Report: Seattle proposes Fort Lawton homeless, low-income housing

Fort Lawton. (Pat Strosahl, Flickr)

Seattle is going to try, yet again, to develop Fort Lawton into housing. Just like its last plan, the city aims to construct homes for homeless, low-income seniors and families.

Fort Lawton is a former military base located in Seattle’s Discovery Park and near the Magnolia neighborhood. The city proposes to build more than 200 housing units. The Seattle Times reports that 15 acres of the area would be left for park space.

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The park space will hopefully ease controversy around the location. In 2008, Seattle tried a similar housing / park plan, but faced heavy criticism from area residents.

The current plan is to build 75-100 units of homeless housing, 85 low-income senior rental housing, and 50 single family homes.

Seattle took over operations of the 28-acre former military base from the federal government in January. Seattle has a five-year lease and is paying $125,000 a year to maintain the land. It now has the opportunity to build either market-rate housing, low-income housing, or turn it into a park. If it chooses to do nothing, the feds can sell the property to a private developer.

City officials are now gathering public comment, and planning an environmental impact study before they present the plan to the city council this fall.