The city of Seattle is slow-walking the decision process on what to do with the venerable music venue, the Showbox, at First and Pike, across from the Pike Place Market. Slow is the order of the day, since all the possible solutions are undesirable.
The old building,
Reality bites. The Market really doesn’t want to annex the property, figuring they would mostly be buying 10 years of lawsuits. Preservationists are wary of saving a much-modified and plain-Jane building that was already ranked low on the preservation scale. And wary too of extending historic preservation laws to “use,” as proposed, since that might put the city’s whole historic-preservation practices up for review. And once Paul Allen died, there doesn’t seem to be any rich rock-lover able to pay the $25 million or so to buy the Showbox. Meanwhile, the Canadian developer is getting cold feet, and if they walk the owner of the Showbox, Roger Forbes, just increases his claims of harm by the city.
The best proposal I’ve heard is to take the western half-block along First, from Union to Pike, and combine it into a multi-use development of medium height (hotel, office, new music venue, apartments) with a single owner. Putting that package together, of course, would be molto adagio.