Magnuson Park's Building 30 is a waltz away from being condemned, which means that Friends of the Library Sale and other city events are in jeopardy of becoming homeless, and Seattle Parks and Recreation is in danger of losing much-needed rent revenue as they cull annual events in the building from 35 to four. So this morning the mayor proposed on his blog (hey girl!) that the city use the $8.5 million loan it secured with MOHAI to pay for renovations to the building.
But would the city council approve the use of funds? "I doubt it," councilmember Nick Licata told Books Editor Paul Constant over the phone this morning. Licata says that the council has earmarked that money for social and human services affected by the city's $67 million budget deficit. "Our staff has just politely been pointing out that we have people on the streets needing food and that's a higher priority than a building in Magnuson."
Then Licata throws out another idea to keep Building 30 functional: Issuing a 20-year bond for its renovations. Building 30 generates $150,000 annually for Seattle Parks and Recreation, which rents the building out to a handful of organizations for events. But Parks staff estimates that a fully renovated building could host more events and generate up to $750,000 a year in operating revenue. "That's something we're interested in," says Licata. "We'd be able to do something like that by the beginning of next year if we had the votes on it."