Daniels Real Estate held another public meeting at the St. Edward Seminary where contractor Kevin Daniels provided information on the massive overhaul project that will turn the building into a lodge.
Some $50 million in renovations to the building are expected to begin in mid-July with construction on an underground parking garage slated to start in September. Work will continue for around 16 months and a grand opening for the community will follow, Daniels said. When construction begins, a fence will go up around the building and exterior improvements and earthquake stabilization will be at the top of Daniels’ to-do list. The majority of the building, except the old nuns quarters, will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, meaning accessibility upgrades will be created such as wheelchair ramps.
The electrical wiring and utilities that serve the seminary are in good shape, Daniels said, meaning that the surrounding park will be largely undisturbed.
“We’re not having to dig up very many trees, we’re talking very few,” he said.
The Lodge at St. Edward project will remodel the seminary and operate under a state-approved, 62-year lease. Daniels acquired the lease on the condition they acquire nearly 10 acres of land adjacent to the park and provide it to the state to add the park. The seminary closed in 1976 and was part of a larger compound which now houses the neighboring Bastyr University in the St. Edward State Park within Kenmore city limits.
The lodge will have meeting rooms, a lounge and bar, 80 bedrooms and will be able to facilitate conferences. Daniels has said he will maintain the historic feel of the building, which was built in 1931. The iconic bell tower and bells will be repaired.
Once it opens, the lobby, basement and second floor of the lodge will be open to the public while the park is open and closed to everyone other than guests after dark. The park is a popular attraction for Eastside residents and locals expressed concerns over parking. The lodge lease does not include a lower parking lot that will be retained by the park. Parking fees will be collected from lodge guests, which Daniels estimated will bring in around $200,000 for the state annually. During construction a temporary parking lot for patrons will be opened to the south of the lodge. The adjacent gymnasium is under lease with Advantage Basketball Camps until 2021. Daniels said they did not have plans to renovate it although it is included in Daniels’ lease.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle constructed the building before closing it and selling the 326-acre property to the state of Washington in 1977. This later became the St. Edward State Park, which surrounds the 5.5 -acre lease area that houses the seminary building.