Saint Edward Planning - Seminary

Seminary Building with people walking up to it



How the Project has Changed

  During the 2016 legislative session, the House passed and Governor Inslee signed ESSHB 2667, which affects the Daniels's proposed rehabilitation project of the Saint Edward Seminary.

The bill, signed by Governor Inslee in April, amended RCW 79A.05.025 allowing the Commission a 5 to 7 vote to enter into a 62 year-long lease of the Seminary. 

As a result, State Parks will likely not pursue a land exchange, which will prevent a potential Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) property conversion. The bill also included an additional requirement, however, which stated that the Commission may only enter into a lease, if it 
   …finds an economic study, conducted by Department of Commerce, fails to identify an economically viable public or nonprofit use of property consistent with the State Parks mission.

This economic feasibility study has affected the Daniels rehabilitation project. 

The Daniels's proposal is on hold until results of the study can be analyzed by State Parks Staff and the Commission. The study will be completed July 31, 2016. By September, the Commission will consider any viable alternatives to the Daniels proposal. Regardless of the outcome, a new timeline with milestones will be presented to the public in September.

Department of Commerce Process

Although HB 2667 provides general direction to Commerce, the agency is now developing a more comprehensive scope, timeline and methodology for their study in addition to conducting research. Below is the presentation that Commerce prepared which further explains their process and goals.

Background Information

On February 9, 2016 State Parks held a public meeting in Kenmore seeking public input on the potential land exchange between State Parks and Daniels Real Estate at Saint Edward State Park. In the land exchange, State Parks would have acquired a 9.77-acre property known as the McDonald property (Parcel number 1426049014) in exchange for a 4.99-acre property to be acquired by Daniels Real Estate. The purpose of the land exchange was designed to:  
  • Expand the overall footprint of the park with the acquisition of the McDonald property. The land is contiguous with the park and includes 450-feet of shoreline on Lake Washington.
  • Facilitate rehabilitation of the Saint Edward Seminary for use as a hotel. In addition, Daniels Real Estate would acquire the pool and gymnasium buildings. More than 300 people attended the land exchange hearing, with 75 people testifying. In summary, those against land exchange offered the following suggestions:

    • Raze or partially raze the Seminary building
    • Prioritize nature
    • No commercial use of Seminary
    • Do not trade land for private use
    • The McDonald property is not valuable
    • Too many people will visit park with already limited parking

    Those in favor of land exchange said:

    • Save a building on the National Register
    • The McDonald property is valuable habitat that should be preserved
    • Prioritize nature with acquisition of the McDonald property
    • Commercial use of Seminary is ok as long as it supports park mission
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    Built in 1931, the Saint Edward Seminary building is a significant historical structure and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. The seminary structure and associated landscape are part of a collection of 700 historic structures and sites managed and cared for by Washington State Parks. 

    Aging Seminary needs rehabilitation

    The aging Seminary building has been in a state of disrepair for years. Rehabilitation would require resources well beyond State Parks’ means.  

    At its regular meeting on September 2014, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission directed staff to explore the possibility of rehabilitating the building. (Download the agenda and minutes. Action item on the Seminary building begins on page 101.)   Previously, in 2013, the Commission also adopted a resolution to authorize the Director of State Parks to “explore partnerships with other public and private sector entities for the purpose of rehabilitating the Saint Edward Seminary building.” 

  • Contact Information:

    Project Leads: Michael Hankinson, Planner and Nikki Fields, Planner

    Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission E-mail Phone: (360) 902-8671 P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650