The buyer of the Oddfellows Hall on Cap Hill put out a

The buyer of the Oddfellows Hall on Cap Hill put out a press release today. {See my earlier post on the subject a couple entries down.} Not a lot of hard information in there, but clearly some cautionary words for the building’s arts tenants from new owner Ted Schroth of GTS Development. Quoth he:?Paying a market rate for the building that will not be torn down creates the economic reality of having to raise rents in order to make retaining the building feasible from an investment standpoint. We hope to collaborate with some of the existing large tenants in finding creative ways to cope with this mutually beneficial solutions [sic]. We are sensitive to their situations and look forward to continuing to work together with them as we explore creative solutions to try to retain the arts culture at the Odd Fellows Lodge.” Hmmm. Hard to see how a modern-dance studio, an acting school, a swing-dance ballroom, a little black-box theater, a handful of arts administration offices, etc. are going to be able to cough up enough money to make a real estate developer’s purchase of a giant building on Capitol Hill pencil out. And retaining an “arts culture” is nice. But probably less challenging than having actual arts tenants.Schroth reminds people that “Sensitivity to history and design were a driving focus to us at Trace Lofts / Trace North, and critical to the success of that project.” But making sure to preserve the retro, semi-industrial touches that give an old building condo cachet is one thing. Indeed it’s a good way to preserve an “arts culture” in a building that no artist could possibly afford. Renovation of historic shells is great, and certainly far preferable to most of the new crap being built. But Oddfellows presents a very different case.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

More in News & Comment

File photo
Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance
Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance

Nonprofits, activists are expecting greater need as workers are laid off.

Freshwater variety of kokanee salmon from Lake Sammamish. File photo
Encouraging numbers for kokanee salmon spawn count

Lake Sammamish kokanee aren’t out of the woods by any stretch, but… Continue reading

In this file photo, Tayshon Cottrell dons his graduation cap and gown, along with a face mask reading: “Wear it! Save America” at Todd Beamer High School’s virtual graduation walk recording on May 20, 2020, in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Law gives Washington high school seniors leeway to graduate

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that can waive some requirements for students who were on track before the pandemic.

File photo
Study shows Washingtonians exceeded ‘heavy drinking’ threshold in 2020

The survey suggests Washingtonians drank more than 17 alcoholic beverages a week on average.

Mercer Island School District first-graders returned to in-person classes on Jan. 19, 2021. Here, Northwood Elementary School students head into the building. Photo courtesy of the Mercer Island School District
Governor: Educators are now eligible for coronavirus vaccine

“This should give educators more confidence,” Jay Inslee said. Other frontline workers could soon be next.

Malden, after a wildfire burned down 80% of the town’s buildings in Eastern Washington. Courtesy photo
DNR commissioner seeks $125 million to fight wildfires

In Washington state last September, some 600,000 acres burned within 72 hours.

Washington State Supreme Court Justices (back row, L-R) Raquel Montoya-Lewis, Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Mary I. Yu, G. Helen Whitener, (front row, L-R) Susan Owens, Charles W. Johnson, Steven C. Gonzalez, Barbara A. Madsen and Debra L. Stephens.
Justices strike down Washington state drug possession law

Police must stop arresting people for simple possession.

In Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Inslee recently announced all counties will be staying in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan for the next several weeks. Pictured: People enjoy outdoor dining last summer in downtown Kent. Courtesy photo
Inslee: All of Washington to stay in Phase 2 for a few weeks

The governor issued a weekslong pause on regions moving backward, but has yet to outline a Phase 3.

Most Read