After 42 years, Olympic Athletic Club owners James and Debera Riggle have been bought out by a silent partner.
James Riggle tells My Ballard that the sale was not by choice; their minority partner John Lowrance approached the Riggles with a buy/sell proposal in early June, and James says he and his wife were unable to come up with enough money to keep the club.
“We were forced out,” Riggle tells My Ballard. “It’s sad that someone can take us out after 42 years. I designed every square foot of that building.”
Lowrance became a minority partner in 2011, Riggle says, when the OAC added the Hotel Ballard development. He’s remained a silent partner until recently.
“If it hadn’t been for COVID, I could have come up with the money,” Riggle says, adding that the sudden change has hit his family hard.
“I love Ballard, it’s a great place. I’m glad to have done something that will remain an icon in the neighborhood, even if I’m not part of it anymore.”
The OAC remains closed, as it has been since March 15. My Ballard has reached out to the new owner, John Lowrance, for comment. We will update with any new information.