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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Belltown’s Community Center Still a Long Way Off

posted by on June 26 at 16:36 PM

As I wrote in my column this week, Belltown is still waiting—after nearly ten years—for a community center that was funded in 1999’s community centers levy. The parks department was talking about moving out of its headquarters in Denny Park and giving the building to Belltown, after some renovations, to serve as its community center. One immediate problem, of course, is that the headquarters is in South Lake Union, not Belltown.

The parks department didn’t get back to me by press time Tuesday (the spokeswoman, Dewey Potter, had been out of town) but I just got the latest: Parks’ plan to move out of the Denny Park building has been scrapped due to budget concerns (the city predicts a budget shortfall sometime in the next two years), and now everything’s back on the table. Parks will, Potter says, “make the building available to the extent we can for community meetings and such,” but that’s only a stopgap measure, and one that doesn’t address the need for a permanent community gathering place in one of the city’s fastest growing neighborhoods. “At this point,” Potter says, “we’re back to square one.”

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LOL Belltown "community" center

Posted by Non | June 26, 2008 5:00 PM

Belltown doesn't need a community center. Neither does South Lake Union.

Posted by Trevor | June 26, 2008 5:14 PM

Belltowners deserve the same benefits that other neighborhoods enjoy. We should get more than excuses for the taxes we pay. Period.

Posted by Zander | June 26, 2008 5:47 PM

I used to live in SLU before moving to Belltown. The SLU community center and the bathrooms in the adjacent park were largely a hangout for drug-dealers, substance abusers and other scary people. We've got enough of that here in Belltown already, thanks.

Posted by evil condo owner | June 26, 2008 6:05 PM

They won't get one until the monorail gets built.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 26, 2008 7:15 PM

Of course Belltown has a community center--it's the sidewalk on both sides of 3rd avenue between Virgina and Blanchard.

Posted by Westside forever | June 26, 2008 8:22 PM

Of course Belltown has a community center, it's the sidewalk on both sides of 3rd Ave between Pine and Blanchard

Posted by Westside forever | June 26, 2008 8:26 PM

The parks building in Denny Park is quite a nice structure - at least on the outside (I've never been inside it). Like the City Light north service center, which was designed by the same architect, it's probably the nicest looking structure in the area.

I'm sure the people who work there hate it. City employees always hate where they work. Except for me, of course.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | June 27, 2008 6:42 AM

And despite all this, the city is trying to cut funding to the Cascade People's Center, which is unofficially the nicest and best used community center in the city.

Posted by Gurldoggie | June 27, 2008 8:08 AM

@3: Zander does the belltown "community council" still meet in one of your condo building's meeting rooms? Don't a lot of its new buildings have those? What is it exactly you need a community center for? The homeless that don't get through your gates?

Posted by Trevor | June 27, 2008 10:40 AM

The Belltown Community Council ("BCC") meets in Bell Tower at 2215 First Avenue in the First Floor Community Room on the third Wednesday of the month. The next meeting is 17 September 2008 (Wednesday). Bell Tower is owned by the Seattle Housing Authority.

Posted by BCC | June 28, 2008 12:54 PM

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