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First Church conversion and legislation

By March 13, 2007

The Sanctuary

Seattle PI on the First Church conversion, Film will be church’s last hurrah:

For the past several weeks, the Capitol Hill church has served as a backdrop and home base for the filming of “The Spy and the Sparrow,” an independent film slated for festival release later this year.

Where there are lights and cameras today, there used to be prayerful church services. Not very far in the future, both of those worlds will be succeeded by high-class town houses ranging from $600,000 to $1.4 million.

I’m cynically thinking the developer allowed this for the marketing benefits of ‘articles’ such as this in the PI. Now if you want to catch some Spy and the Sparrow filming be sure to come down to Pioneer Square tomorrow where they will be filming all day. I’m looking forward to watching the action from my new office that looks out onto the square.

Now of course converting the church to condos isn’t displacing anyone. But if it were the Seattle PI has an article about proposed Legislation would help low-income tenants. For the number crunchers the article has this quote:

The total number of Seattle apartments converted to condos increased from 430 in 2004 to 1,551 in 2005 to 2,352 last year, according to city statistics.

According to Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors, developers converted nearly 7,000 apartments to condos in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties last year, but added fewer than 2,500 new apartments. This helped push the vacancy rate down to 4.7 percent last year — its lowest level since 2001.

Anyone know the outcome of the vote? And be sure to read the comments in the PI’s forums for those articles.

Update: From the PI, Efforts to protect tenants fail:

“To allow developers to take control of so much affordable housing for low-income and vulnerable people is not right and not going to solve homelessness,” she said. “What kind of society are we that allows this to happen?”

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