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Council News Release

4/25/2011  4:13:00 PM
Kathy Nyland, Councilmember Bagshaws Office, 206-684-8801
Dana Robinson Slote, (206) 615-0061

Council President Richard Conlin
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Mike O'Brien
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

Seattle City Council votes on Center Art lease agreement
Center Art, LLC to open exhibition hall and art garden in April 2012

SEATTLE The Seattle City Council voted unanimously today on Council Bill 117157, approving a lease agreement allowing Center Art, LLC to develop, construct and operate an exhibition hall and art garden in the former South Fun Forest site at the Seattle Center.

"The past sixteen months of negotiations have shown that good public process can lead to good public policy," said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, chair of the Parks and Seattle Center Committee. "Seattle will have another world class attraction and Seattle Center will be further invigorated through art, music and a creative new family play space."

"I would like to thank the City Council for their hard work on this issue. Their efforts will make Seattle Center a better place for the public to enjoy," said Mayor Mike McGinn.

In addition to privately financing the entire project, Center Art, LLC will donate $1 million for the development of a creative children's play area north of the Monorail.

This project also includes an enhancement of 39,000 square feet of public walkways and landscaping around the exhibition site and a community partnership program with a focus on arts and education.

"I applaud the Chihuly Exhibition for its public benefit obligations providing a new artfully designed children's playground, giving away 10,000 free tickets annually, and leading a recurring Center Nights event providing low and no-cost admission to major Seattle Center institutions," said Councilmember Nick Licata, chair of the Housing, Human Services, Health, and Culture Committee. "I also look forward to the valuable exposure Northwest visual and glass artists will receive from the many new visitors the Exhibition attracts to the Center's new art gallery, to be located in a newly remodeled Center House."

After initiating a public process in March 2010, the Seattle Center received nine proposals for the development of the former Fun Forest site. Three public meetings were held and in September 2010, an advisory panel comprised of Century 21 Committee members recommended Center Art, LLC's proposal.

April 21, 2011, marked the one year countdown to the celebration of "The Next 50," Seattle Center's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1962 World's Fair. Center Art, LLC plans to open its exhibition hall to coincide with the 50th anniversary kick-off event on April 21, 2012.

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