yale to Fairview.

    Possible advantages:
    (1) This would not require taking the land.
    (2) Could take advantage of unused vertical space.
    (3) Could add utility and beauty to a presently ugly space used only for storing cars.
    (4) Could connect Yale Place to the lower elevation area of Fairview, presently connected only by sketchy, quasi-public stairs.
    (5) Could provide an open space with possible territorial views of South Lake Union, Westlake and the drydocks.
    (6) Could provide cover and possible enhanced security for the tenants of the building (at grade).

    Possible problems:
    (1) Cost.
    (2) Willingness of property owners to enter agreement, i.e cost, tenant inconvenience during construction, liability, etc…
    (3) EIS and significant shoreline development issues.
    (4) Zoning, seismic, neighborhood plan and other building restrictions.

    I think there are some other options similar to this dispersed throughout the neighborhood.

    Perhaps a more feasible small park option would be creative development of a hill climb in the right of way of Hamlin between Eastlake and the alley west of Franklin. I believe a modest version of this is included in the neighborhood plan. There could be some really fun and interesting options in the space, like a pedestrian bridge at grade from the alley with a tower in the park on the west side of Eastlake Ave. I also think the E. Edgar street end could be a lot more interesting and friendly.

  6. Rocky

    Under I-5!!!! Like they did with the bike park on lakeview, but maybe a mix of greenspace/off leash dog park in North Eastlake would be great! We don’t have a off leash area in this part of town!

    This is just North of E. Alison between Eastlake and Harvard. DIRECTLY below i-5 and is just concrete and bushes right now and I believe this is already city owned land!

  7. Chris Leman

    Several potential park and trail improvements were identified during the process that produced the 1998 Eastlake Neighborhood Plan, three of which came to pass — Colonnade Park (under I-5); a shoreline corridor between NOAA and Lake Union Drydock; and the Louisa street-end park (bouledrome). One proposal not yet realized is for a linear park south of Colonnade Park to the intersection of Eastlake Ave. with Aloha Street. All that would really be required is for WSDOT to remove its fence and no-trespassing signs to allow access to its maintenance, which has some of the best views in the city and is sheltered from the weather. Some pathway improvements at either end would enhance the access. Also, the off-leash area that was installed in Colonnade Park is surfaced with gravel. A more paws-friendly surface such as crushed granite would open it up to many more dogs.

    If anyone is interested in working on either of these projects, or has other ideas for open space enhancements of the Eastlake neighborhood, please contact Chris Leman at cleman@oo.net or (206) 322-5463.

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