Friday, May 20, 2011

Disturbing Disclosures Re Magnuson Park Building 11 Lease Agreement -- Immediate Citizen Input Needed

Note: Gail Chiarello is a long-time neighborhood leader involved with Magnuson Park. 
This message is cross-posted to the SeattlePOSA (Parks and Open Spaces) listserve as well as being posted on this blog. 

[Re: Magnuson Park Building 11 Lease Agreement]


Good Morning Sally,

I was troubled to hear Bruce Harrell state you told him I support the Building 11 Lease Amendment handed down yesterday by the Mayor. 

That is absolutely not true. My concerns remain as they have all along:

1.  This is a half-century lease.
2.  The historic vision for the North Shore Recreation Area was non-motorized small watercraft activities.
3.  The proposed amendment reduces these activities to less than 5% of the building.
4.  There is less than 20% of the building set aside for arts, culture and recreation--the classic activities of a park.
5.  The building will be 80% high-end commercial.
6.  VMMC is a prohibited use under the Shoreline Master Program.
7.  The LLC cannot be trusted.  It gains traction through misrepresentation & threats of lawsuits.
8.  There is every evidence of favoritism, special backdoor channels, misuse by a Sail Sand Point Board member of his Board position, all to the benefit of the LLC.
9.  The lease assignment clauses are so murky & complex that the City effectively loses its rights over the building in perpetuity.
10.  The City loses revenue from this building in perpetuity.

I am totally uneasy with the precedent the proposed lease amendment sets in placing a medical facility in a public park--and those who point to the UW pediatric dental clinic fail to mention, that clinic is placed on UW property within the park!  As we see with Children's, large medical centers are omnivorous in their willingness to consume the surrounding landscape.

From e-mail evidence obtained through public disclosure, you appear to have had a warm and cordial relationship with the LLC for many months, offering to help them with their problems with Virginia Mason, suggesting "beer summits" you were willing to attend to help smooth their way, stating that you have heard nothing but wonderful things about their junior partner, and so forth. 

This gives me some pause.  We have not had the benefit of all this schmooziness.  We approached your office for weeks, with e-mails, phone calls, and requests for meetings, and were unable to get your attention until we showed up at your Coffee with the Two Sallys at the Pinehurst Safeway.

We are NOT on the same page when it comes to the Building 11 LLC lease amendment and we will seek the Council votes to defeat it.  I do not expect you to join us, but it is time City Council restored some citizen trust and just said NO.

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