Lockhaven Tenants Union lead picket at Goodman Real Estate offices

At 12 p.m. today tenants from across Seattle picketed the offices of Goodman Real Estate at Pier 70 downtown. The picket was organized by Ballard organization Lockhaven Tenants Union and Ravenna organization Theodora Rescue Committee.

Since hosting a press conference last month, Lockhaven Tenants Union has been continuing their ongoing battle against owners Goodman Real Estate to stay in their homes after being served with eviction notices last September.

Picketers held signs and banners (including the image pictured below) and demanded for John Goodman to comply with tenants’ demands for dignity or to take his business out of Seattle.


Check out the press release circulated today by the Tenants Union of Washington State:

From the International District to Ballard to Ravenna, Goodman Real Estate has engaged a model of predatory development across Seattle that has cost hundreds of tenants their homes. At the Lockhaven Apartments, tenants have been organizing for months demanding that Goodman Real Estate maintain these market-rate, affordable homes at their current affordability.

Tenants have also demanded across-the-board relocation assistance of $2500 for tenants who have been and will be involuntarily displaced. To date, Goodman Real Estate has rejected a nonprofit’s offer to purchase or lease some of the Lockhaven’s 22 buildings, and has failed to offer a proposal for keeping Lockhaven affordable.

Tenants at the Theodora Apartments formed the Theodora Rescue Committee this winter to protect their homes from Goodman Real Estate. The Theodora, a 112 unit building in Ravenna, has been home to people in need–veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities–for over 100 years. Goodman Real Estate has just signed a purchase and sale agreement with the building’s owners, the Volunteers of America, and plans to renovate the building to cater to higher income tenants. The Theodora Rescue Committee is asking Goodman Real Estate to withdraw from the purchase–to stop preying on Seattle’s remaining affordable housing.

This trend is not new for Goodman Real Estate. In 2011, Goodman Real Estate purchased the Downtowner in the International District and used low-income housing tax credits to rehabilitate the building, claiming the project to be an example of affordable housing. The building was once filled with 240 low-income tenants, most of whom had Section 8 vouchers, but Goodman Real Estate raised the rents beyond the voucher subsidy. Only a handful of the original tenants remain in their homes.

Tenants from these buildings are calling attention to the ways Goodman Real Estate’s developments practices are gentrifying Seattle and demanding that Goodman honor tenants’ requests to keep them in their homes.

The My Ballard team are in contact with the Lockhaven Tenant’s Union and will update readers with further information about the picket in the coming days.

9 thoughts to “Lockhaven Tenants Union lead picket at Goodman Real Estate offices”

  1. This is wonderful.

    A local boy with so much potential should pay more attention to the existing urban fabric and social construct rather than pursue profit in a manner that will exclude many old time residents.

    Shame on Goodman Real Estate and bravo to those who sacrificed their time to represent the predominant viewpoint.

    This is especially despicable in light of donations, etc. (i.e. B & G club) to make the company and Goodman himself look like a respectable member of the community.

  2. Good for the Lockhaven Tenants!!!

    Probably, Goodman feels that a bunch of “tenants” are lowering the value of his unfortunately named Golden Tides private residence at Shilshole.

  3. The name “Golden Tides” was the name of the restaurant previously on the spot of Goodman’s palace, before it was Azteca.

  4. So this makes at least 3 affordable housing options that this slime ball has taken over. Sure, the folks get Housing Choice Vouchers (aka Section 8), but then they can’t find anything affordable in the city, let alone in the neighborhoods they have come to know and love.

    Keep up the good fight LTU!!

  5. I understand the sentiments of the tenants, and agree that there is a need for lower-income housing, but… Since when is it a requirement that a developer maintain existing below-market use for property that he owns (and paid good money for)? Businesses are governed by legislation and by the market, not by some set of unwritten rules.

    Taking care of the people that the market won’t is the responsibility of government, not business. Business may choose to offer (some or all) low income housing, but they simply aren’t obligated to.

    Regarding the Theodora, VOA has been running the building for people in need. They are getting out of that business and selling the building. Why isn’t the tenant’s union picketing VOA demanding that they continue to provide low income housing rather than insisting that Goodman start?

  6. I’m with pragmatist on this one.

    I’m all for affordable housing and can sympathize with the tenants, but they’re barking up the wrong tree. Going after a business that has seemingly done nothing illegal — whether or not it’s morally bankrupt — is the wrong approach. If you want real change, the laws and policies of the city/county/state need to change. Until then, if there’s profit to be made, someone will surely step-up to make it, whether it’s Goodman or some other developer.

  7. Is there a need for more affordable housing? Certainly. Is it up to private investors? No.

    Mr. Gray states that people like Mr. Goodman are parasites and provide no services for the community. I beg to differ, people like Mr. Goodman pay huge taxes on these properties in the city. Taxes that are used to run the city and supply services for all who live in the city.

    In renovating these properties Mr. Goodman puts large amounts of money into the community in the form of payrolls for construction workers performing the work, not to mention payroll and other associated taxes. Upon completion of these renovations the properties have increased in value, thus raising the tax assessments on the properties.

    Ingrid finds it “despicable” that Mr. Goodman has made contributions to the Boys and Girls club. Some would call that giving back to the community.

  8. I agree with Phil on this one.

    What’s wrong with fixing up the place? And it’s not just cosmetic – I’m sure it’s electrical, plumbing, insulation…these buildings are OLD. It sounds like he is preserving the structure for both the Lockhaven and Theodora properties. Sounds like the properties are going to last longer if you ask me.

    In addition to that, I just looked up the average rent in Ballard and its close to $1750. Goodman is well underneath that rent price. How on earth were you guys paying that low rent for so long? You lucked out if you ask me.

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