While the property has been acquired by the City for the purpose of providing public park space, it is currently underutilized due to a lack of attractive park features. The Seattle Parks Foundation is addressing that issue by conducting a campaign to raise the funds needed to substantially improve the park's facilities. The capital campaign goal is $20 million. In addition, the Seattle City Council appropriated $4.228 million in funds to repair the property's bulkhead and $5 million went to the project from the voter-approved 2000 Pro Parks Levy. Construction has begun on the park, and fund raising is in progress.
The park design is optimized to provide access to water and green space, connect the surrounding neighborhoods, and celebrate the cultural, industrial, and maritime heritage of the city and region. Once developed, Lake Union Park will include: restored shoreline, a pedestrian bridge, a model boat pond, a history trail, a fountain of water jets, a beach for launching boats, The Center for Wooden Boats' new Education Center, a grove of trees, a great lawn, footpaths, park benches, and infrastructure that can support large events. Lake Union Park also has a station for the South Lake Union Streetcar, which began operating in late 2007.
Already in the park is a Historic Ships Wharf that houses several historic vessels, including the schooner Wawona, the tug Arthur Foss, the fireboat Duwamish, the lightship Swiftsure, and the steamer Virginia V. Several other large historic vessels visit the wharf, including the Hawaiian Chieftain and the Lady Washington, which was featured in movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean.
The property has several buildings, the largest of which is the former Naval Reserve Building, colloquially called the Armory. The Armory has office space and a large open center, formerly used as a drill hall, which can be rented for events and accommodate over 1,000 people. It is one of the most affordable events spaces in Seattle, frequently used for weddings, church meeting space, graduation parties, charitable auctions, etc. The Armory also has a handful of smaller spaces and meeting rooms available for rent.
The Armory's office space is currently occupied by Seattle Parks and Recreation and several nonprofit groups, including Center for Wooden Boats, the Virginia V, Seattle Parks Foundation, and The Associated Recreation Council The Museum of History and Industry is considering acquiring the building and using it for museum exhibit space.