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October 8, 2018

Greenwood park is first of 14 projects to add parks in dense areas of the city

Image by Cascade Design Collaborative [enlarge]
The park will be named after Alice Ball, a Seattle-born chemist who developed a treatment for leprosy.

Wyser Construction has started work on a new 0.4-acre park in Greenwood, replacing a former pub and mini-mart on the 8100 block of Greenwood Avenue North.

The city acquired two parcels for the park separately in 2012 and 2015 for a total of $3.1 million.

Seattle Parks and Recreation worked with Cascade Design Collaborative and community members on the design.

Plans call for an open lawn, a reading nook, a plaza with seating, a “natural discovery” area, a concrete path that loops around the lawn, and planted areas. Related street improvements are also in the works, including a raised crosswalk on North 81st between the park and the Greenwood branch library.

The total budget for the park is $924,000, including planning, design and construction. Wyser Construction is working under a $776,000 contract.

The park will be named after Alice Ball, a Seattle-born chemist who over a century ago developed an injectable oil extract that was the most effective treatment for leprosy until the 1940s. Ball earned two degrees from the University of Washington, and became the first woman and the first African American to earn a master's degree from what's now the University of Hawaii. She died in 1916 at the age of 24.

The project is on track to be completed next spring.

Alice Ball Park is the first of 14 new parks and park additions planned throughout the city by the Seattle Park District, which provides more than $47 million a year for long-term parks funding.

The projects are part of an initiative to add parks in densely populated areas that lack open space. The city started acquiring parcels, or “land-banking,” in the early 2010s with plans to develop them as funding became available.

Here are some of the other projects in the pipeline:

• Fremont (A.B. Ernst addition at 723 N. 35 St.): The $750,000 project is slated to go out for bids this winter.

• Crown Hill (Baker Park addition at 8347 14th Ave. N.W.): Scheduled to begin construction this fall. The total budget is $937,000.

• University District (Christie Park addition at 817 N.E.43rd St.): The $937,000 project is set to begin construction in 2019.

• Greenwood (Greenwood Park addition at 8805 Fremont Ave. N.): Construction is slated to begin this fall. Seattle Parks will provide $463,000.

• Lake City (new park at 2510 33rd Ave. N.E.): Scheduled to begin construction this winter.

• North Rainier (new park at 3655 35th Ave. S.): The city is working to acquire an extra parcel and raise funds to add features such as sidewalk improvements. The current budget is $750,000. Construction would begin next summer.

• West Seattle (new park at 4723-4731 40th Ave. S.W.): The budget is $1.98 million. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019.

Other land-banked sites are in Wedgwood, Denny Triangle, Little Saigon, Genesee-Schmitz, Morgan Junction and South Park.