Homepage The Firm
Practice Areas


      The Firm      Representative Work      Reported Cases      Careers      Contact Us

Representative Work
Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority


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.


(206) 624-1933 | Email © 2007 – 2016 Hendricks & Lewis. All rights reserved.