This site supports our vision to retain Building 11 in Magnuson Park,  which is part of the Seattle Parks system, as a vibrant mixed use community building providing for water sports enthusiasts (including a youth sailing program, kayaking and paddle boards), artist studios,  small boat sales and rentals, and other community oriented needs and services.

We must say no to a variance in the Shoreline Management Zone that would allow a medical clinic (masquerading as an institution) in our shoreline area.

According to the Shoreline Management Act (SMA), the state directs local jurisdictions to preserve shoreline for water related and recreational activities.  Allowing a medical clinic in our shoreline area will severely limit access for water related activities, and will certainly increase traffic to the area for other than recreation.

We must say no to the lease amendment for Building 11, LLC.  The original lease provided a more balanced public-private partnership; however the amendment reduces the public benefit substantially, while it benefits those who are private entrepreneurs.  Is this what we want to happen in our city?

We are a group of individuals, artists, sailors, small business people and common folk who are against the corporatization of Seattle Public parks, specifically in Magnuson Park, particularly when there is little to no benefit to the general public of Seattle.  We are not against public private partnerships (PPP) and we believe with proper stewardship,  that a PPP can create a win-win situation but in this case, it appears, that this deal has morphed into a losing proposition for the community and the people of Seattle.

The issues is that a lease agreement had been signed between a corporate developer Building 11 LLC,  and the City of Seattle in 2008 to upgrade the property and maintain water related and parks activities in the building while renting out some of the space to retail and commercial users.  This is all well and good, and it appeared that the new owners would hold to their original agreement to maintain water parks and recreations activities.  The non-profit tenants were also willing to pay slightly higher rents and still be able to maintain their spaces.  Fast forward three years.  The corporate developer has done nothing except send eviction notices to all the tenants demanding that they sign a new lease agreement at much higher rents than expected or vacate the premises. There have been no property improvements whatsoever.

We don’t mind a person or say corporation making a buck,  but not at the expense of the community or that of the taxpayer.   The sad part is that while these powerless people wait to have their fate handed to them in the form of an eviction notice (UPDATE: Evicted as of June 15th 2011), it appears that the developer is working hand in hand with the Department of Planning and Development crafting policy for the city to suit his needs.  The original lease agreement is now being modified so that it is even more advantageous to the developer.

Building 11 is just one of the many buildings located in Magnuson Park in our fair city of Seattle.   Magnuson Park was originally a Navy base on the shores of Lake Washington and in the 1970’s the Navy was in the process of closing down the base and surplussing the property.

View of Sail Sand Point and Artist Lofts @ Bldg 11 from the North end

In 1975 the City of Seattle received 196 acres and NOAA received 177 acres.  This was the genesis of the Sand Point Master Plan where the city planned on using the facility to promote parks and recreations activities.  The park was named after Senator Warren G Magnuson in 1977 for his effort in securing federal funding to help develop the park.  The park is unique and its close proximity to the waterfront make it a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors.  It is a gem and an asset to the city.

One of the wonderful aspects of Magnuson Park as a whole is the availability of affordable workspace.   This particular workspace has been a godsend for the arts community and many non-profits that use what money they save to put into their community programs.

For example Sail Sand Point SSP, which is located in the north end of Building 11, is a community sailing organization that provides inexpensive sailing opportunities to people who could never really afford to enjoy the pleasures of sailing on Lake Washington.  Its main focus is on youth sailing, teaching and access to all.  Hundred of kids go through SSP’s programs each year from the little six year old Opti kid to the 17 years old Laser sailor.  Its not only for kids,  adults can join in the fun as well.  Due to the inexpensive facilities SSP can offer unheard of deals when it come to youth sailing.  For $1 a youth can get a season Opti pass and for those teenagers up to 17 years of age,  a season pass to sail Lasers, Fj’s and cats only costs them.

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