July 6th City Council committee approves sale of Pacific Place Parking Garage: full Council votes Monday

Update on July 6th committee discussion and vote: Full Council votes Monday 2pm on the sale of the Pacific Place Parking Garage.  

While the Council’s Housing and Finance Committee approved sale of the Garage for $87 million (with a final vote in full Council this coming Monday 2pm), there will be no decision for at least a month on how or what the city will do with $15 million in excess funds from the sale.  Nevertheless, the public comment period before the vote Monday is another important opportunity to raise several issues at once.

Citizen groups, including us, the Green Spaces Coalition, a representative of a civil rights group opposing use of garage proceeds for a bloated northend police station, and a tenant advocate – all got up and urged the Council to use these funds to address our low cost housing shortage and homeless emergency.  This would do away with any justification or excuse now being used by the Mayor and others to legitimize/rationalize sale of the Myers Parcel.

In discussions before their vote, CM Lisa Herbold specifically asked if some or all of these garage revenues could go towards non-capital expenditures such as for homeless programs.  And she specifically described “for example” how these funds could help address our homeless emergency rather than selling the Myers Parcel and using proceeds from the sale for that purpose.  Three councilmembers were present, Burgess, Johnson, and Herbold.

The full Council this coming Monday 2pm like will vote to approve the sale.  But before they do, this is an important opportunity once again to get up and speak out – this time to all the councilmembers – about this sale and especially telling them where you think any excess funds should go.  

It’s an opportunity for homeless advocates (like us), parks advocates (like us) opposed to sale of the Myer’s property, and even civil rights advocates (like us) opposed to a bloated police station to get up again and educate especially new councilmembers what’s at stake here.

And it’s an opportunity for all of us again to lay the groundwork hopefully for them to do the “right thing” in a month or so vis a vis the disposition of the garage proceeds but also disposition of the Myer’s parcel, a police station and our responsibilities to the homeless.  (come 15 min early at least to sign in for 1-2 minutes to speak)

The Pacific Parking Garage was a colossal corporate giveaway that cost taxpayers plenty as reported on our new site outsidecityhall.wordpress.com .  It was built in ’98 allegedly to stimulate downtown growth where in the 80’s and 90’s over 4000 low cost apartments were torn down leading to the homeless crisis we have today. It’s only fitting any left over revenue go towards the homeless now.  Don’t give it to a police station, and don’t use homelessness as an excuse to give up valuable open space!

 

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About John V. Fox

Director, Seattle Displacement Coalition
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