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Lockhaven residents hold press conference in bid to hang on to their homes

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on February 20th, 2014

IfgYVOn Thursday morning the Lockhaven Tenants Union held a press conference at the Lockhaven Apartment complex (3040 NW Market St) to inform the media of their ongoing battle against owners Goodman Real Estate.

Goodman Real Estate purchased the 22-building complex last August from the Ecklund family, who, according to a report by Seattle Weekly, had the building in their family for generations.

My Ballard initially covered the formation of the Lockhaven Tenants Union last September, which formed after tenants in three of the buildings were served with illegal 20 day eviction notices to vacate their homes by property managers at the Pinnacle Family of Companies. These initial vacate notices were reportedly served to tenants in order for the property to undergo extensive renovations.

According to the Seattle Weekly report, through union protest the tenants were able to push back the eviction until April this year. After the April eviction, Goodman Real Estate will then go ahead with the renovation plans, which according to Seattle Weekly, “will increase rent from roughly $890 a month to around $1500 per unit at the high end.”

Thursday’s press conference was well attended by the local media and also by two Seattle City Councilors Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant.

“My concern is that this is just one example of what’s going on around the city,” said Councilmember Nick Licata to Seattle Weekly. “You have tenants seeing their rents dramatically increase when someone comes in, either tears down the building, or buys it and does some remodeling and then starts charging much higher rents. This is a citywide problem,” Licata continued.

Licata spoke at the rally and has been involved with mediation between Lockhaven Tenant’s Union and Goodman Real Estate.

The Lockhaven Tenants Union wrote the following on their blog about the press conference:

Tenants facing displacement after the Lockhaven’s sale to Goodman Real Estate will hold a press conference at the Lockhaven Apartments, speaking about their 6-month struggle to save their homes and their plans for future action to maintain Lockhaven as one of Ballard’s last bastions of market-rate affordable housing for workers, seniors, and people with disabilities.

According to a KING 5 report Goodman Real Estate President George Petrie released the following statement in response to the press conference:

The Lockhaven apartments are more than 50 years old and have reached the end of their physical life. The previous owners put the building on the market at a competitive, full-market price. We purchased the building with the goal of investing several million dollars to make the needed interior and exterior improvements to ensure these unique buildings remain in Ballard for the next 50 years.

Affordability in Seattle is a complex topic and one that we are sympathetic to. We are all apart of this community and housing that is affordable is critical to maintaining a vibrant neighborhood. It’s why we not only worked with the City to provide relocation assistance for all residents who qualified for it, but also retained an on-site relocation specialist to work one-on-one with each resident to help us understand their specific needs and how we can best help them.

That’s included everything from helping them find new apartments in and around Ballard with rents comparable to the Lockhaven, to providing additional financial assistance to those who need it. Additionally, we’re open to being extremely flexible with the timeframe in which residents move – we’ve communicated a very flexible 12-18 month timeframe, which will also help ease this transition. We’re also working individually with any resident who would like to remain at Lockhaven during and after the renovations.

We will continue to work with all residents to do what we can to help. Additionally, we look forward to continuing a dialogue with the City about the tools that can be used to help address affordability in our growing City.

The story seems to be striking a chord with many Seattle residents and has been widely covered by the local media including reports by KING 5KPLU and Seattle Weekly.

The My Ballard team is in touch with Lockhaven Tenants Union organizer David Stoesz and we will continue to update readers with more information in the coming days.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Weekly.

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26 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 np1 // Feb 20, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    > Seattle City Councilors Nick Licata and Kwama Savant.

    Her name is actually spelled Kshama Sawant

  • 2 john // Feb 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    but who really cares what her name is!

  • 3 Seattle Slew // Feb 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Well, I care what her name is, and that of any elected representative, for starters. Bet plenty of others do, too. Good luck, Lockhaven residents.

  • 4 monkeyboy // Feb 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    “Six months ago, Goodman Real Estate purchased the 22-building, 138-unit complex. ”

    Are there really 22 buildings down there? It does not seem that big.

    A kwama savant sounds like someone who knows a lot about the elder scrolls.

  • 5 john // Feb 20, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    i am all for the lock haven people being treated fairly, But Savant is a communist ideologue.

  • 6 Profile photo of SunsetHillGuy SunsetHillGuy // Feb 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Goodman bought Lockhaven from the start, he owns both GRE & Pinnacle. He merely uses Pinnacle to run his properties that he owns under the GRE banner.

    yes there are 22 buildings there, 5 in the first courtyard, 7 in the middle court yard, 4 in the courtyard off 32nd & market, 4 more in the courtyard off 32nd & 56th and lastly 2 more on 56th just past 30th.

  • 7 Profile photo of SunsetHillGuy SunsetHillGuy // Feb 20, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    a correction: Goodman Real Estate (GRE) purchased Lockhaven 6 months ago from a Ballard Family that had owned it for over 50 years prior. Pinnacle never owned Lockhaven, they merely manage it on behalf of GRE Lockhaven

  • 8 Rydiculous // Feb 21, 2014 at 8:16 am

    People should just start parking their cars in front of his house. He lives right next to Anthony’s in the spot that used to be Azteca. He deserves a traffic headache, no?

  • 9 Anon // Feb 21, 2014 at 8:43 am

    @Rydiculous Even worse, start building apodments next to his house.

  • 10 annie's mom // Feb 21, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Yes, Goodman owns what used to be Azteca and converted it, against the intent of the Shoreline Management Act…but he is cozy with the City….to non-public access by claiming it also serves as a marina. You will occasionally see a “yachts wanted to moor” sign near the gate. Beyond shady in his real estate practices

  • 11 jack's mom // Feb 21, 2014 at 10:45 am

    So a Ballard family sells property at market rate to another Ballard family and in order to get a return on investment they decide to renovate and charge more in rent because what cost 500k 25 years ago now goes for over 3m. So maybe if the first Ballard family sold the property for what they paid for it, then rent wouldn’t go up.

    A ridiculous argument to be sure, but why vilify one of Ballard’s own and why not get on the city to create more subsidies for low income housing?

  • 12 SureVote! // Feb 21, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Yes, more subsidy for low income housing! But the voters hold the key to that. Money doesn’t just come up out of thin air for low income housing, not to mention all the NIMBY that comes along with it.

  • 13 Kshama lama ding dong // Feb 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Hey, do we want a vibrant dense Seattle or what?!

  • 14 Stephanie // Feb 21, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I love all the things about Seattle that make it a great and expensive place to live. I understand growth, development, urban density, and city planning and policy, but this story is just sad. My mom lives here. She is 62, in kidney failure, and has to do dialysis treatments every four hours. She still works 12 hour shifts at two different Seattle hospitals (doing her treatments in a hospital bed during her two breaks) to pay her medical bills, and her rent on what was a cozy apartment, perfect for her. Having her own place means a lot to her. But, she can’t afford the impending rent increase. She doesn’t want to move out of Seattle and add an hour commute each way to her 12 hour shifts, and she doesn’t want to spend what might be her last year of life fighting this damn eviction anymore. I feel fortunate that I have the means to support her and when Goodman finally kicks them out, she’ll move in with me and my husband. Many of her neighbors, most of which are older than her, have nowhere to go.

  • 15 Profile photo of ballardMike ballardMike // Feb 21, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    It’s not right. Just like it’s not right for what used to be Azteca to be considered “commercial” space yet used as private residence.

  • 16 g'ham // Feb 22, 2014 at 8:28 am

    it’s actually illegal and this guy should be thrown in jail.
    the zoning is c1-30, which is clearly commercial.
    zoning is set-up so that it becomes increasingly more strict, with single-family dwellings only allowed in SF zoned areas.
    if this guy is using the commercial property as his own private residence, all the while preying upon the infirm and elderly to make a quick buck, then who cares if it is a ballard family?

  • 17 Profile photo of SunsetHillGuy SunsetHillGuy // Feb 22, 2014 at 11:04 am

    officially it’s not a private residence, it’s a “social club”

  • 18 Used to love Ballard // Feb 23, 2014 at 1:07 am

    George Petrie is a liar.

    Lockhaven apartments have NOT “reached the end of their physical life.” The renovations they are doing are NOT “needed.” They are mostly cosmetic. I have been in many Lockhaven apartments – they are old-fashioned, but sound. I saw the exterior on many buildings while the siding was off – repair was needed in places, but not enough to evict all residents.

    Goodman Real Estate is NOT “sympathetic” to affordable housing or being a part of the community.

    All this is being done to maximize their profits – attract yuppies who can afford to pay a 75-100% increase in rent.

    I have nothing against yuppies, I used to be one. But there are plenty choices for yuppies coming onto the market in over-developed Ballard. What was unique about Lockhaven is that it provided housing for moderate-to-low income people in Ballard.

    John Goodman is now destroying that part of the community.

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