Words and photos by reporter Steven Smalley
Landmark Fort Lawton residences with protected views are available for the first time in a hundred years. The opportunity is receiving national attention.
Twenty-six units of historic military housing on nine of the most scenic acres next to Discovery Park are available to the highest bidder, according to Seth Heikkila, Senior Vice President of Jones Lang LaSalle, a Seattle law firm acting as the marketing entity.
Fourteen structures adjacent to the 534-acre Discovery Park have panoramic views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Heikkila’s firm likens the location to the “Presidio of Seattle,” referring to a similar military installation in San Francisco.
Currently occupied by Coast Guard personnel, the homes are fully preserved on the National Register of Historic Places. They cannot be substantially altered, nor other structures built on the site, and are subject to oversight by the Historic Review Board, according to Heikkila.
“The payoff is owning some of the best real estate in the city,” he told Magnolia Voice. “The new owners can renovate the interiors, improve the detached garages, and even form a condominium association to sell the units individually.”
“There is no minimum – no asking price,” Heikkila continued. “Offers will be taken. There has been no date set to take bids. It could be 45-60 days, maybe less.”
Some reports indicate a value of $15 million.
Three parcels will be sold as a whole, then investors may sell units individually or simply rent as-is.
Although the homes began as military housing built in 1904-05, there are high ceilings, hardwood floors, and impressive woodwork throughout, says Heikkila.
Built by the Army in the Colonial Revival-style, the homes vary from two to five bedroom town homes, plus two single-family residences within the community. Sizes range from 1,500-4,500 sq. ft. of living space. Amenities include tiled fireplaces, large windows, claw foot bathtubs, and wraparound porches.
Fort Lawton is an official City of Seattle landmark. The base was closed in September 2011.