Proposed plans for a $100 million apartment high rise are threatening Seattle’s iconic Showbox music hall. According to Seattle Times, the nearly 80 year-old music venue could be replaced by the 442-unit apartment tower with ground level retail.
Site plans have been in the works since at least may when architect Perkins + Will filed a brief plan titled “Onni Showbox” for the site. This week, Vancouver-based developer, Onni Group, filed initial plans for the 440-foot tower that developers confirm would tear down the existing buildings. The site currently contains only one two-story building with Showbox, a pub, and a few storefronts.
AEG purchased the Showbox in 2007 and Rob Thomas, Pacific Northwest vice president of AEG Live, told Seattle Times the company just learned about the plans on Wednesday and had no immediate comment.
Located on First Avenue between Union and Pike streets, the Showbox opened in 1939 and has hosted countless iconic performances over the past seven decades. The 1,100-capacity venue has seen performances from Duke Ellington, Muddy Waters, Nat King Cole, Iggy Pop, Blondie, Gang of Four, Paul Simon, and the Dead Kennedys. Grunge greats like Pearl Jam and Sleater-Kinney also played the iconic venue.
In 2010, led by the late Chris Cornell, Soundgarden played their reunion show at Showbox under the name Nudedragons. Cornell’s daughter, Lily, posted an article from Stereogum about the possible demolition on her Instagram story and wrote “Fuck this.”
This @ShowboxPresents Market closing cannot stand! This place has musically flavored what Seattle IS at its core. Progress is great and all, but not at the cost of the soul of the city.
— Duff McKagan (@DuffMcKagan) July 26, 2018
Guns ‘N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan also took to social media to lend his support to the storied venue. “Progress is great and all, but not at the cost of the soul of the city,” McKagan wrote.
In a separate tweet, McKagan also shared a link for a Change.org petition to make the Showbox a historical landmark.
With the plan still in initial phases, it could be years before the site gets redeveloped, if it does.