Murano owners confirm they will appeal Foss Hotel suit decision

Staff writerNovember 27, 2013 

This is the design for the Marriott Residence Inn proposed for the Thea Foss Waterway for a site between the Thea’s Landing and Esplanade condominiums.


Attorneys representing downtown Tacoma's Murano Hotel say their legal challenges to the proposed construction of a Marriott Residence Inn on the Thea Foss Waterway aren't over.

Seattle attorney David Bricklin, whose law firm represents Murano Hotel owners KS Tacoma Holdings LLC, said Tuesday the hotel holding company will appeal a decision by Pierce County Superior Court Judge John McCarthy last week.

McCarthy dismissed a suit brought by the Murano owners against the Thea Foss Waterway Development Authority.  That suit had asked the court to declare the authority's failure to intervene in the sale of the hotel site illegal.

The hotel site is located on Dock Street on the west side of the Foss Waterway.  The plot is south of the Esplanade condominiums and north of the Thea's Landing residential development.

Bricklin said an appeal to the Washington Court of Appeals can take six to nine months to reach a decision.

The start of construction of the 104-room Marriott Residence Inn has been in stymied for more than three years now by legal and regulatory appeals brought by the Murano owners.

The hotel owners contend the planned Foss Hotel doesn't meet the aesthetic or financial standards set by the Foss authority more than a decade ago when it first sought proposals for hotel development on the waterway.

The authority then sought proposals for a small luxury hotel on the waterfront site.  Three developers have made proposals for the site, but two of those developers exited the project after their plans proved infeasible.

The sale that the Murano owners are challenging in court was between a Seattle hotel owner, Bob Thurston, who had bought the land from the authority, and Bellingham hotel chain owner Hollander Investments.

The authority contended successfully that it had no ability to intervene in the transaction between Thurston and Hollander and that economic conditions have changed since the original request for proposals.

Hollander's attorney in court papers contended the Murano owners are using legal processes to keep a potential rival at bay.


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