CHS Pics | A spring fashion party on E Pike

With pictures and reporting by Lisa Hagen Glynn

March brings flowers to Capitol Hill — and spring fashions. Thursday night, some newly sprouted looks for the season were on display at Visette.

“This store is about women of all shapes and sizes, and anytime you want to be beautiful, you should be able to find a dress,” Visal Sam told CHS Thursday during her spring collection preview party at the E Pike store. Continue reading

Big bust raises tensions at Midtown Center

As neighbors living around 23rd and Union concerned about gun violence met at Seattle University for a community crime meeting to discuss recent shootings, a major law enforcement operation including reports of flash bang explosives went down in a tension-filled Midtown Center Thursday night.

Multiple people were taken into custody during the incident first reported to CHS around 7:30 PM Thursday after the operation was well underway.

A Seattle Police spokesperson said Friday morning he was looking into the situation and could not provide details of the arrests and SPD’s possible involvement. Continue reading

As King County booms, how many people live on Capitol Hill? 32,989… and counting

Ways of clapping

“The Seattle area is the ninth fastest-growing metro in the nation, gaining about 1,100 residents per week,” the Puget Sound Business Journal reported Thursday. For those wondering, no, they aren’t all moving to Capitol Hill.

About 32,989 people live in the neighborhood, according to 2016 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. But if you feel like the rate of growth around you has been increasing, you are right. King County, it turns out, gained the fourth highest total of new residents from 2015 to 2016 with an increase of 35,714 neighbors in the county.

How fast is Capitol Hill growing? First, the 32,989 datapoint for 2016 comes with some caveats. CHS used census tracts which most closely match the boundaries of Capitol Hill, which we generally consider to be from I-5 to 23rd Ave, and Roanoke to Madison. Since the census tracts don’t quite match up with our definition (bigger in some places, smaller in others, (get with it census)), the numbers are going to be a bit off. For those keeping score at home, we used census tracts 64, 65, 74, 75, 76, 83 and 84. Continue reading

Studio Current looks for help paying rent at new Pike/Pine home

Moving in (Image: Studio Current)

Moving in (Image: Studio Current)

About six months ago Studio Current moved into its new underground home in the basement of the building housing the Annex Theatre at 11th Ave and E Pike.

The space is bigger with more variety — a multimedia room, a furnished dance space, a raw space, a common area, and a kitchen — but the rent has also “less than doubled.”

“It’s a sweet spot for us, and it’s an art-dedicated building,” said Artistic Director kt Shores.

Shores took over as artistic director at Studio Current in January 2016 after founder Vanessa DeWolf, who personally sponsored the space, stepped down.

Shores is now contributing personally to supplement funds from performances, workshops, and nominal artist fees, to support the space. Continue reading

Part of SDOT’s Broadway safety fix will also roll out across Seattle: a head start for walk signals

We gave the coming Broadway “all way walk” the headline but one of the safety improvements coming to the busy area around Capitol Hill Station will be part of a simple but hopefully effective change to pedestrian crossing signals across Seattle:

At intersections where the city knows accidents are likely, SDOT will preemptively add what Murray called “pedestrian-friendly signals” — walk signs that allow pedestrians into an intersection before drivers’ light turns green, giving walkers greater visibility — and traffic lights with left turn signals, which reduces conflicts between left-turning cars and pedestrians (or trucks) heading straight through an intersection. By adding leading pedestrian signals at 40 intersections citywide, Kubly said, the city expected to reduce crashes by 50 percent at those intersections.

After SDOT analysis, the re-timed signaling will be deployed at the busy Broadway/John/E Olive Way intersection to give pedestrians an advance walk signal before drivers get a green light. SDOT is also planning to add left turn lanes on John and E Olive Way to help better control vehicular traffic flow.

Dongho Chang, city traffic engineer, said pedestrian collision reports including near misses contributed to the decision. “Pedestrian-wise we hear about a lot of close misses,” Chang said.

The department found the majority of collisions were left-turn related from east and westbound drivers on Olive and John. Drivers heading north or south on Broadway didn’t experience many left turn collisions but did have a few rear-ending incidents.

SDOT is planning to implement the changes before summer.

Downtown Dog Lounge leaving Capitol Hill

Just as the plans for Capitol Hill’s first cat cafe are finally taking shape, one of its longest running canine-focused businesses is getting ready to move out.

The Downtown Dog Lounge has been getting its furry clients ready for the big change on E Denny Way for a while now but officially announced its planned departure this week after 10 years on Capitol Hill: Continue reading

Elliott Bay Book Company-friendly buyer found for Capitol Hill’s Ford Building

(Image: Hunters Capital)

(Image: Hunters Capital)

Hunters Capital, owners of the Ford Building, which houses Elliott Bay Book Company, the Little Oddfellows cafe, and fashion retailer Totokaelo, have found a likely buyer for the property.

Jill Cronauer, Chief Operating Officer with Hunters, said the company has a letter of intent with a local buyer.

“It’s not some big, national conglomerate,” Mike Oaksmith, director of development at Hunters said at a Monday Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council meeting.

The potential buyer’s identity and any agreements on price are under wraps for now. Continue reading

Parks board to consider making shorter Broadway Hill hours permanent

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

Following a nine-month pilot of shortened hours for Broadway Hill Park since its 2016 summer opening, the Board of Park Commissioners will consider making those hours permanent on Thursday.

Rachel Schulkin with Seattle Parks and Recreation said the pilot of opening the park at 6 AM and closing it at 10 PM was spurred by a mix of what parks employees were seeing in the park and complaints from area residents.

Staff reported finding beer cans and damaged benches in the park, graffiti had been an issue, 911 calls about loud, late-night activities were frequent, and members of the community reported feeling unsafe in the park in the evening. Continue reading

Serious crash tangles John near Capitol Hill Station

(Image: Matt Mitgang via Twitter)

(Image: Matt Mitgang via Twitter)

One person had to be cut from a crashed vehicle and police were investigating after a two-vehicle collision at John and 10th tied up rush hour traffic and added to street safety concerns on the increasingly busy streets around Capitol Hill Station. There was also a report of a pedestrian possibly injured in the crash.

UPDATE: ‪SFD says patient removed from the crashed car was a female in her 30s. Her injuries were reported as not life threatening. The report of a pedestrian injured in the crash was apparently a mistake in the early confusion at the crash scene.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene around 5:20 PM to a report of the collision. One victim was removed from a car involved in the crash by a fire crew that sliced through the vehicle’s roof.

Police were at the scene to close off John to traffic and begin the investigation of the collision. UPDATE 3/23/2017 9:00 AM: A department spokesperson tells CHS the initial response to the scene was quickly downgraded after the situation as sorted out and a full traffic collision investigation was not necessary due in part to the lack of any serious injuries. There did not appear to be any citations issued to drivers of either of the two vehicles involved in the crash.

The intersection is part of an area identified for pedestrian and street safety improvements. SDOT began gathering feedback on proposed improvements including curb bulbs and plastic posts for the John Thomas corridor this week. Meanwhile, CHS reported that the city has also decided to add left turn lanes on John and E Olive Way at Broadway as well as add an all-way crosswalk at Broadway and Denny after a car struck a pedestrian and other near misses were reported near the busy transit station.

With a ‘catarium’ and sheltered friends looking for homes, Neko Cat Cafe coming to the kitty-corner of Belmont and Pine

It’s not every project on Capitol Hill that comes with approval from the health department specifying rules for the “catarium” —

At all times, the designated cat support employee must always remain in the catrium and cat support function areas. This includes when the cat support employee starts and ends his or her shift. The only exception would be to use the restroom located in the café area. The cat support employee is not allowed in the office, scullery area, and the espresso bar. Please provide a locker or equivalent for your cat support employee to accommodate this requirement.

After more than a year of buzz, Neko Cat Cafe has found a Capitol Hill home at Belmont and Pine below the Annapolis Apartments. Here is the announcement from owner Caitlin Unsell:

We came, we hunted, we pounced. NEKO is officially coming to Capitol Hill this summer! That’s right people, it’s time to squad up and get your cat on. We’ve planted our paws on the corner of Pine and Belmont in the heart of Capitol Hill.
Continue reading