Checked in with Charlestown Cafe owner Larry Mellum today, after a few recent e-mails from WSB readers who had heard reports of a lease extension. He says they’re still officially month-to-month, but not expecting to be leaving any time soon, since the proposal to tear down the building and build a new Petco store seems to be moving slowly, with no official action since the August public meeting at which the Design Review Board turned thumbs-down on the design for a second time (detailed WSB coverage here). Meanwhile, we received an e-mail comment on the subject of Charlestown’s fate and West Seattle’s direction in general, and wanted to include it in our next followup, so here it is:
From West Seattle writer Georgie Bright Kunkel:
Those who own and lease property follow the money. They are not in business to nurture old people having breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the neighborhood with their friends. They are looking to get the highest return on their investment. Many of the corporate businesses in Seattle send their profits back to a headquarters across the country or in California somewhere. They are not run by Seattle owners. West Seattle is fast becoming owned by corporations not based in our area. Their loyalty is to stockholders from around the world. The fact that PETCO is a corporation large enough to outbid The Charlestown for a lease is a fact of the corporate world where West Seattle is now feeling the pressure.
The only relief from huge corporate pressure would be for Congress to scale back the legislation that over the years made corporations so powerful. Who has the nerve to take on this issue?