A P-Patch atop the Mercer Street Garage in Seattle will be spared from conversion to parking spaces, city officials announced Tuesday.
The UpGarden P-Patch had been set to be cleared out in the spring to make way for additional parking for hockey fans ahead of Seattle’s new NHL team starting play in 2021 in a renovated KeyArena at Seattle Center.
But following protests by community members, city officials have decided the rooftop garden can remain as long as the Mercer Garage remains in use. A news release from Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office said that should preserve the P-Patch “until light rail is designed and planned for Seattle Center,” referring to a downtown Sound Transit rail segment expected to begin construction in 2027.
The agreement was announced at a swearing-in ceremony at the P-Patch for incoming Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis, who was elected last month to represent District 7, including downtown, Queen Anne and Magnolia.
“It is my pleasure to make the official announcement that the UpGarden is here to stay,” Lewis said at the event, according to a copy of his speech. Lewis said he worked on details of a new lease for the P-Patch on Monday with Deputy Mayor Mike Fong.
“The specifics will be announced in the next few days, but in the meantime I can share that the UpGarden will remain in its current location as long as the Mercer Street Garage remains a structure,” he said.
Durkan, in a news release, called community P-Patches “some of Seattle’s most treasured resources for building community and connection.”
UpGarden’s 25,000 square-foot green space has occupied part of the garage’s top level since 2012. Community members have added amenities over the years, including a vintage Airstream trailer that serves as a toolshed, and a car planter in the form of a 1967 Ford Galaxie, accented with lyrics from Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone from the Sun.”