City Council Temporarily Blocks Demolition of the Showbox



the way forward is for Onni to buy the Deja Vu building and the empty lot north of Pike from Samis and fuck off up the street.


I love that everyone is still gladly patronizing AEG's other venues. You would think that there might be some backlash for selling out to a developer, but apparently that's not how it works.


@1 Doesn't Omni (or at least its principal) already have an ownership interest in the Deja Vu property?


The City Council sure jumped on this like they have the last seven months of this year, but only when there is a ground swell from the citizens. Where were they when this was originally permitted?

Typical Politicians.


“Council Member Sally Bagshaw said it would be unacceptable for the Showbox to be demolished and built at a different location in the city.“

It would be totally unacceptable for any building, anywhere else in the city, to be called “Showbox.”

At least we know where our City Council stands on this issue.

Wait, what?!?


What a joke of a counsel.


Omni may walk now. Too rich for them.


Or course, Rob "Developer Shill" Johnson, was awol from this vote, no doubt plotting in a backroom somewhere with his overlords about how they can turn this situation around.


“We need to come back to organizing, so please stay in touch with us," Sawant said. "We will succeed in saving the Showbox but... this could be the catalyst for the future struggle for affordable housing.“

Only by arbitrarily denying permitted residential construction can we ever hope to build adequate housing!! To the copiers!!


Durkin's approach is completely wrong. There must be no way forward for Omni.



Gimmee a break. It's not especially difficult to recognize that a venue that's been around since 1939 and hosted artists ranging from Muddy Waters & Duke Ellington to Elliot Smith & Pearl Jam would hold unique sentimental and nostalgic appeal for anyone with an appreciation for music. If this qualifies as "arbitrary" judgment, then so does your definition of arbitrary.


Today was about CM's feeling the adoration and making self serving speeches to the crowd in council chambers. Like POTUS. They are looking for anything they can claim is a win.


They only care because 100,000 people are complaining about it.


What will the city council do if Omni shuts the venue down?


Bone heads.




Some sad putzes will complain when council members act in response to public caring, and also complain when they don't act in response. It's as if they like to complain.


@9 Saving the Showbox doesnt have anything to do with affordable housing. But trying to organize the 100,000 people who care about how the city is used to parlay their love of the Showbox and the city to use their voices to continue to guide permitting away from only housing for the techies who come and go every two years toward building stuff that the people who are invested in this city can hope to afford.

Its the whole battle/war winning thing. Or like not winning the first quarter. Or building momentum.


I'm glad the Showbox will seemingly be saved rom the bulldozer. But the SCC is doing this because they know the mases are increasingly disenchanted with them, and they believe this will make the people like them again.


Huh. The city council responding to the will of the voters. It's almost as though they were elected officials or some shit.


Rainier Brewery...gone. Lusty Lady....gone. Warshals sporting goods....gone. Kingdome....gone. Ballard....replaced by condos. I hate to break it to all the Seattle newbies but the heart and soul of Seattle disappeared a long time ago and saving the showbox is not going to change that fact. I'm not necessarily complaining, its just a fact of life that things change. The reality is that Seattle has turned into a techie hub and in the process an incredibly expensive place to live. Seattle natives have been replaced by computer programmers from all over the country/world. My family was in Seattle for 4 generations and I was forced to leave because I actually wanted to some day own my own home. It sucks, but its the forces of a free economy. The same forces that allow me to have a decent job and other shit that I like. The new socialist Seattle City Council is so misguided if they think they can change this. The results of their efforts will be (and already have been) disastrous.


BIG win for the luxury condo highrise right behind the Showbox. I'm sure those 7 fig property owners all really really love them some local music.


I hate to be uptight, but how much is this bit of political theater going to cost the city? Likely millions of dollars for legal fees and several tens of millions dollars to compensate the property owners for lost value, plus untold millions of lost property tax revenue. It is going to be a big number, whatever it is. There has to be better way to make sure there is a big kind of ratty and run down centrally located performance hall. Or perhaps I am just a bourgeois pig to even contemplate such mundane concerns. Dunno.


Wahhhh I want me venue to stay, wahhh wahhh. Cry babies. It's an old dilapidated building and when people die in a fire, you will be to blame. This whole thing is a joke


"World Class" cities preserve historic structures and venues. The developers and their apologists can suck it.


@24 Arbitrarily expanding a historic district to block one project, while other redevelopment projects continue unimpeded just yards away sure does seem like it will invite litigation. But hey, that's how the SCC governs these days: take action first, sort out the true costs and legal implications later. Plus, it's no big deal to impose a regressive tax later to address any unanticipated costs, we do it all the time.


Did the City just take control of private property?


Popular or unpopular building. Changing the rules after the purchase is bait and switch. The company just announced they are backing out.


@27:Indeed, alas.





So glad we don't have any real issues to deal with as a city. Oh wait....


@18: “Saving the Showbox doesnt have anything to do with affordable housing.”

Actually, it does. Having the City Council swoop in and kill a residential development after it was permitted will exacerbate the city’s housing issues. The permitting process takes a huge amount of resources from a developer, and all developers have now been told that large expenditure is at risk from an arbitrary and meddlesome Council.

“Its the whole battle/war winning thing. Or like not winning the first quarter. Or building momentum.”

Yeah, I know. CM Sawant is pathetically desperate to save her job, and so is trying to seize upon anything she can get to rejuvenate her failed agenda. Hoping that an instant virtual mob can somehow be mobilized away from their sole and transient concern into chronically following her orders just shows how hopeless her situation has become.


I heard Kshama Sawant wants to sing a solo set at the Showbox. It would sound similar to Yoko Ono except every third phrase she yells "I am an economist!" Her high pitched scream has famously been known to break the finest wine glasses.



They haven't gone through the permitting process. I bet they paid under $5 million for the property, and if they can't make $100 million plus on what was a speculative investment anyway too bad so sad.

Besides, there are plenty of empty luxury apartments downtown already.


@35: I stand corrected. They’d filed initial paperwork. Good thing the City Council jumped in before any more money was wasted, then.

Luckily, we’ll never need any more housing, and since you pulled some numbers straight from your bunghole, everything’s a-ok.

@26: A world-class City doesn’t have a weathervane Council killing deals that would employ locals for years and generate tax money for decades, just to save a pile of cinder blocks.


SCC temporarily saved a building from demolition. They didn’t save the Showbox. The Showbox doesn’t own the property and their lease runs out in 2020. The owner of the building is under no obligation to renew the lease. He’s a rich man who is now most likely pissed off because he lost millions due to the SCC’s vote. Nothing keeping him from mothballing that building. Enjoy it while it lasts kiddos. And have fun giving your money to AEG and it’s Trump supporting owner.


@37: “Nothing keeping him from mothballing that building.”

Especially since the SCC has now demonstrated the building (and site) has a much higher re-sale value without the name “ Showbox” on it.

@11: At least one other commenter has used the word “arbitrary,” so you of the self-appointed (Language) Police Squad need to get cracking.

I’m sure plenty of famous Seattle musicians have shot up backstage at The Showbox whilst I stood or sat in the audience, awaiting the show to start. That doesn’t make this particular pile of cinder blocks inherently worth saving. Donate some of the items and photos and recordings to the EMP, and move on. That’s what real cities do.