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El Corazon and the Funhouse will be in current building for ‘the next few years,’ owner says

The plan is to give the venue operators input on their new home

Aerialist Jenny Penny performs with Super Geek League at El Corazon on April 22, 2016.
Mat Hayward/Getty Images

Seattle was in an uproar last last week after the Seattle PI reported that El Corazon—a longtime music venue formerly known as the Offramp, Graceland, Sub-Zero, and Cafe a Go Go—“is definitely getting demolished.” This was based on a demolition permit approved by the city of Seattle in March and a public notice of design review from the Department of Neighborhoods.

The short version, according to owner Dana Sims: Demolition is planned, but not imminent.

“For the next few years, El Corazon (and the Funhouse) will continue to operate as we are in our current building —possibly more,” said Sims in an emailed statement. “We will then relocate to a temporary location while a new building is being built (at the same location of our existing building) and then reopen at the same address upon completion of the new building.”

“To be clear, our ownership is not selling the clubs and I have not sold my land [or] building,” said Sims. “I have simply entered into a joint venture agreement where I will be able to make sure that these clubs continue to operate and serve the music community for many years to come.”

Sims said that during construction, the clubs will relocate to a temporary location.

We called El Corazon early Monday afternoon for additional confirmation and were told to get in touch with Sims. The business license for El Corazon governed by Sims, along with Brian Foss and Robert Kuckleburg, former operators of the Funhouse at its previous home across from Seattle Center.

Arbutus Properties is planning a mixed-use residential project on the land parcel, although details—and a design for public review—are still forthcoming. Sims said that while the venues weren’t originally part of the developer’s plans, “we saw this as an incredible opportunity to provide long-term stability for the venues, my employees, our stakeholders and the music community.” Arbutus didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

While Sims is listed as the building owner on permits with the city, both more recent demolition permits and documents dating back to 2005, the registered owner with King County has been real-estate investor Pete Silkov (later an LLC registered by Sikov) since 1999 after the previous owner went into foreclosure.

The project still has to go through design guidance and review, at which point the developers and the project architect will have to present plans, including details on commercial spaces—like the kind occupied by music venues.