New land for sale: alleys in Seattle

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 6 at 8:51 PM

Next week, the City of Seattle will consider selling a strip of land that most people don't value very much.

It's an alley in South Lake Union and it could be one of several alleys in the city that are up for sale.

Most people think of pigeons, rats, garbage and bad behavior in alleys. But, there is value in the side streets. Seattle's Post Alley has become a vibrant and colorful tourist attraction.

The city is now considering selling an alley in South Lake Union at Mercer and Westlake. The alley is valued at about a million dollars.

Paul Allen's Real Estate Company, Vulcan, owns the property that surrounds the alley.

"The alley vacation will allow us to create a meandering public galleria between Westlake and 9th Avenue," said Vulcan spokeswoman Christina Siderius .

Vulcan wants to buy the alley and transform it into a public space.

"They're opening a plaza, with landscaping, park benches, bike stands, all the public can use," said Seattle City Council Member Tom Rasmussen.

It's similar to an alley sale to Amazon in October.  At Lenora, Westlake and Virginia - the so-called Denny Triangle and the future location of Amazon's headquarters - Amazon bought three alleys for $10 million.

"We do not give away alleys," said Rasmussen. "If we sell an alley, they have to pay full market value."

Rasmussen says the city will only sell an alley if the roadway is not needed for traffic, utilities or emergency vehicles.

The City Council will consider the sale to Vulcan at Tuesday's transportation committee meeting.
 
 

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