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City Council approves Center Art lease agreement

April 26th, 2011 by Thea

Last week we wrote that a City Council panel approved the lease agreement that will bring a Dale Chihuly exhibition space to the South Fun Forest site at Seattle Center. On Monday Council Bill 117157, which was subject to the full council’s approval, passed by unanimous vote.

The deal will allow Center Art, LLC “to develop, construct and operate an exhibition hall and art garden in the former South Fun Forest site at the Seattle Center,” according to a City Council statement released Monday.

The agreement came after months of back-and-forth and negotiations between city administrators, Chihuly himself, and members of the community. As per the terms of the deal, Center Art, LLC will be privately financing the entire project, as well as donating $1 million for the development of a creative children’s play area north of the Monorail in the former North Fun Forest space.

This project also includes an enhancement of 39,000 square feet of public walkways and landscaping around the exhibition site and a community partnership program with a focus on arts and education.

“The past sixteen months of negotiations have shown that good public process can lead to good public policy,” Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, who is chair of the Parks and Seattle Center Committee, said in a statement.  “Seattle will have another world class attraction and Seattle Center will be further invigorated through art, music and a creative new family play space.”

“I would like to thank the City Council for their hard work on this issue. Their efforts will make Seattle Center a better place for the public to enjoy,” Mayor Mike McGinn said in a statement.

Just last week Seattle Center marked the one year countdown to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1962 World’s Fair, “The Next 50.” Currently Center Art, LLC plans to open its exhibition hall on April 21, 2012, to coincide with the 50th anniversary kick-off event.

For more information on the Chihuly exhibition space, and other projects going into Seattle Center in time for the 50th anniversary of the World’s Fair next year, see our past coverage or “The Next 50″ website.

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