Ravenna-Bryant Community Association

Serving the Ravenna and Bryant neighborhoods in Seattle, WA

Update: RBCA Board meets with CHSW staff about their property on NE 65th Street

On May 21, two representatives from Ravenna-Bryant Community Association’s (RBCA) board and three neighbors of Children’s Home Society of Washington (CSHW) met with CHSW President Sharon Osborne, Vice President of Administration/Chief Financial Officer Heather Ritts and two brokers from the real estate firm handling the sale, Heartland, to discuss the sale of the 3.7-acre property on 65th Street between 32nd and 34th Avenue Northeast.

CHSW, a 115 year-old organization, aims to “develop healthy children, create strong families, build engaged communities, and speak and advocate for children.” Their core program services have shifted slightly in recent years reflecting changing needs among the children and families they serve. As Osborne explained, they have moved away from running residential facilities such as those located on the Ravenna property, and now focus more on in-home services.

CHSW retained Heartland more than five years ago to help review the organization’s overall real estate, including the Ravenna site.  However, the organization still provided residential services on 65th Street site, and in addition to the “economic tsunami” of 2008, it didn’t make sense for them to sell any of their properties at the bottom of the market. Also, CHSW has a strong connection to the site, which has lasted more than 100 years, and the agency wanted to retain the property because of its historical significance. However, developers expressed strong interest in buying the site as the economy turned and the residential program closed in 2010, so they have decided to explore the possibility of a sale. The deadline to submit offers was May 17.

During the meeting, Osborne explained that CHSW consists of two nonprofits; the first runs programs and services, and a second one manages their real estate and other assets. CHSW has a total of seven properties across Washington state. Both of these 501c3s have boards, and both of these boards will need to review offers on the property before they can make a final decision regarding a sale.  The boards meet quarterly and “don’t sit on things for very long.” It’s anticipated that a decision in consideration of the offers would be made relatively soon.

The CHSW made it clear that they are not excited to be selling this location, and they will be sad to go. However, it does not make sense for them to keep such a valuable piece of property that they are not using fully, especially when the proceeds from a sale such as this could enable them to provide services for the children and families whom they serve for many years to come. They have assured us that they will let us know if and when an offer goes under contract as soon as they know. We will, in turn, let the community know.

May Board Meeting Agenda

Folks, it is time again to gather in the Teen room at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center at 7 pm to discuss topics near and dear to our community. Per Johnson from the Wedgwood Community Council will be joining us to talk about the proposed sale of the Children’s Home Society of Washington property. Albert Shen, who is running for City Council will be visiting us as well. We expect a lot of discussion around transportation and pedestrian issues in and around Children’s Hospital and NE 75th.

We’re also looking for some great people to join the Board and run for office!

The Agenda as it stands (subject to change)

Agenda
May 7, 2013 7-9 PM
Ravenna Bryant Community Association
Board of Directors Meeting
Ravenna Eckstein Community Association

7:00 Introductions (Jorgen)
7:05 Board Business (Various)
• President’s report – SNAP
• Nominations for President (Jorgen)
• Treasurer’s report/Minutes (none for April Community Meeting)
• NEDC update (Tony)
• April Community Meeting Debrief
7:20 WCC/35th Ave NE Neighborhood Planning District conversation with CHSW (Per)
7:35 Discussion on our next steps, including meeting with CHSW in a smaller group (All)
7:50 Albert Shen – Candidate for Seattle City Council (Albert Shen/Jorgen)
8:05 Updates from Jenny and the City (Jenny)
8:15 Transportation updates (various)
• Improvements at NE 75th and further plans for improving pedestrian safety
• Upcoming/Potential improvements at Blakeley (potential charrette with CBE)
8:30 Pedestrian Issues – (various)
• 40th Ave NE and B-G trail (Josephine)
• Sidewalk encroachment (Jorgen)
• NE 55th and 39th NE (Jorgen)
8:45 Old Business (All)
8:55 Adjourn
Next meeting – June 4, 2013

The future of 35th Ave NE is unknowable…but not unplannable.

Recently, residents of the Wedgwood, Ravenna-Bryant, and other NE Seattle neighborhoods have begun a community-driven neighborhood planning process for 35th Ave NE.

The Wedgwood Community Council (WCC) Land Use Committee and the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association (RBCA) Land Use Committee are both critical components of the planning process – and so are you!

Get the latest developments on the new “Future of 35th Ave NE” website.