Capitol Hill Pets | Millie on 19th Ave E

IMG_4324

Millie, the Goldendoodle is a regularly seen on 19th between Roy and Mercer where her human, Mary, runs Moonjar. Millie was recently found at Fuel Coffee, patiently waiting for her treat as Mary waited for hers. Millie “leans in” for pets and ear scratches and has been spoiled by the baristas at Fuel.

We ask photographer Alex Garland to follow marchers in the rain and do crazy things like trying to make yet another picture of yet another huge apartment building look interesting. We thought we’d ask him to do something a little more fun. Capitol Hill Pets is a semi-regular look at our furry, fuzzy, feathered, and finned friends found out and about on Capitol Hill.

City responds to 23rd Ave businesses trying to survive street overhaul

IMG_4469

Help is on the way for small business owners on 23rd Ave who say they are on the ropes as a major overhaul of the busy corridor has choked traffic and pushed pedestrians off sidewalks. But it’s not the help they asked for.

Friday afternoon, City Hall representatives tell CHS “project improvements and community financial assistance” are coming to the street at the direction of Mayor Ed Murray.

“As we reconstruct 23rd Avenue, we will do more to respond to the needs and concerns of business owners, with marketing assistance, improved signage and individualized consultations. We want all of our Central Area businesses to succeed during the disruption,” Murray said. “When the project is complete, neighborhood businesses and residents will enjoy a more walkable, active atmosphere with improved access to shops and services.”

23rd Ave owners will not be getting the direct cash relief they have called for, but two city agencies are promising to address some key concerns with the 23rd Avenue Corridor Complete Streets Project.

Responding to community concerns about the project, the Seattle Department of Transportation will reorder its construction schedule to reopen 23rd between Jackson and Yesler in March, one to two months earlier than currently planned. The Office of Economic Development will also provide $102,000 of new funding for marketing the area and business support — but not direct mitigation payments to area businesses. The city said the additional funding follows recent grants of $220,000 for “economic and cultural development projects” in the Central District.

SDOT will also introduce a variant of the Construction Hub program that has been utilized to help improve conditions for businesses around Pike/Pine’s busy blocks of redevelopment. An inspector for the project has been named and designated as a point person for merchant concerns during 23rd Ave construction. You can reach Eric Sadler at (206) 391-7854 and help him in his role “to closely monitor contractor construction activities, and to hear and respond directly to business concerns.”

IMG_4441

Continue reading

Volunteer Park Cafe and Chop Shop sibling Canal Market shutters in Portage Bay

Part of a ripple of Seattle boutique grocery markets — and a member of a small but ambitious family of food+drink venture — has shuttered in Portage Bay after less than a year of business.

Canal Market, on Fuhrman Ave E squeezed between the north tip of Capitol Hill and the water, closed without fanfare this week due to “business reasons,” a former employee tells CHS. Neighbors wondering about the suddenly darkened stretch of retail asked CHS to check in on the market. A representative for the business has not responded to our inquiry about the closure.

The project from Capitol Hill food and drink entrepreneur and chef Ericka Burke took over the space of a former neighborhood bodega with a vision for a marketplace and cafe as other ventures like 19th Ave E-born Cone and Steiner also were forming to give the small-scale grocer business a try.

(Image: Canal Market)

(Image: Canal Market)

“I want this to be the quintessential neighborhood market, a vibrant hub,” Burke’s press release read at the time. “Canal Market will be a meeting place for neighbors to catch up over a cup of coffee, quickly grab a bottle of wine, and shop for dinner. We’re even going totally old school, offering house accounts to make getting in-and-out easy and convenient.”

Designed by Graham Baba and beset with construction delays, Burke finally opened Canal Market last May as her Volunteer Park Cafe settled in after a dispute with neighbors at 19th and Galer and as she geared up for her largest, most ambitious and expensive project — the centerpiece of Pike/Pine’s preservation-friendly Chophouse Row development, Chop Shop.

State corporation documents indicate the company behind the Canal Market has ceased operations. The companies behind Chop Shop and Volunteer Park Cafe, meanwhile, remain active.

Capitol Hill low income housing expert first to jump into race for the 43rd

macriAn advocate for the homeless and low income housing expert is the first candidate to jump *splash* into the 43rd District race to replace Rep. Brady Walkinshaw in the State Legislature.

Nicole Macri, an 11-year Capitol Hill resident, announced her plans to run Thursday in the November election.

UPDATE: It’s a Capitol Hill showdown. Political consultant and LGBTQ advocate Thomas Pitchford quietly entered the 43rd District race in January. The Capitol Hill resident told CHS he decided to take a “slow approach” to the campaign and would likely have a public-facing campaign launch in March.

As the housing director for the Downtown Emergency Service Center, Macri oversees housing and service programs for some 6,000 chronically homeless adults. She is also the board chair of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance and serves on Seattle’s Housing Levy Oversight Committee.

“This was neither an easy decision for me nor one that I took lightly,” Macri said in an email to supporters. “But, my decision to run for the legislature boils down to this: Olympia needs more advocates and champions for affordable housing and mental health.” Continue reading

Seattle gains a woonerf: 12th Ave Square Park now open

Favorites - 6 of 13

(Images: CHS)

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 9.18.58 PM

DCIM100GOPRO

Newly completed 12th Ave Square Park is the kind of open space you need to create in a tightly packed, Central Seattle neighborhood. Where once was an empty, 7,322-square-foot, gravel-covered lot, now is a paved plaza with native plantings, raised pedestals, and a rubber coated mound that answers the cross-neighborhood call of Cal Anderson’s Teletubby Hill. Above it all floats a sculpture by artist Ellen Sollod.

All that and you can drive through it thanks to the James Ct woonerf that runs softly (and one way, only) through the edge of the new public space. Continue reading

By the bottle or by the glass, Revolution Wine now open on E Pike

IMG_4674

Revolution owners Mark and Carmen Brown. (Image: CHS)

With so much beer and coffee news over the past year, Capitol Hill wine lovers may have been feeling a little left out. Demand, it seems, remains strong as the owners of Revolution Wine discovered during their packed opening over the weekend at Belmont and Pike.

Opening Capitol Hill’s newest wine shop and wine bar was a decade in the making for owner Mark Brown, who first drew up the business plan in 2005. Several years working for Xbox’s marketing team put the dream on hold until last year when Brown and his wife, Carmen, secured the former home of The Feed Bag pet shop. Continue reading

On the List | Gay City Arts Showcase, Lunar New Year at Asian Art Museum, 23rd/Jackson meeting, Puppy Bowl Party

(Image: Puppy Bowl)

(Image: Puppy Bowl)

Looking for something to do on and around Capitol Hill this weekend? Here are a few ideas from the CHS Calendar. Something we missed? Add your area events to the list.

CHS Highlights

For more, check out the CHS Calendar. Continue reading

Homeless outreach counselors start Capitol Hill patrols with East Precinct officers

Downtown isn't so far from Capitol Hill

Downtown, where MID patrols began, isn’t so far from Capitol Hill (Image: CHS)

Melancholy

As Mayor Ed Murray seeks more local, state, and federal funding to address the growing crisis, one successful homelessness outreach program has made its way to Capitol Hill.

Outreach counselors from the Metropolitan Improvement District have begun joining East Precinct officers on morning patrols. Cal Anderson is a regular part of the beat. It’s part of a long term strategy to do the hard work of confronting chronic homelessness: Counselors learn who sleeps on the street by name, what issues they face, and slowly, try to find ways to help.

“It’s really a relationship model,” said MID vice president Dave Willard.

Outreach workers often start with offering people socks or blankets to open up a conversation, Willard said. They can also provide city and regional bus tickets, motel vouchers, connections to homeless shelters, and other social services.

The effort follows promises made in the wake of a shooting at Broadway and Pike in November to bring more services to Pike/Pine to help free up East Precinct officers who have found themselves on the front lines of Seattle’s homelessness crisis.

There are currently two outreach workers assigned to Capitol Hill and a third drug abuse and mental health counselor on the way. Willard said the program is on the search for an empty storefront or small office space in the neighborhood. “Just a place to meet with people out of the rain … a table, a couple chairs, maybe a coffee pot,” he said. You can email Willard with any ideas.

Continue reading

3,000 down, 17,000 to go? Mayor proposes $290 million Seattle Housing Levy

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 6.06.29 PMMayor Ed Murray introduced his proposal Wednesday for a doubling of the Seattle Housing Levy to create a $290 million pool “to preserve and produce affordable housing” as the city moves forward on its goal to create 20,000 affordable units by 2025.

“Expanding the Housing Levy is the most important thing we will do this year to support affordability in Seattle,” Murray said in the plan’s announcement. “We know what works – build more affordable homes for low-income families, preserve the affordable housing we have, and keep people from falling into homelessness – and we must renew our commitment and expand the levy so we can do even more.”

A community meeting on the proposal will be held on Capitol Hill later this month. The levy could go to voters as early as August.

CHS reported on the mayor’s levy plans in January as officials responded to the growing Seattle homelessness crisis with calls for more funding. District 3 rep Kshama Sawant has called on City Hall “to allocate $10 million for additional shelter beds” immediately, a call that has — so far — gone unheeded. Sawant also last week repeated her calls for Seattle to move forward with rent control and using the city’s “bonding capacity” to build affordable housing.

Wednesday’s announcement will bring a new 7-year ballot measure to Seattle voters later this year:

Responding to a broad range of affordability needs in Seattle, Mayor Murray’s initial 2016 Housing Levy proposal will produce affordable housing for seniors, people with disabilities, low-wage workers, and people experiencing homelessness. The Levy also provides funding for homelessness prevention and homeownership assistance. The program areas include:

  • Rental Production and Preservation ($201 million capital funding; $39 million operating funding):The Levy proposal will produce and preserve 2,150 apartments affordable for at least 50 years, and reinvest in 350 existing affordable apartments. The proposal also provides operating funds to supplement tenant-paid rent in 475 apartments serving extremely low-income residents. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Dino’s Tomato Pie serving pizza ’round or square’ since March 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 2.04.22 PMpizza-squareAs an experienced restaurateur battling with Seattle’s permitting backlog and booked-up contractors, Brandon Pettit says he feels fortunate to be nearly ready to take his newest creation out of the oven just in time to be part of CHS’s pizza spring.

“We’re starting to brick the ovens. Getting the bar finished up. Recipe testing right after Valentine’s Day,” Pettit said, running through his mental checklist for CHS. “Still anything can go wrong,” he said.

If all that works out, come March 1st, nostalgia-drenched Dino’s Tomato Pie will be open for business at the corner of E Olive Way and Denny — serving pizzas “round or square.”

That’s March 1st, 2016, by the way. Pettit and crew had some fun with the Dino’s marketing, rolling out a black star field-background-ed, animated pizza gif-ed, Netscape-friendly website for the restaurant billed with tongue in cheek as “Seattle’s oldest pizzeria.”

“We wanted to have a site that looked like a random Jersey pizza tavern,” Pettit said. There’s no telling if the circa-2000 site’s promises of “Real Cocktails, Garlic Knots, Jersey Salad, Calzone, Brownie or Blondies,” and  “Watermelon Popsicles” are real or creative teases. The new joint will be open “4ish to 2ish,” the site promises. Continue reading