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CWB Signs Lease with King County for North Lake Union Site

December 5, 2011

Lease with King County’s Metro Transit Division allows The Center for Wooden Boats to Begin Cleanup at North Lake Union Site

Cleanup is the first exciting step toward a second site in Seattle for the museum.

SEATTLE, Wa., December 5, 2011 / —  The Center for Wooden Boats has signed an interim lease agreement with the Metro Transit Division of the King County Department of Transportation allowing the maritime museum to repair and begin using a surplus warehouse and storage yard on the North shore of Seattle’s Lake Union.

Photo by Jelson, Wikimedia Commons“We are excited to partner with King County on this lease, and expect to complete repairs to the warehouse this winter and begin using the site West of Gasworks Park for boat restoration, maintenance, and boat storage this spring,” said Betsy Davis, Executive Director of The Center for Wooden Boats. “Together with King County, with the City of Seattle, and with support from Wallingford and Fremont residents and businesses we can begin fulfilling the vision of the Seattle/King County Maritime Heritage Task Force that called for the creation of a Northlake Community Wharf on this site nearly seven years ago.”

“This interim lease running to 2016 will give CWB a location for boat work now, and allow us to continue to work with all parties involved to answer environmental issues created by the site’s long time use as a marine fuel facility,” said Davis. “Our goal is to eventually work out a longer term agreement that provides access to the water, so CWB can help residents of Wallingford, Fremont, the University District, Ballard and other North Seattle neighborhoods re-connect with Lake Union,” said Davis.

“There is no way this could have happened without cooperation from elected leaders such as King County Executive Dow Constantine, County Councilmember Larry Phillips and the entire County Council.  It also would not have happened without continued support from King County’s cultural heritage agency, 4Culture.”

CWB’s Davis also had special praise for the firm Anchor QEA which has been helping work through the environmental and engineering issues at the site, the Seattle office of KPFF Consulting Engineers which has been helping with engineering issues and for the Genie Lift arm of Terex Corporation which has already signed up to donate a state of the art scissor lift for three months to allow CWB crews to more easily reach and repair the roof and walls of the warehouse.  “Without the generous help of our partners there is no way we could have reached this milestone and be prepared to move ahead so quickly with improvements to the warehouse “, said Davis.  It is expected the cleanup and restoration at the site will be completed by spring 2012.

The long term vision for the Northlake Community Wharf, developed as a collaborative effort by CWB, Historic Seattle, a neighborhood steering committee, and many others, calls for it to be a new point of access to the water for neighborhoods to the North of Lake Union and to be a place where people who live nearby can get involved in and restoration and repair of heritage vessels.   This agreement, and the work that it starts, is just the first step.  Davis invites the community to follow along in the progress on the site in updates on the CWB Website at

CLICK HERE to read the Press Release from King County

To learn more about the North Lake Union Community Wharf project, contact:
Dan Leach, Community Relations; (206) 382-2628 x31
Betsy Davis, Executive Director; (206) 382-2628 x27

If you are a business and interested in sponsoring the CWB Northlake Community Wharf, e-mail Dan Leach at

About The Center for Wooden Boats:
The Center for Wooden Boats (, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1976, provides a gathering place where maritime history comes alive through direct experience and our small craft heritage is enjoyed, preserved, and passed along to future generations. CWB, with year round locations both at South Lake Union in Seattle and at Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island, engages visitors in whole body learning by putting the historic boats, oars and paddles, sails and tools in the hands of people who visit. To learn more about year-around maritime activities at Seattle’s Lake Union Park visit

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2011 5:06 pm

    This is exciting stuff – congrat’s after a long wait! Dan Mattson

  2. December 5, 2011 5:17 pm

    Thanks Dan,

    It’s really been a long time coming, and so many folks working to make it happen. We’re Excited.

    Dan Leach

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