Site Selection

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On May 13, 2010, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed providing cities with 150 beds in the King County Jail until 2020. This move, coupled with current and potential contracts that north/east King County cities have with other jurisdictions for jail beds, enabled Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to recommend ending the process of siting a new regional municipal jail to house misdemeanor offenders. For more information, please visit the King County Web site:

NEC Site Selection

  • The factors guiding site identification included:
    • Adequate acreage, with a range from 4-12 acres;
    • Adjacent uses, with a preference for commercial/light industrial;
    • Regional access, to freeways, transportation facilities and transit, as well as the ability to locate support services, such as offices and courts;
    • Ease of Acquisition/Ownership, with a preference for public property or sites available for purchase; and
    • Geographic distribution throughout the northeast region.
  • The five cities that use the largest number of jail beds are Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Seattle, and Shoreline.
  • Collectively the five cities initially identified 12 preliminary candidate sites, located in the following areas:
    • Seattle
    • Bellevue
    • Kirkland
    • Shoreline
    • Redmond
    • Unincorporated King County
  • The NEC group asked its consultant, Carter Goble Lee (CGL) to assess the 12 preliminary sites to help it determine which sites should undergo environmental evaluation.
    • The CGL site evaluation methodology report
    • The site comparison chart
  • Seattle sites
    Seattle initially identified four possible candidate sites: two in north Seattle and two in south Seattle. To maintain geographic equity within the city, Seattle selected one site in north Seattle and one site in south Seattle for further evaluation in the environmental impact study (EIS) process. Of the two north sites, the Armory Way site received a higher ranking, both in the CGL assessment, as well as in an assessment by City staff. Of the two south sites, the West Marginal Way site received a higher ranking, both in the CGL assessment, as well as in an assessment by City staff.
    • Seattle site analysis memorandum
  • Shoreline site
    Shoreline initially identified three possible candidate sites. Two sites scored high in the assessment from CGL. The highest scoring site was deemed too difficult to integrate because it is owned by the State of Washington, which is already working on a comprehensive plan for its future use. In addition, the other site recently became available for purchase. As a result, Shoreline’s second highest scoring site was selected for further study in the EIS process.
  • Eastside sites
    Five possible candidate sites on the eastside were initially identified. Of those possible sites, the two sites with the highest scores from CGL were selected for further study in the EIS process.
  • Potential Annex to King County Jail in Downtown Seattle
    The NEC is working with King County to explore developing an annex to the County jail in downtown Seattle. The NEC and King County have agreed to include the vacant County-owned site located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Jefferson Street – which is adjacent to the King County jail – as one of the sites for consideration under the EIS.
  • The following six sites will undergo a full public process and environmental impact evaluation:
    • King County Jail Annex, vacant land at the southeast corner of the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Jefferson Street, Seattle
    • Seattle north, 1600 W. Armory Way
    • Seattle south, Highland Park Way S.W. & West Marginal Way S.W.
    • Bellevue, 555 116th Ave. N.E.
    • Shoreline, 2545 N.E. 200th St.
    • Unincorporated King County, 13225 N.E. 126th Pl.
    • Regional Map
  • Regardless of where the municipal jail is ultimately built, the NEC is committed to building a well designed facility that will be a good neighbor.