A critical meeting is set for Thursday morning that could determine whether Seattle’s beloved Montlake Boulevard Market will be condemned to make way for the next phase of the State Route 520 floating bridge project.
WSDOT, which has been negotiating with property owners for nine months, says it needs the property because construction would cut off several driveways, making the Montlake Boulevard Market and an adjacent gas station inaccessible.
Bellevue real estate developer Kemper Freeman and his family have owned the land on which the market sits for the last 70 years. They feel the market is important to the Montlake neighborhood.
"If they have to have it, if they've exhausted the alternatives, that's one thing. And you know, then you're a bad citizen if you don’t just make the best deal you can and move on. But when they can’t describe why they need it and it doesn't look like they're even willing to work through permutations of redesigning stuff, so they don't have to take it, that doesn't seem right,” said property owner Eric Stelter.
A closed hearing Thursday will determine whether WSDOT will proceed with condemning the property. An announcement on the decision is expected Friday.