With potrepreneurs making plans, 15th Ave E worries about longtime merchants being pushed out

It’s reefer madness on 15th Ave E where, if nothing else, paranoia about the demand for commercial space for I-502 retail floats thick.

It’s not just smoke. Entrepreneur and real estate investor Ian Eisenberg has confirmed with CHS his plans to convert the former veterinary clinic he purchased at 15th and Republican into a marijuana shop. CHS reported on the $1.5 million purchase in February as the CHS advertiser and Uncle Ike’s owner snatched the property out from under another prospective I-502 retailer.

But judging by the volume of emails, text messages, and phone calls CHS has received from worried neighbors and customers, the other side of 15th and Republican is also being lined up for some major changes with many rumors of another retail marijuana operation being planned in the storefronts currently home to Angel’s Shoe Repair and the Postal Plus post office. Continue reading

Five streateries coming to Capitol Hill (Plus, the new Sugar Plum parklet)

A Central District parklet along E Union opened last year between 23rd and MLK (Image: CHS)

A Central District parklet along E Union opened last year between 23rd and MLK (Image: CHS)

Five of Seattle’s first dozen new “streateries” will be located on Capitol Hill. The hybrid combining the parklet concept with traditional sidewalk patios will create small seating and deck areas for customers in the section of the streetside typically reserved for parking. When the sponsoring businesses aren’t open, the streateries are intended to serve as public park space.

Here’s the roster of Capitol Hill locations announced Monday by the Seattle Department of Transportation:

  • Montana (conversion) — E Olive Way
  • Comet and Lost Lake (conversion) — 10th/Pike
  • Mamnoon — Melrose
  • Bottleneck Lounge — E Madison
  • New project from Comet/Lost Lake partners in former Kingfish Cafe space — 19th Ave E

Two of the five represent a conversion from permitted parklets at the locations into the new format that allows for businesses to operate the spaces as sidewalk cafes exclusively for their patrons during business hours — though the Comet/Lost Lake parklet was never implemented.

In addition to securing approval from neighboring businesses, the streatery hosts are also on the hook for paying for the displaced revenue from removed on-street parking –$3,000 per space, per year. In the case of Montana, site of the city’s first parklet that took up all of 1.5 on-street parking spaces, the E Olive Way bar is on the hook for $4,500 per year  doesn’t owe a damn thing because there’s no paid parking (yet) on E Olive Way. Dave Meinert and the guys at the Comet? They’ll owe around $6,000 per year, apparently. (Updated at 7 PM)

Montana owner Rachel Marshall tells CHS she doesn’t know about the timing for the conversion of her space on E Olive Way saying that working things out with the state liquor board will be her next step — along with writing that check to the City of Seattle.

Meanwhile, the city also announced that 15th Ave E will get a new “old school” parklet in front of the under construction Sugar Plum. The announcement, below, also teases a First Hill location for a new parklet — we’re asking for specifics on where that is planned to be located. UPDATE: SDOT says the press release is incorrect — the location being referred to is not on First Hill but in the Denny Triangle area, instead. Continue reading

Blotter | Police investigate Nagle Place beating — Plus, Seattle U bomb threat arrest

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Nagle beating: Police had just left the scene when the assailants in an early morning assault returned and beat and robbed their victim Thursday on Nagle Place, according to the SPD report on the incident and East Precinct radio dispatches.The victim in the April 16th attack around 1 AM on the street just off Cal Anderson Park suffered a head injury, cuts, and bruises in the attack that started as a seeming one-sided dispute outside the Rock Box:

    Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 10.49.47 AM

    Officers responding to the initial fight disturbance contacted the victim as the reported assailants fled the scene. The victim and two friends were walking to a nearby vehicle when the group and the main assailant returned. “You better keep walking,” the male in the gray shirt reportedly yelled. According to the police report, the victim stopped and asked, “What is your problem?” as the group punched and pushed the victim to the ground. After stealing the victim’s phone and doing $280 in damage to a business’s sign, the group fled the area southbound on 11th Ave. Continue reading

Little Oddfellows a surprise chapter as Linda teams up with Elliott Bay Book Company

(Image: elisabethrobson via Flickr)

(Image: elisabethrobson via Flickr)

Little Oddfellows in, EBC out (Image: CHS)

Little Oddfellows in, EBC out (Image: CHS)

When Capitol Hill’s leading author of longterm food and drink success changes the plot of what she’s working on, it’s worth taking note.

Linda Derschang has put aside her stated commitment to focus on her existing six restaurants and bars and the 250+ employees that make them work to take on an irresistible “little” project too close to her Oddfellows nerve center to ignore. It will also give the nightlife maven another opportunity to fine tune her daytime game will collaborating with a major retailer in Elliott Bay Book Company, one of her favorite Pike/Pine businesses.

“There were no plans for The Derschang Group to open any new businesses in 2015 but the opportunity to team up with Elliott Bay Books was too exciting to pass up,” Derschang told CHS via email. “Elliot Bay Books is one of the best bookstores in the country — it’s definitely my favorite, and the current cafe needs little remodeling so it makes the project fairly simple which is appealing.”

Derschang’s surprise Little Oddfellows is planned to replace the Elliott Bay Cafe inside Elliott Bay Book Company this June as cafe creator Tamara Murphy said she has decided not to renew her lease for the space “so that we may pursue other interests and projects.”

“A heartfelt Thank you to (Elliott Bay Book Company owner) Peter Aaron, the bookstore staff, my employees, and of course our customers who made this a fun and interesting ride,” Murphy wrote. Continue reading

Tech companies Mazlo and Tectonic complete trio of Chophouse Row office tenants

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)


IMG_0422There are plenty of reasons why design firm Tectonic wanted to be part of Liz Dunn’s nearly complete Chophouse Row development and preservation project. But on a warm and sunny spring day, having a private outdoor patio definitely tops list.

“It’s rare to have such cool space,” Tectonic’s Vanessa Knudson told CHS while taking in the Capitol Hill views from her company’s second floor patio.

Tectonic was the first office tenant to move into the 11th Ave building between Pike and Union building at the end of March after relocating from 12th Ave. Along with mobile technology startups Glympse and Maslow, the three companies and their roughly 50 employees have quickly gobbled up the project’s two floors of private office space.

Specializing in creating “next generation software experiences,” Knudson said Tectonic’s design-focused team was drawn to Chophouse’s “relaxing and inspiring” space. The second floor office, just over 3,000 square feet, matches the rest of the building’s refined industrial vibe with exposed steel beams, reclaimed wood, and high ceilings.

And just in case the dozens of watering holes within a stones throw of the building won’t suffice, Tectonic has already installed its own bar. Continue reading

Pikes/Pines | What a naturalist suggests for Earth Day (look for Capitol Hill daffodils, for example)


Daffodils may not be native but they’re well worth knowing and enjoying. (Image: Brendan McGarry)

Now, I’d be the last person to speak ill of Earth Day. In it’s 45th year, with tons of opportunities for action throughout the city including the first ever Climate Action Festival at Seattle Central, this is a focused and benevolent movement, not another of the ridiculous panoply of “official days,” As much as I intend to do my part on Earth Day and participate in events that bolster community around the environment, I’d like to suggest another activity for the day. Knowing a slice of your environment.

There are many things that confuse our ability to protect the planet we live on. We over-consume daily, we muck up or pave over wild spaces, we massage the hubris that we can control everything or solve problems solely with technology. A pessimistic part of me looks at how humans on the whole behave, and suggests that we learn as much from our history and past generations as say fruit flies (averaging 10 days per). We can’t expect one lone day to change everything, and yes, most people don’t expect it to, but I can’t help but feel we could do more. Continue reading

This week in CHS history | 22/Union homicide, Grill on Broadway closes, Marination Station opens

8446325522_f3181177b8_oHere are the top stories from this week in CHS history:

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 26,000 photographs -— most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill — and nearby — shutterbugs. Interested in being part of it? If we like your photo and it helps us tell the story, we may feature it on CHS so please include your name and/or a link to your website so we can properly credit you. Interested in working as a paid CHS contributor for scheduled assignments? Drop us a line –- our roster is full for general assignments but pitch us on an idea.

Continue reading

16 things CHS heard at the Capitol Hill ‘Gentrification Conversation’

Thursday night, Capitol Hill residents and community members gathered at First Baptist Church for a “Gentrification Conversation” to formally discuss the radical and rapidly occurring changes in the neighborhood.

Organized by the Capitol Hill Community Council, the forum’s panel featured Tricia Romano – a Seattle Times lifestyle writer and author of the recent front page story on the Hill’s gentrification — and a slew of various community members, many of whom were interviewed for her story, including performer Ade Connere, Michael Wells from the Chamber of Commerce, co-owner of the Wildrose bar Shelley Brothers, Diana Adams (owner of the Vermillion bar and gallery), and Branden Born, an associate professor of urban design and planning at the University of Washington and Capitol Hill resident.

With Romano’s nerve-touching article as a springboard, panelists discussed their own experiences with the influx of capital and “bros” on the Hill, neighborhood identity, and public safety amongst increasing incidents of violence and LGBTQ hate crimes in Pike/Pine.

Here are 16 things CHS heard Thursday night:

  1. “People are coming here specifically to party. I’ve actually heard people call it ‘party mountain’,” said Romano.
  2. “The idea that you hear all the time is ‘that’s just the way the market works.’ Don’t believe that,” said Born. “Your economics professor was lying to you.”
  3. Born said that the city has an organizational flaw in having the DPD and the Department of Neighborhoods separate from one another, adding that DPD is funded via developer fees which incentivises them to approve frenzied development projects. Continue reading

East Precinct’s new commander takes on Pike/Pine crime

Capt. Paul McDonagh in what we *think* was his first public appearance as the new East Precinct commander Friday morning (Image: CHS)

Capt. Paul McDonagh, speaking, in what we *think* was his first public appearance as the new East Precinct commander Friday morning (Image: CHS)

In a Friday morning meeting with business owners from Pike/Pine’s biggest clubs to its smallest and with representatives from retailers like Elliott Bay Book Company and local real estate development companies, East Precinct’s new commander Capt. Paul McDonagh addressed concerns that not enough is being done to police Seattle’s current busiest nightlife and entertainment district.

McDonagh, newly returned to the post he helmed for two and a half years starting in 2009, told the business owners and representatives that increased patrols are already underway and that detective work and investigations are already making a difference. “You’re not going to see officers on every block,” McDonagh said. “That doesn’t mean that we’re not working.”

The meeting came after a letter to city officials and the mayor from more than 40 Pike/Pine businesses in March calling for more cops to patrol the booming neighborhood. “Capitol Hill has a quickly increasing number of residents and people visiting it,” one portion of the letter said. “This increase needs to be met with an increased budget for policing and social services.”

According to details discussed at Friday’s meeting, six to eight officers are typically on patrol at any given time. Emphasis patrols essentially double the police force on the streets. “There will be nights where I put even more out,” McDonagh said. Continue reading