Organizers of a weekly music party on the rooftop of the new Liberty Bank Building say the shows will go on despite a neighbor’s social media messages and complaints to police about the noise and the “terrible nuisance” in the “once wonderful peaceful neighborhood” around 24th and Union.
“Our team looks forward to continuing to serve the community with this live music series on the next three Thursdays 7:30-9:45pm.,” the producer of Level R Events said in a statement sent CHS. “We are listening to neighbor concerns, and will proactively work with our para-technicians to ensure that volume levels are within city ordinances.”
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Capitol Hill Housing, the nonprofit affordable housing developer of the building that also manages the property, says it will continue supporting the free, RSVP-only events with live music, food, and dancing amid the solar panels on the Liberty Bank Building’s roof and its command of a fantastic view of the surrounding Central District neighborhoods.
Africatown Media has documented the “BBQ Becky” social media and police complaints against the weekly series put on this summer by Central District resident Georgio Brown.
In one, the complaining neighbor throws down the “peaceful neighborhood” line:
Unfortunately the new Liberty Bank Building affordable housing has become a terrible nuisance to this once wonderful peaceful neighborhood in just a few short months since opening. They have decided to sponsor open air rooftop parties every Thursday night (Level R Productions) blaring music across this once quite peaceful neighborhood. Think the annoyance of people who blast music on hiking trails or in thier cars up and down the strip and you begin to understand the negative impact this building is forcing on the community. We live over six blocks away and can hear the music in our home with the window and doors closed. Sad that this is what the development is known for.
Capitol Hill Housing said it received “a phone call and complaint from a neighbor” and that SPD was, indeed, also called, and checked the decibel level, determining it to be within allowable legal levels.
Police, of course, did not shut down the event after the complaint. And the social media complaints haven’t gone unchecked. One respondent writes:
I think the more ‘sad’ factor if anything is the egg-shell presence of space invaders like yourself who are so DISCONNECTED with the historic communities in which they attempt to move in to and claim as their own, that they (you) ignorantly reveal your unwanted entitlement and claim some level of soap-Box-general status that you feel as if the community needs to adjust to YOU.
Capitol Hill Housing said its staff have worked to make adjustments based on the feedback, “including lowering the music, relocating the rooftop stage closer to the non-residential side of the building, conducting non-resident visitors to the rooftop to diminish the foot traffic standing outside on the ground floor, and breaking down and moving things out between 9:30-10.”
Staff have also invited nearby neighbors to attend, CHH said.
Named to honor the region’s first Black-owned bank that once stood at the corner, the six-story, 115-unit affordable housing Liberty Bank Building opened in March as a collaboration between Capitol Hill Housing, Africatown, The Black Community Impact Alliance, and Byrd Barr Place. Its model of inclusive development and “affirmative marketing” to Black residents are being held up as a model as the city formulates efforts like community preference, a new anti-displacement policy that encourages nonprofit developers receiving city money to offer a portion of their affordable units to communities with ties to the neighborhood. Around 86% of the Liberty Bank residents are Black.
While the situation around the weekly music series echoes with similar social media storms over race in other parts of the country, it also is a situation involving social issues including wealth and affordability, and, yes, noise. With increasing density around Capitol Hill, CHS has covered noise complaint issues involving bars and clubs on the Hill and we’ll be revisiting the issue soon as city officials are looking for solutions for the city’s increasingly dense neighborhoods.
In the meantime, Thursday’s Rooftop Live Music Series show featuring Roc Phizzle and Friends is still a go. You can learn more at weseayou.net.
The full statement about Level R Events is below:
Level R Events at Liberty Bank Building was created to showcase local talent and film them on a beautiful new rooftop in Seattle’s Central District. Content will be released on WeSEAyou.net, a new production company developing a podcast & vlog spotlight. We have been pleased with the overwhelmingly positive feedback, including coverage on KIRO 7 Seattle and an article by AfricaTownMedia tying this series to the rich musical history of the neighborhood https://www.
Our team looks forward to continuing to serve the community with this live music series on the next three Thursdays 7:30-9:45pm. We are listening to neighbor concerns, and will proactively work with our para-technicians to ensure that volume levels are within city ordinances.
We invite the community to RSVP and join us on the roof.