Some Key Points:
The Ft Lawton Army Reserve Base is located on the north east corner of Discovery Park: Map of Ft Lawton & Discovery Park
In 2005 the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) selected Ft Lawton for closure.
The Army named the City of Seattle as the Local Reuse Authority (LRA) responsible for the redevelopment of the Ft Lawton site.
The McKinney Act requires that homeless housing be considered for all Base closures, and therefore the Final Plan for Ft Lawton includes homeless as well as market rate private housing.
The Veterans Administration will be taking ownership of the building known as the FLARC (Ft Lawton Army Reserve Center.) This is the newer building that sits up on the hillside against the Park.
Jan 2012 - The VA Puget Sound Healthcare System did take possession of the FLARC as planned, and work started last year (2011) to convert a portion of the building to lodging for VA patients and their families. Construction is currently underway.
Sept 2012 - work on the remodel has come to a standstill. The VA version is this is a temporary stoppage due to lack of funds, the Contractor version is that the problems with the VA are more serious (than lack of $$$ ???), and they want out.
The VA has failed to maintain the grounds around the FLARC even minimally - there is trash, garbage, and broken glass strewn everywhere, graffiti adorns the walls, and all the vegetation is overgrown. The VA property is a blight on the neighborhood and Discovery Park.
Oct 2012 - work on the interior remodel is resuming, but the blight outside remains.
This covers the BRAC process conducted by the City from 2006 through 2008. Many many pages of documents are available here. The latest updates on the process are also posted here on this City webpage.
This is a letter from the Army about their continued occupation of Ft Lawton until 2011.
The Magnolia Neighborhood Planning Council, founded by Elizabeth Campbell, filed a lawsuit against the City for failure to comply with it's legal obligations under SEPA since the beginning of the BRAC process.
In 2009, MNPC won the lawsuit hands down :) :) :) The City's request for reconsideration was denied, the Appellate Court affirmed the Superior Court's decision, and the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of the Appellate Court's affirmation. So now the case has precedential value, and has been cited in other lawsuits since then.
Contact for lawsuit: Elizabeth Campbell
As of September 16, 2011 the Army has vacated the property - all buildings are locked, and all signage has been removed. The Army continues to own and be responsible for the security of the property. The Army has contracted with Seattle Police and Fire to provide 911 response.
Starting August 2012, mowing and grounds maintenance will be resumed through an outside contractor.
Army Contact for maintenance issues, vandalism, graffiti, etc. (i.e. NOT "the BRAC Process" and NOT for active 911 crime or fire):
Facilities Manager: William.Schell@usar.army.mil
City contact for the BRAC Process: Christa Dumpys