With Six Months Before Protections End, City Begins Work to Save the Showbox



Cue the captialist lackies who hope that if they just dig their tongues in a little bit deeper, they may someday be able to be rich also and afford a luxury apartment, and as such are AWFULLY ANGRY about the prospect of this building being saved.


I heart you



Also, cue the Not In My Bygone Youth brigade, who can't bear the thought that the places they went slumming in 30 years ago might not be kept around as permanent monuments their once-smooth skin and their defunct, thoroughly co-opted youth culture, and as such are AWFULLY ANGRY at the prospect of this building being demolished.

See, everyone gets to play!


The developer bought the property fair and square.

The city didn't have it in the list of "historical properties to save" and the developer bought it and went about the permitting process in good faith.

Now the city, spurred on by "peeps without money and a lot of anger" want to do what amounts to a public condemnation of the property for the benefit of others.

So, pay the developer for his loss of opportunity and have your precious show box.


It will get Swasweat some votes.


The property taxes were not set as if the building was historical. But all of a sudden it's now historical and the property taxes are still the same; set for the "highest and best use" which is not a music venue.


I still don't understand why there wasn't backlash against AEG for selling out to developers.


So, the City Council got us sued by immediately taking an ill-considered action, then utterly failed to allocate any resources in a timely manner to follow up. Thus, the clock will likely expire without any of the city’s own legal requirements being satisfied — a point the building’s owner can then use to help win his lawsuit.

(I especially like the plea for $30-40M to buy the venue, since it shows no one on the City Council even tried to find that sum anywhere in a budget approximately 1,500 times that large.)

If the Council’s action was intentionally nothing more than blatant political grandstanding, that’s bad enough; if it was actually a sincere effort which is dying from their aggressive neglect, that’s even worse.


Sargon dear, property taxes are set by the county, not the city. The county has not taken a stand on this.

Tensor, I think you are probably right. The pols latched onto it, because of the amazing amount of feedback they received from the public, but now they are gradually backing away, because of The Almighty Dollar.

As for me, I don't have any particular attachment to The Showbox. I remember being there once in the 90's for some dreadful corporate event, but that's it. I bid goodbye to my youth when they closed the doors of Frederick & Nelson and the downtown Spag's. I just get the giggles watching the density darlings get all worked up about how there's a chance that yet another banal overpriced apartment building won't get built. Especially when they invoke the masses who feel The Rent Is Too Damn High. (P.S. The rent will always be Too Damn High for any building across the street from the market)


@9: Please, dear, this is getting embarrassing. I’ve already done you the immense favor of informing you about how that “...amazing amount of feedback they received from the public...” was just a cheap publicity stunt, shamelessly promoted by KEXP. Once the CMs understood that few feedbackers could or would ever vote in a Seattle election, they quietly and dishonestly abandoned the effort — just as two CMs have since abandoned all hope of ever getting re-elected, no matter how many publicity stunts they pander to.

(Of course, we still have to pay the legal bills their pandering to that particular publicity stunt pointlessly caused us.)



Don't forget Kshama, don't forget Kshama.

Save the Showboat!


If you think about it the business model is based around the coke heads, drug addicts and drunks in our town promoted by the acts onstage that sing about it on the radio to expose as many young people as possible to the lifestyle of the 60s generation of drugs, easy sex and freedom from babies... so instead of couples in cottages we choice out the little one and need two micro apartments for tinder dating thus density. I say it's Karma.


Tensor dear, just because you don't agree with a social movement that doesn't mean it's illegitimate. There's no need to pout.

The cheap radio stunt garnered more than 750k supporters. (Yes, I know they weren't all from Seattle and the vast majority of them aren't diehard supporters. Hush). That's still enough interest to get politicians to sit up and take notice.

We've lost a lot of fine performance spaces for no good reason. If people want to speak up against losing this one, that's no reason for you to get your girdle twisted. Money will always win in Seattle. I have no doubt the Showbox will perish. I also have no doubt that the proposed structure will do absolutely nothing to address the issue of affordable housing in the region (other than put some money into whatever ineffectual fund we operate for said housing). There's no need to carry water for the developer class.


@13 Where to we begin on this "cast of mindset".

1) The majority doesn't support the city meddling in a private business matter. Nor should the city be meddling. There is no reason to do so....save the bleating of a vocal minority with sentiments that a private individual or company should swing on the hook for the public use/benefit of private property. That's not up to scratch I'm afraid unless the city wants to pay for it....which so far it has not.

2) The city has made this a political stunt and has not acted to shore up their position leaving the city subject to damages. That is very poor leadership and a waste of public money.

3) The issue of affordable housing is one for the city to be sure....but you don't impose that on a private development post facto. If the city would like to have affordable housing then "provide an incentive...either in tax credits, financial contribution or other means" aside from holding the developer hostage with denying a permit which was applied for in good faith.

Money doesn't "win" ... the city needs to wake up and work with the business community instead of being a menace and taking the cast of mind that business is the enemy.

Its not and that "deat Catalina" is where and why you will always lose.


I’m intrigued by your assumptions of what we the citizens of Seattle want and need, mistral dear. And your naïveté and lack of knowledge of Our Fair City is charming. Promise me that you’ll never lose that childlike innocence.


Catalina M’Dear, I’ll do you the immense favor of informing you that calling your fellow commenters names does not address their arguments. Likewise, vainly attempting to shush their arguments also does not address them. Such behaviors merely confirm that your arguments are losing — badly — without your having any knowledge of how or why.

Since you seem to be having an enormous amount of trouble understanding this point, I’ll again do you the favor of stating it: it doesn’t matter how many thousand, million, or billion persons sign a petition; no amount of such signatures can, in and of themselves, be considered a “social movement.” They don’t accomplish anything. I’m sorry that obvious reality does not agree with you, but that is your problem, not anyone else’s.

What is a problem is what happened after our local politicians “took notice” of those signatures. Both this headline post and mistral’s comment @14 describe a failure of policy-making which is costing us taxpayer money for no discernible benefit. That is the issue here; you can address it or not, as you will. No one else can choose that for you.

(Do you know what else is not an argument? Groundless opinions, even when stated as facts: “We've lost a lot of fine performance spaces for no good reason.” Really? Where is the factual analysis to support that statement? Back in the ‘90s, I went to a lot of great shows at the OK Hotel, a lovely old brickpile on landfill in an earthquake zone. After the Nisqually quake, it was closed for public safety concerns. Was that “no good reason”? Do tell.)



Resorting to name calling suggests you are defensive and find the points made valid.

I understand your disappointment but at some point you have to be realistic about things.


Oh tensor dear, don't be such a drip. I'm talking about civic engagement. You're pouty because people signed a petition that you disagree with, so you dismiss its legitimacy. As I have said, the building probably will be torn down, so you mustn't let it bother you.

And when I talk about fine performance spaces I'm referring to places like the Music Hall (now an office building) and the Orpheum (now the Westin), as well as scores of other legitimate theater spaces that once dotted Seattle. But, on the other hand, citizens saved what is now the ACT theatre, the Pike Place Market and the UW Arboretum. Most recently, citizens saved KPLU from being absorbed by KUOW, so there are successes.

And I don't know, Mistral dear, I don't feel defensive. Maybe it's just that i find you a self-important bore?


@18: “I'm talking about civic engagement.”

No, actually, you are not. You just mistakenly believe you are. Now, please read carefully, dear, because your confusion has long since become tedious.

Signing a Referendum petition to recall the EHT is a good recent example of actual civic engagement. If enough registered voters of Seattle sign that type of petition, it will place the matter in question on the ballot. The surfeit of signatures received to put the EHT to Referendum caused swift repeal of the EHT. Such civic engagement is to be admired and applauded for its effectiveness, whether one agrees with the law in question or not.

By contrast, people in god-knows-where signing a meaningless petition to “save the Showbox” merely incited our Council to provoke a completely avoidable lawsuit. Since the petition can’t, by itself, compel action, our City has utterly failed to take any useful action which could ever possibly result in the old cinder-block ex-furniture store remaining a place to experience live music.

Signing that latter petition was a complete waste of time by all involved, and it got Seattle sued as well. If that’s what you’re celebrating, please go right ahead. We can all use the laughs at you.

Finally, where on earth did you get the idea I was “pouting”? I’m laughing at the foolish innocence of the signers, and of anyone who took the whole thing seriously.


Oh tensor, you and your opinions. You certainly have a lot of them, don't you?



It ain't recipes and sewing tips you're posting here neither, sweetie.


I am well aware of that, robotslave dear. That's the fun of Slog. But my opinions are as valid as anyone's. After all, you know what they say about them....


“But my opinions are as valid as anyone's.”

You just keep repeating that until you’re sure, dear. (And never, ever wonder how you came to be reduced to the risibly miserable auto-humiliation of a failed attempt to shush away a terribly inconvenient fact, a fact so obstreperously large and troublesome, its mere presence just so happened to invalidate your opinion...)


I love how Seattle constantly whines about a lack of housing then has a fit whenever anyone wants to actually build some....

Guess what? The sleepy little grunge town you remember is gone! (If it ever even existed) Now get OVER IT!


@24: That grunge town had a supply of moldy rooming houses, fleabag residential hotels, sagging tenements, and tottering brickpiles sufficient to house everyone in varying states of decay — right down to the most recent arrivals, paying their rents from working temp jobs. Most of that city has been replaced by modern housing stock, not yet old enough to have decayed gracelessly to the point where hipster writers can afford the rent. So they vent here.


@8 & @10 Hear, hear!