Too austere? Developers asked to liven up Seattle U’s 10-story 12th and Madison building

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Seattle University’s latest “major institution” design for a new building at 12th and Madison may actually be a little too institutional. That was the message from some members of the Seattle University Standing Advisory Committee during its meeting Monday night.

“It reminds me of a telecommunications building, to put it honestly,” said Capitol Hill architect John Feit, who sits on the committee tasked with reviewing the project’s designs and adherence to its master plan. Committee members primarily took issue with size and ratio of windows compared to the rest of the facade. Some cited the building’s proximity to Capitol Hill and the neighborhood arts districts as reasons for a more colorful palate. Continue reading

Murray hires Seattle director of homelessness

Seattle now has a director of homelessness. Mayor Ed Murray announced the new addition to his cabinet Tuesday.

George Scarola will be the first ever to serve in the new position “responsible for leading the City’s homelessness efforts across departments, providing oversight and evaluation of outcomes, strategic guidance, and leading community engagement.” Continue reading

Police arrest two, seize handgun after Broadway robberies, pistol whipping

SPD says it captured two robbery suspects armed “with a handgun and a backpack full of narcotics” early Tuesday morning after two robberies along Broadway near Cal Anderson Park:

vgveOfficers Jamison Maehler and Christopher Couet were walking a foot patrol near Broadway and East Howell Street just before 5 AM when they heard a man shouting for police. Officers raced to the man’s aid, and learned two suspects had offered him drugs and then tried to rob him at gunpoint.

The victim pointed out the two suspects, who were walking south on Broadway.

Officers Maehler and Couet chased after the suspects, who split up and took off in different directions. Police were able to chase down and arrest both men, who are 20 and 22 years old.

Police discovered the 20-year-old was carrying a pistol, along with a backpack containing 8 grams cocaine, 7 grams heroin, 8 grams of heroin and a variety of pills, marijuana and a small scale. He is also convicted felon unable to legally possess firearms.

As officers were investigating at the scene, police received another report that the same two suspects had robbed another man in the same area a short time earlier.

Police booked both suspects into the King County Jail for investigation of robbery.

Seattle Fire also responded to the 400 block of Broadway E to treat one robbery victim who was pistol whipped in the head, according to radio dispatches.

Starbucks Capitol Hill Station planned for Broadway and Denny

Almost the original Starbucks logo...

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.02.59 PMWe look ahead in Capitol Hill food+drink from time to time but it’s pretty unusual for CHS to find a new project in motion when there is little more than a construction pit. Coffee giant Starbucks does things differently — CHS has learned the company is planning a new cafe across the street from the Capitol Hill Station light rail and development site.

Plans are in motion for a Broadway-facing cafe in the six-story apartment building just beginning construction at Broadway and Denny. The corner was the longtime home of the US Post Office before the feds moved their snail mail operation up the street. Demolition revealed the corner’s auto row past. It now has a caffeinated future. Continue reading

Deemed a flight risk, Peaches McFly taken into custody on Capitol Hill

Busted (Image: peachmcfly via Instagram)

Busted (Image: peachmcfly via Instagram)

Free-range Central Seattle cockatoo Peaches McFly has an Instagram account. Now Peaches also has an arrest record.

Monday night, SPD took the bird into custody after a series of sightings across Capitol Hill: Continue reading

CHS Pics | Tempest staged without a stage in Volunteer Park

In a neighborhood crunched for arts spaces that arts groups can actually afford, the REBATEnsemble might present a few useful lessons.

Bringing “engaging theatre to unconventional spaces,” the “Recession-Era Broke-Ass Theatre Ensemble” has learned how to stage even the greatest works of performance without a stage. Or a theater, for that matter. Continue reading

As it seeks bigger presence on Capitol Hill, Central Co-op faces scrutiny over Tacoma closure

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Co-op members gather in Tacoma Sunday to watch a live tweeting of a “community conversation.” (Image: Friends of the Co-op)

As Central Co-op continues its effort to open a second Seattle grocery store above the Capitol Hill light rail station, some members from the cooperative’s recently closed Tacoma branch want to know when they will get their store back.

The Tacoma Central Co-op closed in July when the board of trustees said it could not come to terms with the property owner on a new lease. CEO Dan Arnett said financial issues were also at play and the grocery store would have closed in the first quarter of 2016 had the merger with Central not taken place.

Some Tacoma members say they were blindsided by the closure and have been left in the dark about the future of their co-op. A group of Tacoma members have since started holding weekly meetings to demand more transparency from the board. On Sunday, Friends of the Co-op founder Monique Smith said Tacoma members drew up a list of questions for the board, including questions about the co-op’s finances. They also want the board to commit to opening a store in Tacoma within two years.

“The Tacoma community was devastated because they had worked so hard to get the co-op in that location, to serve the 6th Ave community, and to get to the point of growth in profits,” Smith said. “Without involving the Tacoma community, without asking for fundraising help to keep the co-op alive, a board of 11 members, two of which represented Tacoma, decided to close the Tacoma location.” Continue reading

What it’s like being in the same bar as Real World: Seattle

(Image: @uhluviuh via Twitter)

(Image: @uhluviuh via Twitter)

What is it like having the Real World: Seattle cast living and playing in the neighborhood? Ask Capitol Hill resident Julia Aaker about her recent brush with the production inside a Pike/Pine bar over the weekend.

“That’s what made me mad!” she tells CHS of the moment when an apparent Real World producer intervened to stop a bouncer from removing a foul-mouthed bigot from the bar Aaker and friends were in Saturday night. Aaker says the producer wanted to keep the creep in the scene for the reality TV shoot. Continue reading

Seattle Acoustic Festival quietly grows to three days at Broadway’s All Pilgrims

The Seattle Acoustic Festival returns to Capitol Hill this week with pay what you can pricing, a gloriously underrated musical venue in Broadway’s All Pilgrims, and an expanded three days of performances.

“We wanted it to stay small and focused but we’ve decided to let it grow a little bit,” organizer and musician Elijah Dhawan tells CHS.

The 2016 festival starts Friday and runs through the weekend across three stages at All Pilgrims, 500 Broadway E. This is the third year Dhawan and co-organizer Paul Mauer have held the festival. The two also organize an annual acoustic festival in Olympia. Continue reading

Boom Noodle closes after decade at 12th and Pike

When Boom Noodle was born in 2007, the version of Pike/Pine’s entertainment district we know today was just beginning. Investments like Boom, for better and for worse, made it happen. Over the weekend, the chain concept that never really got off the ground closed for good after a decade of shifting concepts at 12th and Pike.

The farewell message was posted on Boom’s doors letting customers know that Sunday would be the last day of service for the Japanese fusion noodle house from the Blue C family of restaurants:

We’ve been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve the Capitol Hill and Seattle area for the past 10 years and it saddens us to announce that this weekend will be our last. Our lease is coming to an end and it’s time to bid our wonderful guests and neighbors farewell. Continue reading

Town Hall hopes to become First Hill gateway as two 32-story towers set to join block

(Image: Michael Hanscom via Town Hall Seattle)

(Image: Michael Hanscom via Town Hall Seattle)

(Image: Town Hall Seattle)

(Image: Town Hall Seattle)

This August, the amazing old church that grew up to be First Hill’s Town Hall Seattle isn’t doing much but getting older as it reaches the 100th anniversary of its construction. Next August, the landmark building — and its block at 8th and Seneca — will begin a massive process of overhaul and change that will rebuild the old Town Hall and functionally rotate the structure’s presence to create what the nonprofit hopes is a new presence for the structure as a connector between downtown and a rapidly growing First Hill neighborhood. Along with the new orientation, more than 500 new neighbors are also coming to the block in a set of apartment towers planned to join the 100-year-old building.

Capital campaign director for Kevin Malgesini said that the corner of Town Hall closest to the I-5 lid Freeway Park is a focal point of the renovation project. “We’re looking at the way this corner links the two neighborhoods,” he said. “What it is is really visually connecting Freeway Park and First Hill, rather than First Hill turning its back on the city.”

Malgesini said the nondescript and closed-off nature of the building’s current west facade makes it unapproachable from downtown Seattle. “I think there are many people who see the building and don’t know what it is.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Champion wants to hear from all corners for light rail station development focus groups

The Capitol Hill Champion group is looking for community feedback about the development around the light rail station on Broadway.

CHC is specifically interested in hearing from Capitol Hill residents who haven’t been as vocal so far in the design process and is looking for focus group participants this fall.

The first of four focus groups includes seniors, families with small children and people with accessibility or mobility challenges. The second group will be made up of artists, students and the nightlife community. The next group includes small business owners and workers — especially those in the service industry. The final group will consist of social service professionals and people who are homeless.

To participate in a focus group go to tinyurl.com/CHCFocusGroupApp.

The Champion is a joint project from the Capitol Hill Community Council and the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce that began in 2010. The organization has been advocating for community design priorities during the light rail development.