Report: Seattle officials, Showbox owner close to agreement on legal extension

SEATTLE — Last year, in an effort to save the historic Showbox, the Seattle City Council and mayor used a temporary zoning law to protect the building from a planned development. This led to a lawsuit from the family that owns the building, who sued for $40 million in lost value due to the rezoning.

The whole affair has been in legal limbo since then, but now city officials and the building's owner are close to reaching a temporary legal stay which could allow the city another six months to save the Showbox, reports Crosscut.

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Seattle council members unanimously voted to expand the Pike Place Market Historical District to include the Showbox building in August of last year. Developers want to demolish the music venue and turn it into a 44-story apartment tower.

The idea was initially put on the table by a Councilmember Kshama Sawant as efforts to save the Showbox gained momentum.

>> RELATED: Legal experts believe Seattle council’s Showbox zoning on shaky ground

After likely pursuing the six-month extension following the legal stay (added to the original 10-month preservation), both parties involved will be able to explore other options for the Showbox building, including finding a buyer who would preserve the space and maintain it as a music venue.

Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold told Crosscut that the legal stay would “give us some time to sit down with the building owner to see if there are alternatives we can all agree to, to see if there’s a path to long-term preservation — not just the building, but the use.”

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