King County exploring private options for Youth Services Center replacement

King County is exploring private development options to find a cost-neutral replacement option for the Youth Services Center at 12th and Alder. The building has a laundry list of issues, from a water main break and malfunctioning elevator to persistent mold and hazardous materials in the window caulking. Voters rejected an initiative last year that would have raised sales taxes to pay for a facility replacement.

From the King County press release:

“All options must be on the table to better serve the justice needs of children and families in King County,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson, Chair of the Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee. “The state of the current facility is unacceptable, and I will continue to push options until we find a solution. For example, surplus County property could be traded with an interested developer in exchange for a replacement facility.”

The Youth Services Center, located in Seattle on 12th and Alder, provides juvenile justice services for all of King County and family support for those navigating the legal system.

“Last year we worked with the community to explore options for replacement of the Youth Services Center and the surrounding county-owned site. But with no revenues for the project, we have to get creative,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We’re asking the development community to come to us with ideas we might not have recognized before. I hope their suggestions will help us find a way to address juvenile justice needs while fulfilling the community’s vision.”

0 thoughts on “King County exploring private options for Youth Services Center replacement

  1. I am not sure why they dont sell the land (to a party like Seattle U) and re-build the facility somewhere where the land doesnt have such a high value – then use the moneies from the land sell to construct the new facility… that would be nice.

  2. Ya, put them next to the proposed DESC facility at lane. Condem some houses and start building. If they want a ghetto, do not do it half assed.

  3. Why to Seattle U? Is that the best use of high value urban land? What is the best use of high value urban land?

  4. I think this is a complicated question. The jail is actually in OK shape and does not need to be rebuilt. There is no money for the courts and office let alone to rebuild the jail that doesn’t need it. Also, I remember that the County said that they are legally obligated to keep this facility running so that children can be processed in a timely manner (this IS a kid jail after all) and as much as we don’t want to think about it, the goal is to reduce the rates of kids in jail. Not to let them languish there. So it just isn’t a simple question – to close this facility and find a new place to put it. The least costly would be to improve what is there (in the admin tower) and the County doesn’t even have the money for that. I am actually frustrated that this component of Prop 1 last fall wasn’t messaged very well by the County – I don’t even think most people knew it was part of that proposition.

  5. RE (1) Why Seattle U?

    Seattle U has proved to have a positive impact on the community – and as they have limited space to grow at their site – it just sort of makes sense that they aquire that land for their future needs in supporting a growing student population.

    RE (2) What is the best use? I am not certain what the best use of the site is, but I can say a place where they process kids with issues is not the best use of such high value that is adjacent to young (many lower income) families, learning institutions, and hospitals…

    If the your services center is not located downtown – it would seem appropriate that this facility is somewhere else in King County – possibly in a more rural setting – sort of like where the County Planning department is located in Renton.

  6. I’m not sure the best use for the site is for S.U. or anyone else to hold it for “future use”. The neighborhood already is negatively impacted by landowners who’ve been keeping property out of use for years on end. Not just S.U., but King County, the Seattle Housing Authority, Pioneer Human Services, the Archdiocese of Seattle to name some others who have large tracts on 12th Ave with little or no use. Whether the County continues to own all the Youth Services site, or sells some of it, the best use should include some actual use other than surface parking lot or fenced off green space.

  7. Right Bill, maybe some one who made alot of money in California can run down the neighborhood and pick up property cheap under the guise guilt trip of under used property, by stiring up the masses.