SWIFT Center

The City of Sedro-Woolley, Skagit County, and the Port of Skagit are partnering to position the old Northern State Hospital property for redevelopment. The site is now the Sedro-Woolley Innovation For Tomorrow (SWIFT) Center.  The local governments have entered into an Interlocal Agreement and Amendment that states the following goals for the redevelopment of the former Northern State property:

  • Encourage the private sector to create and sustain jobs at the SWIFT Center benefitting all of Skagit County and its citizens and that are compatible with all of the other goals
  • Continue and promote public recreational use of the property
  • Protect the environmentally sensitive areas of the property, in particular Hansen Creek
  • Acknowledge and protect the historic significance of Northern State Hospital to the local community, the wider region and the State of Washington
  • Acknowledge and respect the neighboring Upper Skagit Indian Tribal Nation's interests in the property


Notice of City Council Decision regarding the adoption of a Planned Action Ordinance and Subarea Plan for the Center for Innovation and Technology


Notice of Public Meetings regarding The Center for Innovation and Technology – Subarea Plan, Planned Action Ordinance and Amendments to Chapter 17.32 (Public Zone) of the Sedro-Woolley Municipal Code - December 2, 2015 at 7:00 PM and December 9, 2015 at 7:00 PM

Notice of Public Meeting regarding the Center for Innovation and Technology in the Pacific Northwest - November 3, 2015 at 6:30 PM

Notice of Availability and Public Hearing for the Northern State Campus Draft Environmental Impact Statement (body, appendices), Subarea Plan and DEIS Public Hearing Presentation

On September 9, 2015 the City Council passed Ordinance 1822-15 approving the annexation of the Northern State Campus property and five residential properties, adding approximately 230 acres into the City limits. The annexation of the Northern State Campus is a necessary step to support future redevelopment activities of the campus.
Notice of Public Meeting regarding North Cascades Gateway Center Planning Process - April 8, 2015
Initial Press Release - New Use Proposed for Portion of Northern State Hospital Campus


Since the Northern State Hospital closed in 1973, the State of Washington and the local community have explored opportunities for adaptive re-use of this 225 acre property. The hospital was developed based on a master plan by the Olmsted Brothers that remains largely intact and has been deemed significant enough to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Northern State Property has been owned by the State of Washington since the hospital was constructed in 1912. It is currently managed by the Department of Enterprise Services, which leases buildings and grounds to a number of organizations, including the federal Department of Labor for a Job Corps training and education facility and Pioneer Human Services, a non-profit organization that provides chemical dependency services.

Approximately 40 percent of the existing buildings are unoccupied. A number of historical buildings have been demolished over time and newer buildings that are not compatible with the original master plan have been constructed. In 2010, Washington State expressed a desire to surplus the property and look for a local champion to acquire and redevelop the site for a greater community propose.

A three party partnership consisting of Skagit County, the City of Sedro-Woolley, and the Port of Skagit are exploring this opportunity.

Current Activities

Following on the recommendations of the Northern State Adaptive Re-use Study, there will be three interrelated actions conducted by the local governments in 2015. The planning efforts will support the potential for Janicki Bioenergy research and development facilities on the Northern State Property, but take a broader look at the entire property and multiple uses. Before any new uses envisioned in the reuse process will be permitted at the Northern State Property, the property needs to be annexed into the city of Sedro-Woolley, a subarea plan must be approved and environmental review must be completed. Below is a more information on those three actions.

Property Ownership CHANGES

The State of Washington transferred ownership of the Property to the Port of Skagit in June of 2018, with the exception of the land used by the Washington State National Guard, which remains in state ownership. The City has accepted an offer from the Port to donate the portion of the Property that has historically been used for the Kids Fishing Derby to the City for use as a city park. The Pond will continue to host the annual fishing derby. Access to the pond will be improved, parking will be paved and a restroom, playground, basketball court and sand volleyball court are planned.

Existing Tenants

Two of the current tenants on the Property, Pioneer Human Services and North Sound Mental Health Administration provide chemical dependency and mental health services. Skagit County and the North Sound Mental Health Administration are forming a working group to explore new models for providing chemical dependency and mental health services that are increasingly being provided in concert as 'behavioral health services'. More information will be provided about that effort as it moves forward.

For more information, see the Port of Skagit Northern State Adaptive Re-Use Study project page.