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Seattle venue Showbox may be torn down for apartments

SUNNYMARTINI
(photo: Sunny Martini/Showbox)

Seattle music hall Showbox just celebrated its 79th birthday this week, but how many more birthdays it has left is in question. The Seattle Times reports that Vancouver developer Onni Group filed plans with the city to build a 440-foot, 442-unit apartment tower on the site. The two story building that is home to Showbox is also home to a pub and a couple other storefronts. More on the Showbox from The Times:

The club opened as a music venue in 1939 — exactly 79 years ago Tuesday — and has welcomed artists from jazz legends like Duke Ellington to grunge greats and a once up-and-coming rapper named Macklemore. In the past few months, the Showbox has hosted everything from stoner metal favorites Sleep to a red-carpeted rock ‘n’ roll gala honoring Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready. Veteran Seattle indie rockers Minus the Bear, who recently announced their breakup, are scheduled to play their final two shows ever at the club in December.

In 2007, longtime owner Jeff Steichen sold the fabled club to heavyweight promoter AEG Live — an international power player in the concert business. That year, Showbox brass also took over the former Fenix Underground, re-christening the 1,800-capacity venue Showbox SoDo and rebranding the original Showbox the Showbox at the Market.

The Showbox at the Market’s closure would be a disheartening blow to Seattle’s music community, which has lost a number of cherished venues over the years. “The original Funhouse closing was personally more painful for me, but the Showbox closing feels very nail-in-the-coffin,” lamented one fan on social media.

The Showbox block is quickly becoming one of Seattle’s most controversial development sites.

Next door, across an alley from the Showbox, plans for a new 14-story hotel have riled neighbors who have collected more than 7,000 signatures to try and block the project, which would be built at one of the entrances to Pike Place Market.

The Seattle Times also notes that the project is in its initial stages and could take years to happen if at all.

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