Q&A: Music Center's Permanent Home

Business Profile - Blue Ridge/North Beach Neighbors Magazine
January 2019

Founded in 1989, Music Center of the Northwest is Seattle’s oldest community music school.  Music Center has always provided high quality musical instruction and activities to motivated students of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of ability, regardless of a family’s financial resources.  The unifying principle that guides Music Center is the fundamental belief that individual creativity is a vital means of bringing together a culturally and ethnically diverse community.

After 23 years as tenants, Music Center now has the opportunity to purchase their building and create a permanent home for the school.  Their positive impact on the community will now be secured by a building asset and annual rent savings which will be re-purposed to reach more people, from infants to seniors, with the highest quality programs.  With this purchase, Music Center commits to our neighborhood and our community.

So, when did you move into the Oak Lake Baptist Church, located on Linden and N 96th Street?

In 1995, Music Center moved into the church, at first leasing 2 rooms in the office wing.  As we grew, the school took over the entire 2 story office building and ultimately the church sanctuary when the congregation ceased their weekly meetings.

Why did Music Center decide to buy the building it has made home for the past two decades?

Oak Lake Baptist Church no longer exists as a congregation and therefore is unable to be in the position to be landlord. The lease agreement with the Church expires at the end of August 2019, thus the Church could not renew the lease agreement. Over the many years, Music Center’s mission has resonated with Oak Lake Baptist so after a series of meetings, it was agreed that Oak Lake would sell the building at favorable terms to Music Center rather than sell it to others.

What are the favorable terms from Oak Lake Baptist Church?

We’ve agreed to purchase the building for $1.5 million, closing at the end of August 2019.

Could Music Center have found a new location to rent or purchase, rather than purchasing this building?

We looked at what was available to lease, and nothing remotely affordable was available that would provide a performing hall space, music studios, and parking. Efforts were also made to explore options, such as partnering with other non-profits and sharing facilities. None of those options presented themselves as more favorable versus acquiring our current building.

What about the improvements, and why is the capital campaign targeting $2 million rather than $1.5 million?

As long term tenants, we have become overly aware of major deficiencies in our building. The largest include an unreliable furnace, lack of insulation, inadequate soundproofing, inefficient windows, and wiring and plumbing problems. Like any property owner, we need to replace aging systems and inefficiencies.

How can we help?

Music Center can accept your gift though the above form. Checks and pledge forms found at www.musiccenternw.org can be sent to Music Center: P.O. Box 30757, Seattle, WA 98113. We accept gifts of appreciated stock or other assets, required minimum distributions from your IRA, gifts from Donor Advised Funds, credit card or cash gifts.  



Chas Arnold
Executive Director
Suzuki Violin Instructor
901 N. 96th Street
Seattle WA 98103
(206) 526-8443