What they’re saying about Capitol Hill Station: Battlestar Galactica, not Bertha

CHS_BGCHS showed you our take on the first look inside Sound Transit’s $110 million Capitol Hill Station. Here’s what the rest of the world saw:

  • The Seattle Transit Blog — Inside Capitol Hill Station:
    Sound Transit brought a four-car train up to Capitol Hill for the tour, providing a glimpse of what service levels could look like in 2021. Spokesman Bruce Gray noted that while two-car trains will still be the norm for U-Link, three-car trains will be mixed in during peak, with flexibility for four-car trains for special events. In 2018, three-car trains will be the norm, and four-car trains will run full-time upon the opening of Northgate Link in 2021. The station itself is compact, deep, and tall. Relative to the DSTT, the mezzanines are graciously much smaller, and the center platform really narrows the feel of the station box. The overall feel is reminiscent of a cross between an industrial cathedral and the flight pod from Battlestar Galactica.
  • The Stranger — A Tour of the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station That’s Set to Open in Early 2016:
    Lest the Bertha boondoggle hog all the limelight, let’s not forget that Capitol Hill has its own tunnel project. The only difference is that everything about it is wonderful. Instead of tunneling to build a massive highway, the project is to build a subway line connecting the heart of Capitol Hill to downtown Seattle and the University of Washington. It is under budget and ahead of schedule. It is definitely not sinking the Earth around it. It will be adorned with eye-popping artwork made by local artists.
  • The Stranger also posted pictures here of the Jet Kiss installation provided by Sound Transit.
  • CHS, by the way, posted pictures from 2010 of artist Mike Ross and crew at work on one of the jets:

    Mike Ross and crew in 2010 after after receiving the A4 fighter jet for the future installation in Capitol Hill Station (Image: Kat Nyberg Photography with permission to CHS)

    Mike Ross and crew in 2010 after after receiving the A4 fighter jet for the future installation in Capitol Hill Station (Image: Kat Nyberg Photography with permission to CHS)

  • KING TV chose to focus on a nearby business:
    Asif Alvi, who runs Perfect Copy and Print on Broadway, says the project put his business in “limbo.” He had to move to accommodate the new station back in 2009. He’s had a front row view from his new spot ever since. “I feel like I’m a survivor, the business survived, but at what level?”
  • Geekwire sees the $1.9 billion U-Link project as putting the “U-District one step closer to being ideal tech hub.”
  • The Seattle Times — Capitol Hill light-rail station nearly ready for trains to rumble, an 11-picture photo essay from photographer Mike Siegel. Meanwhile, the Times featured this essay by former state legislator Bill Finkbeiner: Light rail is our best option to meet population boom

  • The Seattle PI posted a photo gallery with 21 images by photojournalist Josh Trujillo.
  • And the Seattle Bike Blog asked an excellent question:

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Civic Notes | June Seattle bus service expansion, parks smoking ban, arts space forum

"The 47 bus is coming back to Capitol Hill! " (Image: <a href=

@janeofearth via Twitter)” width=”400″ height=”533″ class=”size-medium wp-image-2067163900″ /> “The 47 bus is coming back to Capitol Hill! ” (Image: @janeofearth via Twitter)

With consistently warm and sunny days upon us, it’s time to get out and enjoy the city. Here are a few civic issues that may affect your outings in one way or another.

  • Expanded bus service begins: The Rt. 47 bus is coming back. Thanks to Seattle residents who voted to fund Metro last year and the agency’s regular summer route changes, the Capitol Hill to downtown line and a bunch of other routes will be reinstated or expanded starting in June. Last year’s Seattle Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1 asked Seattle voters if they wanted to buy back sliced Metro services in Seattle and improve existing routes with a $60 annual vehicle license fee and .1% sales tax hike. The measure is expected generate around $45 million annually.

    “The voters of Seattle are funding the largest increase in Metro service in our city in 40 years,” said Mayor Ed Murray in a statement. City funding will help improve Capitol Hill routes 10, 49, and 60 among others. Check here for a full list of route improvements.

  • Parks smoking ban: The Seattle Board of Parks Commissioners approved a tobacco smoking ban (PDF) on Thursday in all Seattle public parks. The ban goes into effect July 1st. On Capitol Hill, where parks serve as the de facto backyard for many renters and homeless people, the ban has been met with considerable opposition. Homeless advocates and other groups managed to get commissioners to drop a $27 fine for violating the ban. Instead, those caught smoking in a park will be met with warnings which could lead to an arrest.
    (Image: Seattle Office of Arts and culture)

    (Image: Seattle Office of Arts and culture)

  • Arts space forum: How can Seattle maintain and expand space for artistic endeavors amid a boom of development activity? It’s a question the city’s Office of Arts & Culture has been trying to find some answers to, and will present some of those findings during a free half-day forum on June 1st. Squared Feet: What’s Next will feature presentations from arts groups and ask participants to vote for an arts project the city should fund. You can learn more at Square Feet 2015 | Where Next?. CHS was there for the first Squared Feet forum in 2013.

Why is this black metal box at 10th and Pike?

Pike/Pinetrenpreneur (and CHS advertiser) Dave Meinert posted a picture Thursday night of this new addition to the streetscape in front of Neumos and claims to have no idea what it is. Our first bet, these days, is marketing. But this one looks… different. Bolted to the sidewalk, the black metal box is supported on a post. Its hinged door reveals a plexiglass screen. In the back there is a wiring hole. At this point, there is nothing to wire.

What is it?

A mysterious black metal box at 10th and E Pike St. Anyone know what it is?

Posted by David Meinert on Thursday, May 28, 2015

A check of permits for the area revealed nothing. We’ve asked SDOT — and others — for any information. We’ll update when we hear back.

(We suggest you review the comments already made on Facebook before you add your joke about 2001, Meinert’s soul, or the NSA… they’ve all been done!)

tōk, Capitol Hill’s first pot shop, to open in longtime home of Angel’s Shoe Repair

IMG_4970When his target location for a recreational pot store on 15th Ave E was snatched up in an 11th hour deal earlier this year, Samuel Burke scrambled in search of a place to open Capitol Hill’s first I-502 shop. He may have found it across Republican at Angel’s Shoe Repair.

If all goes according to plan, Burke tells CHS he will open tōk by the end of June in the space that Ray Angel has occupied since 1980. Customers may also find a familiar face behind the pot shop’s counter: Burke says he wants to sign on Angel to work in his shop.

“I’m always looking for a win-win situation,” Burke told CHS.

Angel, a third generation cobbler, declined to comment on the future of his shop or his involvement with tōk. The family shoe repair business first opened in 1912 and has been on Capitol Hill for nearly 70 years. Joel Ostroff, who manages the property for Stanley Real Estate on behalf of the real estate investors who own the building, also declined to comment.

State Totals via the WSLCB’s Marijuana Dashboard

Burke told CHS on Thursday that he was prepared to sign a lease that day with the 1463 E Republican property owner. The state liquor board has already conditionally approved the new location, which Burke hopes could open as early as next month after he submits a copy of his lease and security plans to state regulators. However, Burke has reason to be cautious. Continue reading

With pastry popular from Tirana to Istanbul, Byrek and Baguette opens on 12th Ave

Eva Gjekmarkaj (Image: CHS)

Eva Gjekmarkaj (Image: CHS)

Natalie Gjekmarkaj behind the counter (Image: Byrek and Baguette)

Natalie Gjekmarkaj behind the counter (Image: Byrek and Baguette)

Natalie Gjekmarkaj knows how to make byrek, said by some to be among the best street food in the world. Now, she has brought the recipe and its secrets to 12th Ave.

“My home country Albania — byrek. Even in Italy, Croatia, Serbia… If you go in Turkey it’s a big deal, too,” Gjekmarkaj tells CHS.

Quietly the newest part of 12th Ave’s Seattle U-proximate food and drink scene, Byrek and Baguette has opened near the corner of E Columbia inside a former Vietnamese restaurant. There, you’ll find a deli case full of byrek and Gjekmarkaj baking away to fill orders from what has become a bit of a booming business providing her flaky creations for business lunch delivery.

The byrek is intended to be a savory, light pastry. “It’s a very light dough and you need to work it about three times and keep it very thin,” Gjekmarkaj says. Her fillings are simple. She currently offers six: Continue reading

Police arrest suspected gunman in Capitol Hill robbery shooting

SPD announced Thursday that a SWAT team has arrested the suspected gunman in a May 23rd shooting near Summit and Howell:

SWAT officers served a search warrant in the Leschi neighborhood early this morning and arrested the suspected gunman in Saturday’s shooting.

SWAT officers converged on a home in the 800 block of 28 Ave. S. and arrested a 20-year-old man, identified by robbery detectives during their investigation.

Police interviewed the man and booked him into King County Jail for investigation of Robbery and Assault. Detectives continue to investigate the case.

The May 23rd shooting sent a cell phone robbery victim to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries in the incident just after 2:30 AM near Summit and Howell. One of the robbery suspects also was shot in the foot. Police say the gunfire began after the robbery as the victim and a person with him began following the suspects demanding the return of a phone. Police say the suspect pulled out a gun and began shooting, hitting the victim in the leg and striking the other suspect in the foot. A nearby apartment building was also struck by the gunfire.

Earlier Thursday, CHS reported that police said the suspected accomplice in the crime has not yet been arrested while he recuperates from his gunshot wound.

Blotter | Woman suspected of trying to add stolen car to booty from 14th Ave restaurant theft nabbed by employees

(Image: Nue via Vimeo)

(Image: Nue via Vimeo)

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

  • 14th Ave theft suspect caught on video: The employees at Nue restaurant swung into action Tuesday night after a suspected thief attempted to return to the scene and allegedly make off with an even larger prize. Here’s the video and details posted by Nue about Tuesday night’s caper:

    Okay, maybe I had a little too much fun doing this but we caught our first crook! Last night a woman came into Nue, ordered a Coke and some food, sat around for a bit and then darted out with a stolen purse, cellphone, keys to the restaurant, our house and our car! A while later she returned to the ‘scene’ trying to figure out which car the key fob worked on in order to steal that too. Butterfingers accidentally hit the ‘Alarm’ button at which point our bartender and kitchen crew hopped off the line, chased her down for a tackle and a full recovery of the goods before the police arrived.
    The cops asked if I had any video footage and just couldn’t resist the urge to put together a ‘case’. Lessons learned: 1: Stealing is wrong, 2: NEVER return to the scene and 3: Nue has some bad ass staff. Footnote: We never did get paid for the Coke :(
    Police responded to the area around 9:30 PM to a report that three or four people were holding a woman down on the pavement near 14th and Madison. She had apparently waited around two hours after the purse theft to return to the area. The suspect was taken into custody but we don’t more about any charges at this point. There were no reported injuries. Continue reading

Seattle tenant protection bills introduced as renter rights issues gain ground

District 3 isn’t the only City Council race where candidates are trying to prove their mettle on affordable housing. City Council president Tim Burgess has introduced two tenant protection bills: one to extend the notice landlords must give for certain evictions, and another to require owners of some affordable housing buildings to notify the city before selling their properties.

The move comes as Burgess’s top challenger in the citywide Council Position 8 race — former Tenant’s Union director Jon Grant — has gained ground heading towards the August 4th primary.

Grant’s strong showing in the 43rd District Democrats endorsement event has put him in a runoff vote with Burgess next month. Grant has also picked up endorsements from the 46th District Democrats and the 32nd District Democrats.

Burgess’s first proposal would require landlords to give 90 days notice when they plan to move into the unit or move in an immediate family member. Currently, landlords only have to give 20 days notice for such evictions. The legislation would also require landlords intending to sell a rental unit to give renters 90 days notice instead of 60 days notice.

The second bill would mandate that landlords notify the city when they intend to sell any multi-family rental housing building with five or more units, where at least one unit is affordable to households at or below 80% of area median income. The notification would, in theory, give the city’s Office of Housing and the Seattle Housing Authority time to consider purchasing the units. There’s no requirement that the property owner sell to the city should it make an offer.

In 98102, an affordable rent for a household making 80% of the area’s median income would’ve been roughly $1,445 a month in 2013 (assuming 30% of income spent on housing is affordable).

“The growing lack of affordable housing poses a direct challenge to our vision of an equitable city,” Burgess said in a statement.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 9.26.22 PMAnd it’s not just in Seattle. A recent study found that average rents nationwide have gone up 5% for the third straight month, leading to the biggest growth in rents in nearly four years. Meanwhile, in a sample of recent Capitol Hill listings, the median monthly lease for a one-bedroom apartment was nearly $1,800, up $100 from a similar sampling method last month. Rent for studios are, on average, listing for about $200 more as well. Continue reading

On the List | Garfield High Drumline Expo, Bite of Greece, Invisible Arcade, Cathedrals X

The Bulldog Drumline Expo (BDX) in 2014 (Image: CHS)

The Bulldog Drumline Expo (BDX) in 2014 (Image: CHS)

A seventh annual celebration of keeping the beat and hitting it hard at Garfield High School leads this weekend’s parade of things to do around Capitol Hill.

The Bulldog Drumline Expo (BDX) is Saturday:

Mark your calendars for the 7th Annual Bulldog Drumline Expo (BDX) on May 30th, 2015 from 12 noon to 3pm at the Garfield High School Gymnasium in Seattle. The event brings middle and high school drumlines from across the state to showcase their talent and compete in friendly drumline battles. Garfield’s Varsity Drumline as the host school will showcase their music and perform cadences.

Here’s what it looked — and sounded — like in 2014.

More weekend highlights:

  • ecLyiH_rsz_1rsz_1rsz_ad_250_x_250_5-6-15Pedestrian Pike/Pine discussion — Thursday: The Capitol Hill Community Council meets Thursday night for a public discussion on creating a Pike/Pine pedestrian zone.
  • Tashkent Park Improvement — Thursday: Add your feedback to the plans to upgrade Boylston Ave’s Tashkent Park.
  • Invisible Arcade at Fred Wildlife — Thursday: Invisible Arcade is “a recurring video game expo/concert” in which “performers play their games on-stage as a performance for the audience.” Some of you probably just said, “No way.” Others said, “Cool!” Added bonus: It’s free.
  • Bite of Greece — all weekend: Head to 13th Ave for the the 3rd Annual Bite of Greece at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption: From souvlaki to salata, from bougatsa to baklava! We have a Taverna, Kafenion, and music and dancing too! OPA!!!
  • Montlake Elementary 3rd Annual Eat Real & Art Walk — Friday: The Montlake Elementary school fundraiser includes “school garden tours, plant sales, fresh food by Cafe Lago, El Chito, and Big Spoon Ice Cream, a small farmers market,live music from past graduates, UW Bookstore sale, and the ever popular urban farm animal petting zoo.”5-30-Cathedrals-X-Web-590x456-400x309
  • Cathedrals X — Saturday: St. Mark’s hosts a night of “a’capella performances by local indie musicians.”
  • A Celebration of Judith Kitchen — Sunday: Hugo House hosts a memorial for writer Judith Kitchen. “In addition to a few planned remembrances, there will be a chance for anybody who is so moved to speak briefly about Judith, read something of hers, or read something influenced by her.” The reviewer for the Georgia Review passed away last fall.

Check out the CHS Calendar for more or add your community events.  Continue reading

Capitol Hill food and drink veteran sells Broadway’s Corretto

Corretto opened on Broadway in spring 2014 (Image: CHS)

Corretto opened on Broadway in spring 2014 (Image: CHS)

After a year of coffee and cocktail craft in the location, a Capitol Hill food and drink veteran has cashed out of Broadway.

Duvall said he’s “only usually on the other side of the counter”

Travis Rosenthal, owner of longtime Pike date spot Tango and next door sibling rum bar Rumba, tells CHS that he has sold his Broadway Italian restaurant and cocktail bar, Corretto. Rosenthal said the sale was driven by a desire to spend more time with his family and focus on his neighboring Pike ventures.

CHS spoke with Jim DuVall who said he bought the Broadway restaurant as an “opportunity” even though he’d never been inside and is new to the food and drink business.

Duvall, who said he works in city government in the greater Seattle area, said he’s “only usually on the other side of the counter” so is in learning mode and isn’t planning any major changes in the near term. “Just like anything else, we’re figuring out how they’ve been doing it,” Duvall said. Later, an expanded menu and hours could be part of the plan.

“Its location actually has quite a bit of potential,” Duvall said.

It’s the second sale of the restaurant business in only three years. In 2014, Rosenthal acquired the Panevino restaurant that had inhabited the space. The Corretto concept he had been planning for Minor and Pine was moved up the Hill. Along with an ambitious overhaul came an ambitious mission to mix the worlds of craft cocktails and craft coffee:

One small business cannot completely embody a neighborhood, but it’s not uncommon for a single bar or cafe to reach symbolic status in a city, to be first thing that leaps to mind upon mention of a certain area or its inhabitants.

It remains to be seen if Corretto will become that business for Broadway or Capitol Hill. But the melding of craft cocktails with craft coffee wrapped in a decidedly Seattle decor certainly looks like Capitol Hill’s ultimate act.

Hmmm. That might have been a bit… much. Over the year since it opened in spring 2014, Corretto scaled back and shed the daytime hours. This month’s sale will further shave away the original concept.

Given our track record in the search for any greater meaning in our write-up on Corretto’s opening, you might want to take any CHS big picture pontification at this point in 416 Broadway E’s lifespan with a grain of salt. But we can tell you this. In addition to more family time and time at Tango and Rumba, Rosenthal also tells CHS he received his commercial real estate agent license, “so if anyone is looking to buy or sell a restaurant,” he says, “look me up.” We’ll let you sort out what it all means.