City Council notes: Showbox ‘saved’ some more, Battle of Fort Lawton ends

(Image: Seattle.gov)

It was a busy, pre-summer rush Monday for the Seattle City Council with a flurry of votes on some of the city’s important open issues.

  • The Showbox: Proponents for preserving the 1st Ave building lined up for redevelopment scored another small victory Monday as the council voted 8-1 on an a six-month extension of the temporary expansion of the Pike Place Historic District. Last week, the building also made it through the first round of the city’s landmarks designation process. Unlike many of the council’s few 8-1 votes, the lone holdout was not District 3’s Kshama Sawant who has been a champion of the preservation effort even thought it is stymying potential redevelopment. Instead, interim council member Abel Pacheco was the lone voice on the council saying the need for housing — or, at least, Mandatory Housing Affordability in-lieu payments — outweighed the venue’s value.
  • Fort Lawton: A housing battle that has simmered for 13 years reached a new milestone as the council unanimously approved a plan to create hundreds of units of affordable housing on the site of the former army base in northwest Seattle.
  • Capitol Hill Design Guidelines and rent bidding ban: Also, as expected, the council approved updated design guidelines for Capitol Hill and extended the city’s temporary ban on rent bidding platforms.
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6 thoughts on “City Council notes: Showbox ‘saved’ some more, Battle of Fort Lawton ends

  1. So to my understanding, here’s how housing works if you’re the SCC:

    If the housing project will mess up a park and is fiercely opposed by the local community, which has offered plenty of alternatives, you ignore all of them and celebrate building it.

    If the housing project would replace a mediocre music venue that some famous bands played at once, then you need to launch a massive, illegal, libelous campaign to stop it and get the city sued for tens of millions of dollars.

  2. People are really being hoodwinked.

    If redevelopment blocks a condo view… then you find an excuse to block it. Look at all proposed development on 1st that the Newmark Tower residents are trying to block. One of them is the Showbox. Another is a parking lot. The other is the site of the Green Tortoise Hostel.

    I don’t doubt that each of these current uses has value. But I also think adding 1500 new housing units (yes even luxury ones, we are talking prime waterfront) has value. But more important is the potential loss of $15M MHA payments towards affordable housing and $20M+/yr added tax revenue. Is that worth forgoing in the name of a few peoples existing views (hidden behind claims of nostalgia masked as Pike Place preservation.)

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