Updated: Feb 1, 2019
As many of you may have seen on social media, there was an article published yesterday in the Daily Journal of Commerce that there is a renewed plan by a local developer to demolish the block between Rocco's and Tula's Jazz Club.
From the article, " Four years ago, Wood Partners had a plan to buy and redevelop three Belltown properties with a 124-unit apartment building, but it was thwarted by the landmarking of the Wayne Apartments, at 2224 Second Ave". Humans may remember this as the time they showed up to City Hall (which OMG was over 3 years ago!) and spoke up for Belltown.
The article continues "Now HB Management, using architect Ankrom Moisan, has stepped forward with a new plan for an eight-story apartment building. Public records show that the two property owners recently signed purchase and sale agreements with HB. The number of units isn't specified in the new plan, which says the old structures would be torn down. They're now home to businesses including Neon Boots, Rocco's, Lava Lounge, Shorty's and Tula's."
What the article doesn't mention is that both those buildings to the south of the Wayne Apartments (aka the Funky) are also older than 25 years, and should therefore be subject to landmarks review as part of this process. That, and the regular processes of development, mean that nothing is happening immediately. We don't have a lot of time, but we have some.
That means we have to take action NOW. This "election season" between now and next November, Belltown's City Council representative is retiring, which means that someone NEW will represent Belltown. There are already a number of candidates running, a few of whom were at Rise Up Winter this Tuesday. This election might be our last chance to elect a representative who will listen to Belltown, before we possibly lose this block for good.
We've introduced our policy plan in the Winter edition of our community Welcome Book, and there's even more on the way in the coming weeks.
We are also looking at the possibility of partnering with other Seattle communities that are facing the same economic displacement (aka getting kicked as things get too expensive to survive) that Belltown is. Together with other communities, it's realistic to think we could work collaboratively to pass an initiative to implement a better way forward.
In the near term, we've sent an OPEN LETTER to our City Council rep for Belltown.