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Seattle passes temporary protection to save Showbox music venue

The Seattle City Council voted Monday to designate the Showbox as part of the Pike Place Historical District.
Photo: KING

Seattle City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that will help protect the Showbox, a longtime downtown music venue.

The legislation designates the Showbox, established in 1916, as part of the Pike Place Historic District, which means there can be no plans in place to knock it down.

The legislation protects the popular venue for the next 10 months, giving the city time to find a permanent solution to save the Showbox.

Vancouver, BC-based Onni Group recently filed documents to redevelop the space into high-rise apartments.

Also see | Over 170 artists sign letter urging Seattle to save The Showbox venue

Councilmember Kshama Sawant has pushed for the legislation, with backing from the music community, to stop the redevelopment. However, there are many questions about how it would directly impact the spot and several other blocks in Sawant’s legislation.

Fellow council members shared Sawant's interest in historic preservation and the ordinance would give them 10 months to decide. The legislation, as amended, only impacts the Showbox site on 1st Ave and does not include nearby vacant parking lots and an adult theater.

Also see | Seattle working on resolution for The Showbox with venue, developer

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