Owner of famed Showbox music venue site sues city

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SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 08: In this handout image supplied by Virgin America, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth performs during a launch party hosted by Virgin America to celebrate the Kick Off Service flight from Los Angeles to Seattle, held at The Showbox at the Market on April 8, 2008 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Virgin America via Getty Images)

The owner of a building that houses an iconic Seattle music venue has filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming it failed to follow proper protocols when officials approved a measure aimed at preserving the site.

The Seattle Times reports the lawsuit filed last week came about after the city council included the Showbox last month in the Pike Place Market historic district, temporarily halting plans to construct a 442-unit apartment tower on the site by a Vancouver, British Columbia development company, the Onni Group.

The lawsuit aims to invalidate the city ordinance. If that doesn’t happen, attorneys for owner Roger Forbes will seek about $40 million in damages.

Dan Nolte, a spokesperson for the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, says the city is reviewing the complaint.

The council’s vote to include the Showbox in the historic district was an effort to preserve the famous music club, which has seen thousands of big name acts over the years, from Duke Ellington to the Ramones to Pearl Jam to Nirvana to Prince to Lady Gaga.


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