Madison Development Group Reveals Plan to Destroy Capitol Hill in the Ugliest Way Possible
NORTHWEST PRIDE: OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNIQUE PEOPLE AND MARKETS IN OUR REGION IS A POWERFUL ASSET.
So claims the website of Madison Development Group, a Kirkland, WA based firm which has plans, according to Capitol Hill Blog, to tear down the building E Pine and Mercer which is now home to several of the most beloved businesses in Capitol Hill—Wall of Sound, Bauhaus, Mud Bay, Edie’s, Le Frock, Spine and Crown, Scout and Vutique—to make way for a seven-story architectural abomination along the lines of the godawful eyesore that houses the Safeway on 23rd and Madison. (More info from The Stranger here.)
Madison Development Group’s website copy might very well be the biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever read. The businesses between Bellevue and Melrose on E Pine embody the very essence of the “unique people and markets” of Capitol Hill. Take them away, and the neighborhood suffers a loss from which it is unlikely to recover.
From Spine & Crown’s Facebook page:
Some (probably Bauhaus) may come back, but the rest of us will probably not be able to afford the new rents.
Of course Madison Development Group—whose website also boasts having “COMPLETED OVER 50 PROJECTS WITH A COMBINED ASSET VALUE OF OVER $400 MILLION”—sees things differently. Owner and co-founder Jim Gallaugher told The Stranger,
We are Capitol Hill fans—we love the neighborhood and we understand how important it is to get this block right. […] Our goal is to keep the character of Pine Street the way it is today—and to build on that culture with a project the neighborhood will embrace.
(Capitol Hill fans. Who happen to be based in a bleakly characterless suburb. Capitol Hill fans who get—through sheer virtue of being in command of millions upon millions of dollars and an unabashed willingness to feast on the entrails of once-thriving commercial corridors—to dictate how and where Capitol Hill residents will live.)
I’m not sure what our recourse is here, but I can tell you that these human Scrooge McDucks should expect as much resistance as the people who actually live in Seattle are capable of providing. As of this afternoon, some 120 people in my Facebook network had already shared the article or commented on it, with calls to action ranging from boycotting any and all businesses willing to exchange money with these developers to forming a human chain around the block. One thing is sure: the essence of our neighborhood is not going to allow itself to be destroyed without making some serious noise.