Eminent Domain cost Puyallup Eagles their home, now they’re asking city for help
PUYALLUP, Wash. - The Daffodil Aerie #2308 of the Fraternal Order of Eagles are asking the Puyallup City Council for help relocating after Sound Transit filed a petition claiming eminent domain over their building.
The Eagles have owned the 16,000 square foot building on 5th St. NW for 79 years, leading countless fundraisers and gatherings during that time with their now 4,000 members.
“It’s Puyallup,” Bob Ainsworth said about the building. “And I just hate to see something like this disappear.”
Sound Transit wants the property for a redevelopment project to improve Puyallup Station and build a 500-stall parking garage. The agency says they considered several alternatives, but chose their current plan to preserve downtown and alleviate traffic issues, a resolution discussed with the City of Puyallup.
Sound Transit’s board approved the purchase of the building in May 2016. After months of failed negotiations with the Eagles, the agency filed a condemnation petition in Pierce County Superior Court in July.
“I don’t think we can save it,” Aerie President Gary Plumb said. So now they’re turning to the City of Puyallup for help.
More than a dozen Eagles demonstrated with signs outside City Hall Tuesday, ahead of a council meeting where they planned to speak their case during public comment.
“If they could help us find a building or property, that might really help us out,” Plumb said.
Puyallup’s City Council wrote a letter to Sound Transit in 2014 asking them not to use condemnation for the project, but Tuesday they told KOMO News they are trying to stay out of it, hoping Sound Transit and the Eagles can reach an agreement on their own.
The Eagles say Sound Transit’s appraisal of the property was well below their own, which led them to decline multiple offers. Sound Transit could not comment on the offers.
A settlement could still be reached in arbitration.
Either way, the Eagles expect to be out of their building by next July. Their organization has already had issues finding a new property.
“It’s hard to find four walls without any money,” Plumb said.
But surprisingly Plumb is optimistic for the future.
“These are just wall,” Plumb said. “We can have new walls somewhere else."
“Wherever we’re at we are going to continue to serve the community as best we can," he added.