Now that the Ballard Manning's/Denny's has been thoroughly demolished ‐ I took a look at the site last evening and believe me, the landmark structure is hamburger — owner Benaroya will be ending its legal action against the city's Landmarks Board.
The King County Superior Court suit challenged the designation of the diner as a landmark, calling it "illegal and erroneous," and attacked the entire preservation process as unconstitutional. However, Benaroya's attorney Jack McCullough made it clear that the suit would go away if the Landmarks Board reversed its decision. This was the stick held over the city's head in order to get the landmark designation reversed. The suit was filed during a time when a number of downtown property owners have been complaining about the city's attempt to proactively landmark downtown structures.
In response to my e-mail request, McCullough prepared the following statement, which was sent via Louie Richmond, who has handled public relation duties for the owner and developer of the property:
[Benaorya subsidiary] BCC Mikie Ballard LLC filed a lawsuit in April challenging the designation of the Ballard Denny's as a landmark. At the time, we said that we would put the legal action on hold, while we pursued the other available remedies with the City's Landmarks Preservation Board. That process is now concluded, and it resulted in the issuance of a demolition permit for the building. With the demolition complete, the legal action is moot and BCC Mikie Ballard LLC will be dismissing it.