State Parks to consider Saint Edward Seminary lease at special meeting in Kenmore

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will have a special meeting in Kenmore in January, where it will consider authorizing the State Parks director to enter a 62-year lease agreement with Daniels Real Estate of Seattle for the Seminary Building at Saint Edward State Park.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 5 at Bastyr University, 14500 Juanita Drive NE. The meeting will begin with a commission executive session, after which the public meeting will commence. A special meeting agenda, including the proposed lease, will be available online Dec. 22 at

Public comments submitted through 5 p.m. Dec. 30 will be made available to the commission prior to the special meeting.

In addition to the consideration of director authorization on the lease, the commission will review details of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) public process that addresses issues such as parking and environmental impacts associated with the proposal. The commission also will see the results of building and property appraisals that are part of the lease agreement.

State Parks acquired Saint Edward State Park in 1977. Since that time, State Parks has entertained a number of preservation, rehabilitation and re-use ideas for the park’s iconic Seminary Building and grounds. In September 2014, the commission considered a range of management options from building demolition to rehabilitation — and adopted rehabilitation as its preferred option.

The commission determined it would need to enter a partnership with a private or public entity to secure the capital investment needed to successfully rehabilitate the building. Any project would be required to align with the State Parks mission and avoid negative impacts to the park’s natural features. The proposal by Daniels Real Estate of Seattle includes rehabilitating the Seminary for use as a lodge.

As part of the lease arrangement, Daniels agreed to purchase a 9.7-acre private property that lies adjacent to the park and to transfer it to State Parks in exchange for use of the building. The property adds to the park’s natural area along Lake Washington and allows the agency to appropriately manage trails that are already in use by the public. In the proposed agreement, Daniels shoulders the cost of rehabilitation.

It is anticipated that the exchange and lease agreement will generate additional annual revenue for State Parks through new Discover Pass sales and through parking fees paid by overnight lodgers.

A proposal by the City of Kenmore to improve ballfields at the park is unrelated to the building lease under consideration and has no bearing on the proposed Seminary project.