The truth about the SeaTac Center and the actions of the City!

I am writing this because I am tired of the misrepresentation for political gain by a political group who seek only to undermine the current city council and to swing the election in their party of choices favor!

These posts will contain copies of actual City Documents and will present the truth of how the whole SeaTac Center situation arrived at its’ current state. This will require, you the reader, to examine these documents and use the information they present to explain what really happened and why!

The first document is the original order, dated December 29, 2009, when the council voted to purchase the property known as the Seatac Center. The document recites the following:

  1. (Paraphrased) The City Council finds that it is in the best interest of the City of SeaTac to purchase the SeaTac Center for $12.7 million.
  2. (Paraphrased) The budget will be amended to increase revenue in the Light Rail Station Areas CIP Fund by $12.7 Million.
  3. Section 5. a. “the property is a key parcel to implement the adopted 154th Street Station Area Plan;”
  4. Section 5.f. “the City’s Aquisition of the property will improve the quality of life of the citizens of the City of SeaTac.”
  5. The order was signed December 29, 2009, by Mayor Ralph Shape.
orig-12-29-09-ord-SeaTac-Ctr

So, as the reader can see, the purchase of the SeaTac Center was made by a city council ten years prior, based on the nearby Light Rail Station and the vision that council had created based on the projected impact of the Tukwilla Light Rail Station.

The next document was presented to the current Council for the August 18, 2018, regular council meeting. This document clearly shows that the City had been steadily moving forward with its plans to redevelop The SeaTac Center and identifies that as the city councils changed during the years, every council was involved in some aspect of getting the property ready for redevelopment. For any party to try to distance themselves from what is currently happening is patently dishonest. Every council was aware of the age and poor condition of the building and it was common knowledge that the building was going to be knocked down for replacement eventually!

Please note the participants listed on the right side of the page so you can see all the politicians that had a hand in making this all happen! For any party to deny involvement in the planned movement of the tenants is laughable and dishonest!

Projected-timeline-SeaTac-Center-color

The final documents for submission start with a copy of a letter sent to the tenants on March 12, 2018, advising them that the city was preparing to move forward on the plans conceived under the “154th Street Station Area Plan” (See the original order dated December 29, 2009). The current council wanted to ensure that the tenants had the longest possible notice of the pending redevelopment so as to mitigate the downside effect on the tenant and increase their possibility to find a new location for their business.

3-12-18-notice-of-RFP

A second notice was sent on February 1, 2019. So, it is clear that the tenants were given 18 months advance notice of the approaching requirement to relocate and a second notice 7 months prior to the deadline.

Notice-of-surrender-8-31-19

There were only 11 tenants with leases given by the city. They were each well aware of the fact the property had been purchased by the city and that eventually, the building would be demolished and the tenants would be required to leave the building when that happened. The rest of the people claiming to be tenants are technically subtenants and do not have a lease with the city. Many of them claim they have lost their investments, but that is because their landlords (not the city) have never advised them that the property was slated for redevelopment. The city has been fully transparent to each of their tenants as you can see by the notices. The city had no knowledge of who the subtenants were until last year. But the fact of the issue is simple, the city had no business agreement them with and they must look to the people they paid their rent to for any reparations.

So when you see the articles accusing the city of not treating the tenants of the SeaTac Center fairly, nothing could further from the truth and these articles are intentionally misleading you, because this is a campaign year and they have their own agenda.

My last personal point is this; if you are a resident of SeaTac, come back soon and I will reveal to you how much good this council has done for the city and all the people in it. That’s something else that they don’t want you to know!

If you have a comment, email me at Joelwachtel.com.

These are my own opinions and do not represent the City of SeaTac or the opinion of the SeaTac City Council. I take responsibility for the content of this website. Joel Wachtel