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Seattle City Council to take up plan to transfer ownership of former Central District fire station to nonprofit Byrd Barr Place

A Seattle City Council committee will take up legislation Tuesday planned to set the stage for nonprofit Byrd Barr Place to take ownership of the 18th Ave former fire station it calls home.

AN ORDINANCE relating to the transfer of City property located at 722 18th Avenue, Seattle, Washington; authorizing the conveyance of the property to Byrd Barr Place, a Washington non-profit corporation, consistent with the intent of Resolution 31856 and to provide for the continued delivery of social services; making findings of fact about the consideration for the transfer; authorizing acceptance of a negative easement restricting future development of the property; superseding Resolution 31837 for the purposes of this ordinance; and authorizing the Director of the Department of Finance and Administrative Services or designee to execute and deliver documents necessary to carry out the conveyance of such property on the terms and conditions of this ordinance.

The proposal follows a late 2018 resolution passed by the council calling for the transfer after Byrd Barr Place received a grant from the Washington Department of Commerce for $1,455,000 to renovate the building under the condition that it owns or holds a long-term lease for a minimum of ten years for the property.

The city has been working on plans to transfer ownership of some of its senior centers and community centers to non-profit operators “so long as the operator demonstrates the capacity to own and operate the property.”

The Central Area Senior Center is working on a similar transfer but has faced challenges in reaching an agreement with City Hall.

Meanwhile, spurred by the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, the city has said it will finally the Central District’s old  Fire Station 6 to Africatown for use as a William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation.

Founded in 1967, Byrd Barr Place provides human services, and housing assistance, and partners with organizations to find solutions to racial inequity. It is one of several organizations Mayor Jenny Durkan promised would be part of more than $100 million in support of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities


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5 thoughts on “Seattle City Council to take up plan to transfer ownership of former Central District fire station to nonprofit Byrd Barr Place” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. Everyone should be looking into their CEO, Andrea Caupain. She ran for office, was the highest fundraiser in the race, and still has tons of unaccounted money leftover from her campaign. How do you have the most money, the endorsement of the incumbent, and drop out with your name STILL on the ballot?

  2. Budgets are moral documents that reflect our values as a city. The idea that our bloated, militarized police budget (allocated at almost half a billion dollars per year) is sensible, while our public schools remain underfunded, reflects a profound lack of empathy and understanding of the problems that face our city. What makes our city unsafe is a lack of access to resources, services, and opportunities for those living on the socioeconomic margins. What makes our community unsafe is not a lack of policing. It is poverty.

  3. I’m trying to understand the legality of constantly turning over public land to organizations who do not serve the entire community. I have seen again and again in Seattle black organizations be given parcels of land that belong to everybody. How is this legal to show such blatant racial favoritism

      • I’m well aware of the history of the Central District. Native Americans, Jews, and Japanese Americans also called it their own at one point. Jews were also redlined, the Natives weren’t even allowed to live on their own land for a long time, and the Japanese were carted off to internment camps. So no, knowing the history of the Central District doesn’t change the fact that’s inappropriate only one racial demographic is being focused on

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