Forterra, a land conservation organization, finalized the sale and transfer of two scarce Lake Washington waterfront parcels to the City or Lake Forest Park on Nov. 30. The deal is part of a two-year conservation strategy that will eventually result in the largest lakefront public access park on the five-mile stretch of Lake Washington shoreline between Matthews Beach and Log Boom Park, and the only public shoreline in Lake Forest Park.
Forterra is an unconventional land trust that works to drive land stewardship, management and planning; innovative programs and policies; farming and forestry approaches; community ownership and development solutions.
The City of Lake Forest Park had asked Forterra to step in to buy and hold the property that had gone into bankruptcy in 2019, and then resell it to the City when it had acquired the requisite funds for purchase. Forterra was able to act quickly through a guaranteed loan from its Guarantor program to acquire the lakefront property. The organization then worked with the City of Lake Forest Park to purchase the property. The result is a two-year, $5 million deal to conserve the parcels from development.
“Gaining public access to Lake Washington helps ground us in the special place we live,” said Michelle Connor, Forterra president and CEO. “In an exemplary act of civic courage, the City of Lake Forest Park seized the opportunity for its residents and visitors to realize the aspiration of its identity. We are proud to have supported that.”
The property holds great potential for recreation, connecting the Burke-Gilman Trail and Lake Washington.
Source: Forterra press release