College of Built Environments at the University of Washington.
Landmark's Preservation Board gives owner OK to tear down Ballard Denny'sThursday May 2008
While Alan Michelson, head of CAUP's Architecture and Urban Planning Library, put up the good fight and won three months ago, Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board unanimously overturned its decision and gave the current owners, Benaroya Companies, permission to tear the defunct but iconic Ballard Denny's down. Though hundreds of Ballard residents joined the fight to save the building, sparking passionate debate over property rights, historic preservation, and the ongoing growth of this Seattle neighborhood, the board reversed its decision when Benaroya convinced them that it could not receive a reasonable rate of return on its investment if the building remained standing. Benaroya's attorney said that while the company looked at dozens of plans for redevelopment without razing the building, no plan was ultimately feasible, and the best option still meant a loss of 25 percent for the company because the number of condos built would have been reduced significantly from the original plans. The board had to consider Benaroya's financial hardship in the decision. Said board member, Ronald Martinson, "I think it's worth noting that we're a board of rules."