Showbox Owner Vows to Seek Damages Against City



When was the last time the City Council prevailed in a legal challenge to its actions? I honestly can't think of an example.


If the Showbox is such a "good fit for the Pike Place Market Historical District," then it should have been included when the Pike Place Historical District was created.

The City Council made a mistake in pandering to popular will when they broke the law in selectively rezoning the Showbox; they should now take this face-saving opportunity to do the right thing.


@2: yeah, they should have anticipated 2019 in 1971. that's only 48 years ago!

fuck forbes.


@2 The better argument is to point to the fact that the City Council elected to upzone the Showbox in 2006 and again in 2017.

@3 The whole point of historic preservation is anticipating the possibility of future changes, isn't it?



No. The point of "historic preservation" would be to preserve historic things.


How is it not historic? In twenty years you will have company over and will drive down 1st and say oh this is where so and so played. Now it's a bank and condos but it sure was something in the day. Just save it. The only reason people stop off here is because of what they approximate to be some intangible folksy and yet modern metropolis on an isthmus surrounded by mountains.



Don't be lazy, you can Google "lawsuits vs. city of seattle" just as easily as I can.

SCCInsight keeps a nice list of high-profile cases available for us, and here it is:

Notice that almost every case on the list has concluded in the City's favor, or is tilting that way. I can't imagine the low-profile cases are doing any better against the City-- every town in America has a constant flow of crackpot/nuisance lawsuits to deal with, and it's rare for a municipality to lose that kind of case.


Maybe a group of people, who feel strongly about this, should get together and raise the money to buy the place at its actual value and do with it what they want (leave it the same).

Just a thought...


"The City Council made a mistake in pandering to popular will..."

That's a real jaw-dropper.

Elected officials...
Pandering to popular will...

That's one of the most undemocratic things I've ever read that wasn't overtly written in bad faith.
That someone could have that perspective explains almost every political problem in this country.

(Another great window into how fucked America is: our elected city council is caught up in a legal battle over who should decide the future of the Showbox: a property owner and some development executives who'd like to become rich, or the population of Seattle)


@10 yes the city has prevailed, except for:
The show box
Seattle income tax
Just in time
Criminal records
I-124 yes that was an initiative but whatever

Yes, please appeal the show box ruling, it will be good election fodder


Ooops meant @9

@10 yes the city has prevailed, except for:
The show box
Seattle income tax
Just in time
Criminal records
I-124 yes that was an initiative but whatever

Yes, please appeal the show box ruling, it will be good election fodder



Right, the City doesn't always win. It just wins most of the time.

And it's certainly won plenty of high-profile challenges within recent memory, despite the lack of recall on the part of hbb @1.


Roger Forbes is still living... are you sure???


@5: it isn't Landmarked, no. it is historic, for Seattle, and should be Landmarked.

it opened in 1939. how many 80 year old ballrooms do we have left to consider preserving? if we let this one go without a fight so a soon-for-the-grave 77 year old strip club owner can sell it to developers from another country, will we save the the other ones?

there are no other ones. seattle never had that many to start with, but the coliseum, the music box, both gone without a peep. spanish castle, gone.

@7 & @10 are right.


@16. Public policy is a 24/7 game. This property was rezoned twice in the last 20 years without anyone asking for historic designation.

Asking for change only after a project application has been filed is too darn late. It's not fair to (1) the person that owns the property and their business partners, and, more importantly, (2) to the people that support the policy behind the up zones.

Supposedly this land was up zoned rather then some other land. Now the development envisioned by the upzone is occurring and you now want to freeze this property without a corresponding upzone somewhere else.

And this is how housing supplies get f**d causing displacement and gentrification.


Sawant is such an idiot... “undemocratic ruling...”

The city broke the law with their spot rezone, pure and simple. The Council can’t change the rules after-the-fact, despite the fact that the Socialist stooge doesn’t like it.



Did you protest when Parker's Ballroom was demolished in 2012? Or at least write a letter to the city council?

There was a public meeting, also in 2012, of the Landmarks Preservation Board, to consider nomination of the Avalon Ballroom for landmark status. You remember that meeting, right? You were there? The Avalon was demolished 6 years ago.

Like all American cities, Seattle had a lot more dance halls -- more than you seem to realize -- in the big band era, and we've been converting the nice ones and tearing down the not-so-nice ones since the end of WWII. More recently, we've been doing the same to cinemas.

This isn't about preserving architectural examples of ballrooms, this is about a very particular, acutely-felt sense of nostalgia. That's a fine thing, too, but don't delude yourself. If the Showbox lives, it will be a monument not to an architectural style nor to an era of dance halls, but to a subgenre of music that flourished in Seattle and briefly took over the world just before the end of the 20th century.


So, the entirely-predictable outcome of our City Council’s rashly reactive rezone may leave us Seattle taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars, whilst saving no Showboxes.

I hope we don’t have to pay for our Council’s ill-advised action. If we do, I hope the bill comes due as each CM is in the midst of a fight for his or her political life.


You want to know the ironic thing? All the whiny children who actually thought "saving" aka stealing the Showbox from the legal property owner because they saw cool concerts there... shot themselves in the foot.
Because every single property owner in the city will 2nd guess leasing to a venue, because you might try and prevent them from selling it one day.
Thank you Seattle, fucking idiots.