Lynnwood set to buy Goodwill for $8M, making way for city center park

LYNNWOOD — The days of poppin’ tags at the Lynnwood Goodwill appear to be numbered.

The city is moving to buy the property and eventually level the thrift store to make way for a new park.

Town Square Park would be the first in Lynnwood’s city center.

It probably won’t come to fruition for a few years. The thrift shop is sitting on a nine-year lease.

Lynnwood currently has about 350 acres of public greenspace: 17 parks, over 100 acres of “natural open space” and 14 miles of trails.

“Discussions with the tenant about their needs and timing to relocate haven’t yet taken place but will be an important next step if the city completes this acquisition,” Sarah Olson, deputy parks director, told The Daily Herald.

Town Square Park was first drawn up in the 2007 City Center Parks Master Plan, Olson said. That plan was updated in 2018 and served as a launchpad for the project.

The city’s real estate consultant reviewed parcels, spoke with property owners and helped hone in on the 1.67 acre lot at 4027 198th Street SW, near the site of the future light rail station. Negotiations began in 2021.

In March, the City Council approved an agreement to purchase the Lynnwood Goodwill for $8 million.

Now, the planned purchase is in a 120-day review period, allowing time to review property documents, inspect the property, conduct environmental reviews and determine how to fund the acquisition.

Council members received their second briefing on financing options Tuesday. The city has about $5 million in Park Impact Fees that could be tapped for a portion of the price. But staff recommended the council consider financing the entire $8 million to keep those fees on hand for ongoing projects. Most councilmembers supported a 50/50 split of hard cash and debt financing.

“This is a legacy park,” said Councilmember Shannon Sessions.

The sale could close by Sept. 12, if the council authorizes the bond.

The city hopes to begin the design process in the next few years, so they could hit the ground running on construction when the lease is up, Olson said. The design and development could take about five years, Olson said.

The vision is to provide a balance of gathering areas and quiet garden spaces. The city would like to incorporate an interactive water feature and event space. Mockups of Town Square Park from 2018 show a playground, expansive lawn, gathering plaza and terrace garden.

The city plans to retroactively seek grant funds through the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office for part of the $8 million. There are also plans to seek grant funds for the park’s development, Olson said.

“Purchasing property in Lynnwood’s City Center is a much-needed action to demonstrate Lynnwood’s commitment to a vibrant future of the City Center neighborhood,” Olson said. “It is a rare opportunity to build a new park in Lynnwood.”

Isabella Breda: 425-339-3192; isabella.breda@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @BredaIsabella.

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