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Public Authorities and Public/Private Partnerships

City of Spokane v. Walker Parking Consultants/Engineers, Inc., et al.
Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority

City of Spokane v. Walker Parking Consultants/Engineers, Inc., et al.
No. 00-2-04173-4 (Wash. Superior Court, Spokane County, filed July 18, 2000)

Attorneys

O. Yale Lewis, Jr.
Randolph W. Urmston

Related Practices

Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Contracts, Unfair Competition and Other Business Disputes

Public Disclosure Laws

Public Authorities and Public/Private Partnerships

In late April 2002, Hendricks & Lewis was hired by the Spokane City Council to assess the legality of an existing city commitment to “lend” money to support a financially-failing parking garage that was an integral part of a privately-owned shopping center in downtown Spokane. The next day, the shopping center developer obtained an order requiring the Spokane City Manager and City Attorney to show cause why a writ of mandamus should not be issued, which required them to make certain payments the developer claimed were required by an existing city ordinance. After an expedited trial, the city officials were ordered to make the requested payments on behalf of the city and threatened with jail if they did not do so.

In response, Hendricks & Lewis successfully petitioned the Washington Supreme Court for direct review and a stay of enforcement against the individual city officials. On February 15, 2001, following extensive legal briefing and oral argument by Hendricks & Lewis partner O. Yale Lewis, Jr., the Supreme Court unanimously reversed the Superior Court’s decision in River Park Square, L.L.C., et al. v. Henry Miggins, et al., 143 Wn.2d 68 (2001).

Trouble in River City, Washington Law & Politics

For updated information on this case, go to www.camasmagazine.com.

Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority

Attorneys

O. Yale Lewis, Jr.

Related Practices

Public Authorities and Public/Private Partnerships

In early 1972, following a successful voter initiative to prevent demolition of the historic Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle, the preservation proponents were in a quandary: now that the voters had prevented city government from demolishing the physically failing seven-acre historic district, how could the Market be restored and invigorated without destroying its essential character? The preservation proponents lacked adequate capital and didn’t trust either private entrepreneurs or city bureaucrats and politicians. Accordingly, they initially thought of a traditional nonprofit foundation that could receive grants and private contributions to save the Market and turned to O. Yale Lewis, Jr., who had helped the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation obtain a 99-year perpetually renewable lease to 20 acres of prime park land on which the Foundation constructed the Daybreak Star Indian cultural center.

In response, after considerable thought and many hours of research and meetings, Mr. Lewis—who had concluded that the ability to raise tax-exempt financing and receive funds and other property directly from the state and federal governments was essential to the group’s aspirations—conceptualized and recommended an entirely new form of entity that might be able to combine the best of all worlds: municipal, private and nonprofit. He then (1) drafted and successfully lobbied the Washington legislature for enabling legislation that would empower first-class cities to create “public authorities” for specific public purposes; (2) drafted and successfully lobbied the Seattle City Council for an implementing ordinance; (3) drafted organic documents and secured a City Charter—which he drafted—for the Pike Place Market Presentation and Development Authority to acquire, as necessary, and restore the seven-acre historic district; and (4) obtained formal rulings from the Internal Revenue Service and Securities and Exchange Commission that enabled the Pike Place Market Presentation and Development Authority to pursue tax-exempt financing for the purchase and restoration of the Pike Place Market.

Subsequently, he helped create and provided similar services for various other public authorities chartered by the City of Seattle to undertake similar activities in other parts of the city, including Pioneer Square, the International District, the Public Health Hospital and Westlake.

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