North Cascades Gateway Center is a state-owned property in Sedro-Woolley in Skagit County, Washington. The property is the site of the former Northern State Hospital, which closed in 1973. In addition to the 225 acres currently owned by the state of Washington, the state transferred about 725 acres previously used for the hospital operation to Skagit County for public recreational use in 1991.
The state Department of Enterprise Services manages the closed campus and leases property to seven tenants. The three largest tenant operations are the Port of Skagit for economic development, U.S. Department of Labor for a Job Corps College and Career Academy, and Pioneer Human Services for behavioral health treatment.
The state appreciates there is great interest in the site. At this time, the North Cascades Gateway Center is not open for public access or public tours because of the nature of the tenant organizations operating on the property. Enterprise Services is respectful of tenant needs related to confidentiality, privacy, and security. Access to the property is limited to tenant operations and official government business.
In December 2016, the state of Washington reached an agreement with the Port of Skagit to transfer North Cascades Gateway Center to the Port. The Port and local government partners created a redevelopment vision to transform the former Northern State Hospital property into a technology innovation and research campus (referred to as the Sedro-Woolley Innovation for Tomorrow Center or SWIFT Center) that promotes economic opportunities and education while protecting the historic and natural resources of the property.
The Port estimates redeveloping the property could create between 600 and 1,000 new sustainable, community-wage jobs in the region during the next 10 to 20 years. The transfer agreement restricts the Port from transferring ownership of the property to any nongovernmental entity or private person.
The Department of Enterprise Services and Port of Skagit will honor all existing lease commitments until expiration. Both entities will engage with tenants to plan future development in conjunction with these commitments. Skagit County, North Sound Behavioral Health Organization, and other partners are working together to transition behavioral health services from the campus to local communities to help meet the community’s vision for the campus. Any leases that exist at the time of property transfer will be assigned to the Port. Once assigned, the leases and all associated terms will be managed by the Port consistent with Port leasing policies.