It is always my intention to learn so I read whatever is handy. So I was in a business office this past week and there was the Puget Sound Business Journal (which I don't regularly read). So I'm reading this article about how the EMP wants a break on its rent. (Apparently Paul Allen might not subsidize it forever.)
EMP agreed with the City that there would be rent increases every five years from the time it opened in 2000. But now EMP is saying they are a non-profit (albeit fronted by one of the wealthiest men in the world) and they say they do lots of "cultural education" to local schoolchildren.
It is also mentioned in the artilce that EMP has an exclusive liquor license that means no new potential restaurants or bars at Seattle Center can serve liquor. (Talk about a benefit.) So the City did offer them a rent break in exchange for giving up that exclusivity but EMP said no. (To which I would say, then sink or swim on your own.)
But in terms of our district, here was the interesting part:
EMP pays about $6.46 a square foot for space. The Seattle Children's Museum pays about $5.85 a foot. Chilhuly Garden and Glass pays about $3.41 a foot (what a deal!). Seattle Schools (and I assume this is for the space for Center School)? $6.09 a square foot.
How is it that a government entity, a school, pays more than non-profit entities especially new ones like the Chilhuly Garden and Glass Museum? I have no idea.
Then, I read an article in Crosscut about the redo of Seattle Center and see this:
A new $1 million children’s art playground is in the works (part of the
So maybe in exchange for low rent, the Chihuly Museum gave over some space for this children' playground?
There was also this:
By the end of the year, Nellams hopes to have the legal framework in
place for the redevelopment of Memorial Stadium — which includes the
creation of an adjacent public green space and parking lot — something
that’s been on the to-do list for 50 years.
(Robert Nellams is the head of Seattle Center.)
On the one hand, Seattle Center did (does) need to be revitalized. But I have to wonder - with all that is on the district's plate in terms of capital issues, where do they find the time to work out details for Memorial Stadium and the land swap? I think it important but with the staggering capacity management issues, I'm surprised they have the time down at JSCEE.
(The district owns 9 acres of Seattle Center including Memorial Stadium and its parking lot. The last I heard, the district and the City were to do a land swap of 4-5 acres including the parking lot for a City parking lot over on Mercer which the district could then develop itself. Memorial Stadium would continue to be owned and operated by the district. It has to be because it is well-used by the district and was owned by the district for many years previous to Seattle Center even being created.)
Keeping track of the capital and facilities issues in our district is a dizzying proposition.