Before it votes on July 22, the council ought to read an editorial that Hedreen's lobbyist, Jamie Durkan, penned in the July 15 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It's not that Durkan's editorial will persuade the council to side with Hedreen, though. Quite the contrary: Durkan's screed is perfect evidence of the shenanigans that Hedreen is trying to pull. Durkan wrongly argues that Hedreen's $15 million partnership with the Washington State Convention & Trade Center (WSCTC) earned Hedreen the right to expand development plans for an unrelated hotel project.
Durkan says the city struck a deal with Hedreen, and shouldn't break it. What deal? As WSCTC General Manager John Christison points out, there was no "iron-clad" provision in WSCTC's agreement with Hedreen that obligated the city to do anything. In fact, as evidence that the city had no legal obligation to Hedreen, Christison acknowledges that as part of WSCTC's agreement with Hedreen, WSCTC promised to support Hedreen's bid to win credits from the city later on. In short, the real deal was an understanding between WSCTC and Hedreen that the city would have to make an exception for Hedreen in the future, because transferring the square-footage credits to a site not related to the convention center didn't jibe with the square-footage program.
"What Jamie is missing in his article," city housing director Cynthia Parker says, "is that if he wanted to build extra square footage, he had to do it at that site [the Convention Center]." Hedreen wants expanded development rights several blocks away at Eighth and Olive or the Greyhound bus depot site.
Ultimately, Hedreen has no standing with the city. "There was no deal," Nickels spokesperson Marianne Bischel laughs about Durkan's weird column.