Demolition at 15th and Howell

"Bob, what have we done?" (Image: CHS)

“Bob, what have we done?” (Image: CHS)

Longtime readers of the site know CHS is your leading source for Capitol Hill demolition porn:

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Though our own pace of demolition postings has slowed, it’s not because the development pace has finally slowed down and fewer demolitions are happening on Capitol Hill — we recently tallied 94 demolition permits in 2013, 70 in 2014, and 67 through September 2015.

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Tearing down Ballard? DPD demolition-related permitting activity, 2015 (Source: seattle.gov)

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But the location and scale of the tear-downs has changed. The era of ripping down a block of old buildings in the heart of Pike/Pine — for now — has passed. The recent demolition that quickly and mostly quietly came at 15th and Howell is an example of a ripping apart of an older building we might skip these days, leaving Twitter and Facebook to document the mildewy smell of splintered boards and piles of twisted metal mixed with yellowed insulation.

Tuesday, it inspired a CHS Community Post documenting the old apartment building mid-demolition — and then the corner was cleared. The recent increase in ejected furnishings and old appliances from the apartments being spread around the neighborhood had come to an end.

What’s next is another thing neighbors on Capitol Hill have become more accustomed to. Construction will soon begin on an “urban apartment building” with 57 “small residential units.” The microhousing from developer Greenbuild and designed by Caron architects got its final approval from the design review board about a year ago last January. When it is complete, the corner will have traded two buildings with 8 units for nearly 60 averaging 341 square feet a piece.

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Displaced by Broadway Whole Foods, Walgreens pharmacy is relocating to Pike/Pine

(Image: Broadstone Infinity)

(Image: Broadstone Infinity)

It seems even Walgreens must succumb to the omnipotent force of a brand new Broadway Whole Foods.

In order to make way for a 16-story apartment and grocery store development at Madison and Broadway, the national drug store chain is moving its Community Pharmacy to commercial space in new construction at 11th and E Union. The third Walgreens business on Capitol Hill is slated to open in the coming months, a company representative tells CHS.

Community Pharmacy does not have a standard format Walgreens retail store, but provides immunizations, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS support in addition to a regular pharmacy counter.

Walgreens join Renee Erickson’s E Union triumvirate in the Broadstone Infinity building. Bar Melusine, Bateau, and General Porpoise Coffee and Doughnuts opened in November. The new pharmacy space will be located on the 11th Ave side of the project — mid-block between Pike and Union. Continue reading

County pitches in with $17M in spending on homelessness and affordable housing

As Seattle is moving ahead with a plan to boost its emergency spending to fight homelessness in the city to $7.6 million, there have been calls for more to be done at the state and federal level. King County has responded.

Earlier this week, County Executive Dow Constantine announced $17 million plan in spending and the creation of an additional 237 units of affordable housing. The initiative will provide rental assistance to those who used to be homeless, military veterans, immigrants and refugees, and families fleeing domestic violence, the announcement reads.

“We continue to take action to help those who are homeless today, and prevent children and families from falling into homelessness tomorrow,” Constantine said. “This humanitarian crisis requires a comprehensive, prevention-oriented approach that crosses all levels of government working with community partners. We’re delivering results at the local level — now we need our Legislature and Congress to join us.”

The county is touting more than $17 million in spending to address the crisis:

  • $280,000 in emergency funding to expand shelter capacity and access in South and East King County and create a day center in South King County.
  • $7 million for capital projects that will create an additional 237 units of affordable housing, including units reserved for military veterans and formerly homeless residents.
  • $10 million in rental assistance, funds to operate affordable housing so that it is a positive asset in the community, and funds for support services to help families and individuals remain stably housed through case management, help finding employment, education, and other services.

With Seattle’s issues around encampments and the continuing to grow number of people living unsheltered in the city, critics of programs to address the issue have criticized City Hall for being too soft on homeless people and welcoming all comers to “Freeattle.” But the numbers of homeless outside the city appear to be growing just as quickly — if not faster. The 2016 One Night Count found 4,505 people living unsheltered in the streets of King County overnight. That’s a 19% increase over last year’s survey. In Seattle, the count found 2,942 outside, up from 2,813 in 2015, a 4.5% jump.

Police release video of Capitol Hill kidnapping attempt

Seattle Police have released security video from the February 2nd kidnapping attempt in which a man tried to force a woman into a truck in the 1600 block of Bellevue:

SPD’s update describes the late Tuesday, February 2nd attack:

Detectives are releasing a surveillance video that captured last Tuesday’s assault. The grainy video shows the suspect pull up curbside just as the victim walks into frame. The suspect can be seen reaching into the cab before lunging at the victim. The victim quickly breaks free and the suspect retreats to the truck before speeding off.

Detectives are asking anyone with information in this case to please call (206) 684-5767.

Police released the first information on the attack Wednesday more than a week after the attempted abduction.

The 29-year-old woman told police she was walking near Bellevue and E Pine on February 2nd around 11:30 PM when a man driving in a dark blue pickup truck pulled alongside her, grabbed her arms, and told her to get in his car. When others noticed the woman screaming, the suspect drove off. The victim was unharmed.

According to the police report on the incident, the shaken victim said she had never seen the man before, describing the suspect to police as an older white male, around 5’10”, and wearing a dark beanie:

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The investigation has focused on the blue truck used in the attack. A witness described the truck to police as a dark blue 2000 Chevy Silverado extended cab pickup truck, with tinted windows.

If you have information that could help the investigation, call 911 or (206) 684-5767.

Residents call for protected street parking in busy blocks around ‘greenest office building in the world’

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 10.56.11 AMBy Joy Chu, UW News Lab / Special to CHS

The blocks around the innovative Bullitt Center suffer from an old-school urban problem — it’s tough to find a place to park.

Tuesday night, residents and workers around 15th and Madison’s Bullitt Center had their say about a proposed expansion of a restricted parking zone that limits the time cars from outside the neighborhood can be parked on the street in the area.

The main concern of the evening was from Capitol Hill residents about the lack of parking in their neighborhoods, which they blamed on commuters working in the vicinity.

Some residents spoke out against employees of the Bullitt Center, saying that when it was initially built employees and visitors wouldn’t park in their neighborhood spots but that behavior has since shifted.

Meanwhile, commuter Rosie Heffernan said that between the Bullitt Center, Temple De Hirsch Sinai, the expanding Seattle Academy, and the businesses that sandwich this section on all sides, she has a tough time finding parking for work. Bussing is not an option, she said, because there are no direct busses that go to this part of the neighborhood.

“Our usual overflow has been ‘Zone 2’d’ so we no longer have a place to park,” said Heffernan. Continue reading

On the List | February Capitol Hill Art Walk, Neighbor Appreciation Day work parties, BadWill Valentine’s

City Council member Lorena González joined Michelle Frankfurter at the opening of Destino earlier this week (Image: CHS)

City Council member Lorena González joined Michelle Frankfurter at the opening of Destino earlier this week (Image: CHS)

The second Thursday of the month brings another Capitol Hill Art Walk to the galleries, cafes, bars, restaurants, and miscellaneous art spaces in the neighborhood. If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day gift, how about some art?

February’s walk also brings a new exhibition to the Hill with Destino at the newly opened Creative Blueprint on Boylston:

Documentary photographer Michelle Frankfurter traveled Mexico documenting the journeys of young people escaping poverty and violence in Central America, riding on tops of dangerous freight trains, and following Border Patrols along the US/Mexico border. Images from her book, Destino, are featured on CNN, the Washington Post,and The Guardian. Maybe you’ve read recent news on pre-dawn raids and deportations of Central American families. Hundreds of civil rights and others groups are asking the U.S. government to pause the raids and consider other courses of action before sending people, especially young women and children, back to desperate, dangerous conditions in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Destino runs through February 18th.

Continue reading

With First Hill pavement parks success, city planning more in 2016 including one on Capitol Hill

If you climbed First Hill at University, Union, and Boylston last summer, you might have been surprised by the sudden appearance of a colorful Mediterranean-style plaza that had replaced a dingy and utterly confusing semi-triangular intersection. This is “UUB,” the pavement park put together by the First Hill Improvement Association and the City of Seattle. It was soon dotted with local residents who looked comfortably at home. Who wouldn’t want to hang out at this sunny space with its turquoise-painted pavement, café tables, and lime-green umbrellas reflecting up at the surrounding buildings?

UUB is one of two Pavement to Parks projects piloted over the summer under the city’s Adaptive Streets program. The other is the similarly turquoise pavement park at 9th and University. Their August openings were part of a summer of “tactical urbanism” around Central Seattle that included a lukewarm response to a new “streatery” opportunity and a test of a Pike/Pine pedestrian zone that rankled some area business interests while providing some fantastic photographic opportunities.

With space for parks in the neighborhoods around Capitol Hill requiring more and more creative solutions (see also: 12th Ave Square Park), reception for the First Hill parks has been more positive. In 2016, in fact, City Hall will move forward with similar projects in four more locations — including Capitol Hill.

Susan McLaughlin, urban design and transport strategic adviser to SDOT, summarized the feedback from residents. “We found that the success of the space was just the ability to sit in a safe open public space,” she said. “This is an area where the older apartment buildings don’t always have an open space of their own.” Continue reading

State Senate (barely) votes down anti-transgender bathroom bill

Capitol Hill businesses have increasingly solved for any legislative complications by creating gender neutral bathrooms like the facilities pictured here at the new Optimism Brewing (Image: CHS)

Capitol Hill businesses have increasingly solved for any legislative complications by creating gender neutral bathrooms like the facilities pictured here at the new Optimism Brewing (Image: CHS)

There are more where this came from. Washington senators Wednesday narrowly voted down legislation to change a new policy guaranteeing the right of the state’s transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender with which they identify.

Capitol Hill’s 43rd District Sen. Jamie Pedersen said the legislation would “send a terrible” message to transgender people before joining in the vote against the bill. The final tally showed the legislation failed to leave the senate by one vote — 24 to 25.

While Washington’s Democrat-controlled House likely means senate GOP-powered legislation on LGBTQ issues is likely doomed, for transgender people living in Washington and those who support them, there are more indignities to come in Olympia. “There are five more of these bills working through the legislature, including a so-called ‘genital check’ proposal,” the Stranger reports.

Head up to Capitol Hill’s Cloud Room to talk about small business design

(Image: Salt House Studios)

(Image: Salt House Studio)

Here’s your chance to visit The Cloud Room.

Salt House Studio will be hosting a Design Happy Hour in The Cloud Room, a co-working space situated on the fourth floor of Chophouse Row, Thursday from 5:30 PM to 7 PM.

Holly Torneby, co-founder of the design studio, decided to bring together the Design Happy Hour to focus on big design on a small business budget.

Torneby and her business partner Holly Robins first met in 2012 when they were attending Seattle Central’s Creative Academy Design Program. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Pike/Pine plein air

(Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Love keeps finding CHS. We’ve already introduced you to a few Capitol Hill originals — Saab the writer, Alen̈a the violinist — to help you give your sweetie something special for Valentine’s Day. Here’s another idea we found this week while wandering around the Hill. You could create a Pine plein air painting for your lover. Check it out.