Bellevue developer sentenced to 4 years; owned Denny's Triangle in Shoreline

Monday, August 7, 2017

Derelict buildings were demolished and removed
from site of proposed Potala Place development
Photo by Steven H. Robinson April 2016


By Diane Hettrick


According to news reports, Lobsang Dargey has been sentenced to four years in prison. The Tibetan native and former monk was a developer with large scale projects in Vancouver, B.C., a skyscraper in Seattle, a large mixed-use development in Everett, and a proposed apartment development in Shoreline on a parcel of land between Aurora and Aurora Square called Denny's Triangle.

See our June 5, 2015 article Potala Place Shoreline to replace derelict buildings on Aurora.

The City of Shoreline was delighted that he was going to develop a piece of land on Aurora that was quickly becoming a hazard. Several buildings, including an old Dairy Queen, were abandoned. They were a target for graffiti, squatters, and drug users.

By the end of August 2015, it had all come apart. Federal charges were filed against Path America, Dargey's company, and all his assets were frozen, including Potala Place.

A federal investigation disclosed that Dargey was taking advantage of a federal program to bring foreign investment to the U.S. The program offered green cards in return for half a million dollar investments in job-creating projects.

Dargey was collecting huge sums from Asian investors and spending a lot of the money on himself.

The City of Shoreline, in the meantime, was taking steps to get the site cleared. Shoreline Fire had declared it a public hazard. The City filed violation notices that the owner was failing to maintain the property.

At the end of October 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission placed Dargey's assets in receivership and moved to seize his properties.

The properties were eventually put up for sale to repay some of the money Dargey owed. The holders of the Shoreline property heeded the City of Shoreline and cleared the site in April of 2016. It is now a grassy lot.

The property is still up for sale and will eventually be developed.



9 comments:

Anonymous,  August 8, 2017 at 6:45 PM  

The feds need to end the EB5 "millionaire green card" program. This program is meant to be active during economic downturns. The City of Shoreline needs to put a big fat tax on foreign investment, that goes for single-family homes, too.

JohnnyR August 8, 2017 at 9:20 PM  

Developing the Denny’s Triangle lot with a seven-story apartment building as initially planned instead of preserving it as a public park to be enjoyed by the community will be a missed opportunity by City leaders. Based on a 2016 comprehensive study of 44 cities published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS), “park quantity (measured as the percentage of city area covered by public parks) is among the strongest predictors of overall wellbeing”.
Shoreline devotes approximately 5% of its land mass to public parks compared to 11% in Seattle, which is about the average of the 44 cities examined in the PLOS study. Although the Shoreline parks that currently exist are fantastic, the lack of park acreage in Shoreline necessitates an increased commitment by City leaders to expand Shoreline’s park network if the quality of life of their constituents is valued as density inevitably increases.
Shoreline city leaders can start by introducing a bond measure to purchase the Denny’s lot. Think of the impression that would be created with a park for travelers heading north on Aurora Avenue. After slogging north through the ugliness of Highway 99 from Seattle, one of the first things seen traveling into Shoreline would be a beautiful park, perhaps with a spray park, green lawns for picnicking or cyclists needing to take a break. If voters are asked to pass a $250 million education bond measure, how absurd is it to propose a 6.5 million dollar bond for the City to purchase the Denny lot? What say you, City Council?

Sarah August 9, 2017 at 8:42 AM  

While I'm 100% for parks, that seems like a very strange location for a park. With the expected growth from Light Rail, more affordable housing seems like the best option.

Phil B,  August 9, 2017 at 9:34 AM  

While I support the acquisition and preservation of open space, this piece of land doesn't make sense as a park. I would rather see it integrated into the current Aurora Square plan which, if executed on (please Sears, go away...) could create a vital center for Shoreline. While open space is one predictor, so is having a vibrant center for commerce. Right now, Sears is a huge drag on this part of Shoreline becoming the defacto city center. The farmer's market is a step in the right direction but we need more and Denny Triangle is one.

JohnnyR August 9, 2017 at 9:50 AM  

Citation for the above referenced article:Larson LR, Jennings V, Cloutier SA (2016)
Public Parks and Wellbeing in Urban Areas of the
United States. PLoS ONE 11(4): e0153211.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0153211

JohnnyR August 9, 2017 at 12:35 PM  

The park is along the Interurban trail. Not sure I understand your point as a similar plot of land was reclaimed by the City for an open park along the interurban trail and Aurora Avenue between 175th and 185th. Continuing to claim every empty lot for ugly high rise apartments does little to improve the appeal of our community.

JohnnyR August 9, 2017 at 12:46 PM  

I agree that the Aurora Square plan has potential to be a wonderful addition to our community. However, I'm not sure how a seven story wall of McApartments shielding Aurora Square would improve the appeal or commercial viability of that location or the quality of life for residents living in the area. Currently residents living in the Westminster Triangle neighborhood are 1.7 miles from the nearest public park. I would urge those opposed to the development of a public park at the Denny's Triangle location to read the PLOS article. If our City leaders wish to promote the appeal and well-being of its residents, a greater commitment to expanding public park space is necessary.

JohnnyR August 9, 2017 at 12:47 PM  

Public Library of Science article can be viewed here: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0153211

Anonymous,  August 11, 2017 at 12:45 PM  

I would support an integration of Denny Triangle into an overall plan for Aurora Square that ensures a respectable amount of space is set aside for a park. The Sears parking lot is never more than 5% full, surely this along with the Denny Triangle there is enough room to plan for both retail and park space. I agree with Johnny's comment that a high rise apartment in this visible location detracts from it's value to the community.

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