Montlake neighbors angered over plans to demolish market

Neighbors are outraged the state seeks to condemn the Montlake Boulevard Market to make construction easier at Highway 520 — but a state senator says there’s still hope.

Neighbors are objecting to a decision by the state to condemn the Montlake Boulevard Market next to Highway 520, and use the land to store construction equipment.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) filed a lawsuit naming the store owners, cellphone companies that share a tower there, and others in mid-May, following months of community forums.

After an uproar in the residential neighborhood over demolition scenarios, project officials said last winter they would consider ways to keep the market open, and demolish only the gas station along eastbound 520’s Montlake offramp.

The lawsuit “breaks WSDOT’s promises to the community,” says an email campaign started Friday by the Montlake Community Club.

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Messages are aimed at WSDOT secretary Roger Millar, City Council President Bruce Harrelland state Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle. The club insists the state should prove the land is needed for more than mere construction staging.

The condemnation reflects an analysis by WSDOT, following a March 30 community meeting, that it needs the market land for construction — not just for the new Montlake interchange, but also for the future Portage Bay Bridge a short distance west, says a court…

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