Petty and Marsh propose plan for Tyson Mexican Original plant sale proceeds

Ward 1 Alderwoman Sarah Marsh shows slides of Seattle’s Gas Works Park during a presentation at the City Council agenda-setting session on Tuesday.

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

Update: This proposal was amended to remove section 1 (see text below) and passed by council members 7-0 on March 5.

Two City Council members want to make sure proceeds from the recent sale of the former Tyson Mexican Original plant are put back into the surrounding southeast Fayetteville community.

Aldermen Matthew Petty and Sarah Marsh have sponsored a resolution of intent to use a majority of the $1.115 million the city receives from the recent land sale for improvements to the remaining property and adjacent neighborhoods.

The council earlier this month agreed to sell about two of the 10 acres the city owns at Huntsville and Happy Hollow roads to Kum & Go, which plans to build a new gas station on the east side of the property once the dilapidated factory building is demolished.

This map shows the location of the former Tyson Mexican Original plant at Huntsville and Happy Hollow roads in southeast Fayetteville.

Aerial photo: Google

Officials have discussed selling another street-facing, commercial lot and keeping the remaining acreage for city use.

Petty and Marsh pitched their idea during Tuesday night’s council agenda-setting session.

“This is about getting the maximum value out of this piece of property and making sure that we’re creating a good place for the neighborhood out of something that has been derelict for so long,” said Marsh.

The resolution doesn’t mention any specific plans, but Petty said that’s by design.

“We’ve intentionally left it open-ended,” said Petty. “What we want to accomplish is to come up with a plan for community use for the property.”

Petty said there are a number of options available including reserving the land for a future park-and-ride facility or repurposing some of the former factory’s industrial equipment into aesthetic amenities in a park-like setting.

Expanding upon the latter suggestion, Marsh showed slides of Gas Works Park, a public park on the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company plant on the shore of Lake Union in Seattle, Washington. The 19-acre park incorporates pieces of the old gasification plant, some of which were repurposed into a children’s “play barn” area in the plant’s exhauster-compressor building.

Mayor Lioneld Jordan (left) and Ward 3 Alderman Martin Schoppmeyer look at a broken skylight in one of the many vacant rooms of the plant during a tour of the property in January. (see more photos)

Flyer photo

“This is a project I thought we could look to for inspiration,” said Marsh. “It’s a very popular park and serves as a great backdrop for a lot of community events.”

There are five sections to the proposed resolution:

1. Designate a majority of the proceeds for the future development of the property for community uses and for connectivity improvements for the surrounding neighborhoods.

2. City staff develop a site plan for the remaining property, which can be funded by the recent land sale proceeds and which promotes revitalization and appropriate infill and includes land for urban agriculture.

3. City staff identify opportunities to improve the connectivity of adjacent neighborhoods with nearby amenities which can be funded from the recent sale.

4. City staff evaluate the feasibility of creative repurposing of portions of the building prior to demolition of the former factory building.

5. Ensure at least 75 percent of non-hazardous demolition waste be recycled or otherwise diverted from the landfill.

Aldermen will consider the proposal during the next regular City Council meeting on March 5.

Gas Works Park video

Recycling Gas Works Park from CCLR on Vimeo.