The City of Lake Forest Park gains rare lakefront property for public access

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Waterfront property for Lake Forest Park
Photo courtesy City of Lake Forest Park

LAKE FOREST PARK, WA —On Tuesday, November 30, 2021 Forterra transferred Lake Washington waterfront property to the City of Lake Forest Park in a two-year, $5 million strategy to conserve key parcels from development.

In 2019, these properties went into bankruptcy, and the City of Lake Forest Park wanted to buy them for conservation and public recreation but did not have the funds readily available to acquire them.

The City of Lake Forest Park asked Forterra to step in to buy, hold then resell the property to the City when it had acquired the requisite funds for purchase.

“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.”

This is a property with great potential for recreation, connecting the Burke-Gilman Trail and Lake Washington. This site will provide the only public access along the five-mile stretch of the trail from Matthews Beach Park to Log Boom Park along the northwest shore of the lake. 

It will also be the only public shoreline in Lake Forest Park.

The site is located at 17345 and 17347 Beach Drive next to the Lyon Creek Waterfront Preserve and just north of Town Center.

Updated 12-1-2021 with location

“This is a great moment in the history of Lake Forest Park,” said Mayor Jeff Johnson. “With the support of the City Council and the determination of key city staff, we have provided an exceptional amenity for this and future generations.”

“We could not have done this without the partnership and support of Forterra, Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, Conservation Futures, the State Department of Commerce, King County voters, County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, Senator David Frockt, Representative Gerry Pollet and Representative Javier Valdez,” said City Council Chair Phillippa Kassover. 

“They all understood the value of this park property to our community and were willing to advocate for the preservation of this lakeshore for enjoyment by everyone.”

On November 30, 2021 Forterra finalized the sale and transfer of the lakefront property to the City, completing a two-year conservation strategy that leveraged Forterra’s ability to act quickly through a guaranteed loan from its Guarantor program. 

The City of Lake Forest Park looks forward to the next stage of a public planning and design of the park space, which is set to commence in 2022.

Forterra is an unconventional land trust that works across Washington’s communities and landscapes, from the ranches and shrub-steppe of the Yakima basin, to the estuaries, farms and forests of Washington’s coast, reaching more than 100 counties, cities, towns and rural communities. 

Working cooperatively with people and nature, Forterra drives land stewardship, management and planning; innovative programs and policies; farming and forestry approaches; community ownership opportunities; and development solutions. 


Anonymous,  December 1, 2021 at 7:06 PM  

I wonder if it was property taxes on an older retired family that led to the bankruptcy and loss of the property?

Anonymous,  December 3, 2021 at 7:33 AM  

It wasn't. The owner was younger but essentially delinquent in paying, even though he had the means.

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