On the List | Egg hunts, Easter services, brunches, Earth Day plant exchange, Record Store Day

8604231928_7c096a6a82_b-600x400It’s a holiday and 4/20 weekend sure to be filled with magic Easter eggs on Capitol Hill.

egg-hunt-insta-400x400Egg hunts around the neighborhood are already underway. Saturday, you’ll find public invites to hunts in Cal Anderson and a hunt in Volunteer Park. “Babies go first.” Aw, shucks, that’d adorable.

There are lots more Easter happenings on the CHS Calendar including services, brunches… and CC Attle’s Third Annual Easter Bonnet Contest. You can also include a Good Friday Service in your plans and how about a Friday history talk on Seattle’s Lily Kempson & Ireland’s Easter Rising of 1916.

plant exchange 2013Next week also brings Earth Day — Thursday night, you can get a green-thumb start with a plant exchange at Miller Community Center:

Come celebrate springtime in Seattle with fellow gardeners in your community! Share plants, seeds, tools, yard art and knowledge. Everyone is welcome, especially new gardeners. Also, there will be a gardening activity for children.

Also Thursday at the April meeting of the Capitol Hill Community Council, discuss the minimum wage debate with neighbors and representatives at the table as city leaders try to pound out a plan to address income inequality in Seattle. You may need a glass of wine from this Vino Verite tasting before you wade in.

Saturday, meanwhile, is Record Store Day. Stop by Porchlight, Wall of Sound, Everyday Music, Platinum Records, Gruv or Spin Cycle to see what is spinning.

Something to add? Let us know on the CHS Calendar — more listings below:

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14 developers in running to forge Capitol Hill Station retail and housing sites

Just build this -- a design submitted by a team of University of Washington students for the Capitol Hill Station "transit oriented development" in a 2011 class exercise

Just build this — a design submitted by a team of University of Washington students for the Capitol Hill Station “transit oriented development” in a 2011 class exercise

Surrounding the under-construction Capitol Hill Station, the development sites will line Broadway and neighbor Cal Anderson

Surrounding the under-construction Capitol Hill Station, the development sites will line Broadway and neighbor Cal Anderson

The candidates to develop some of Capitol Hill’s most prominent and prized projects have added their names to the list and they include a mix of neighborhood, local, and national developers. Fourteen companies and nonprofits officially responded to Sound Transit’s February request for qualifications to develop 100,000 square feet of “transit oriented development” that will surround the future Capitol Hill light rail station. The project will include housing, retail, and community space on five sites stretching along Broadway from John to Denny.

A couple of familiar Capitol Hill names have thrown their names into the hat, including Capitol Hill Housing and a partnership that includes local developer Maria Barrientos. Sound Transit spokesperson Bruce Gray said the agency recieved more responses than it expected.

“It’s obviously a hugly desireable site,” Gray said. “It’s a fantstic opportunity for great development, and people want to be in the middle of Capitol Hill.” Continue reading

With ‘low tech stage magic,’ Chaos Theory brings the apocalypse to 11th and Pike

Chaos Theory opens Friday at the Annex

Chaos Theory opens Friday at the Annex

Maybe Courtney Meaker writes plays about the end of the world because she grew up in small-town Tennessee and had to hang out with a lot of people who didn’t hate homosexual people, they just hated homosexuality. In a conversation with CHS, Meaker says that she majored in creative writing and theater, but had never written a play before coming to Seattle. Continue reading

Prepare for Metro cuts with new First Hill commuter slide — UPDATE

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UPDATE: A commuter takes the plunge on the new transportation system

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 8.17.44 AMArea civic leaders are unveiling a set of alternatives Thursday to help commuters get around the city should the Metro service-saving Prop 1 not gather enough King County votes before next Tuesday’s Election Day. While it’s not the warmest day for it, the new First Hill infrastructure will certainly be wet enough for a fast ride. Stop by. The new system utilizes ORCA cards and accepts transfers.

County leaders to announce “New Commuter Toolkit” featuring Slip ‘N Slides and zip line
Seattle – Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci, and Redmond Mayor John Marchione will announce a “New Commuter Toolkit” on Thursday. They will unveil plans for a zip line from Seattle to Redmond and have a prototype Slip ‘N Slide on hand for commuters from Capitol Hill to downtown. This will ensure commuters are prepared in case King County voters don’t approve Proposition 1 to prevent devastating cuts to bus service.

These new options are environmentally sustainable and promote an active, healthy lifestyle for commuters. Experts think King County’s 150 days of annual rainfall make our region a perfect place to test commuting by Slip ‘N Slide. Students and commuters will be on hand to demonstrate how to travel via Slip ‘N Slide, which will be set up alongside Seneca in Freeway Park. All are welcome to participate.

Eastside leaders will be on hand to unveil the preliminary design and route for a zip line to Bellevue and Redmond. This exciting new transportation option is also environmentally sustainable and will provide commuters unparalleled views of Mt. Rainier.

While buses currently serve thousands of commuters well every day, regional leaders stressed the need to prepare commuters for what life will be like if we don’t approve Proposition 1. Metro bus rides are facing the elimination of 72 bus routes and cuts to another 84 routes. These cuts will make it difficult or impossible for many students to get to school, seniors to get to medical appointments, and people with disabilities to get to work. That’s why an unprecedented coalition of businesses, labor unions, elected officials, and advocacy organizations have endorsed a Yes vote on Proposition 1.

UPDATE by Sebastian Garrett-Singh: “It will be more and more difficult for people to get around,” said Seattle City Council member Tom Rasmussen, stating the sopping wet obvious Thursday afternoon. The Council Member who chairs Seattle’s transportation committee told the crowd that if Proposition 1 does not pass it will negatively impact not only bus riders commutes but drivers through increased traffic congestion overall. One purposefully absurd solution: a zipline.

“You can get on the zipline and fly right over Lake Washington,” said Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci. “This is plan D at this point,” said Marchione, to a chorus of chuckles.
A handful of attendees at the unveiling of the Seneca Slip ‘N Slide tried the new downtown express. James Sido of the Downtown Seattle Association said, despite the fun times, the Prop 1 vote is serious business. “We’re very much in favor of Prop 1,” said Sido. “This is a matter of equity. The demand is higher than it’s ever been. Now is certainly not the time to take that away from people.”


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Developer reveals plans for the Piecora’s building

How they did it up north -- Equity's Urbana building opened in Ballard this year

How they did it up north — Equity’s Urbana building opened in Ballard this year

Now that the last night of service has come and gone, what will replace the old Piecora’s building? The largest publicly traded owner of apartment buildings in the country has shared details with CHS of the first ever project it will build from the ground up in the high-demand Capitol Hill market.

“We buy and build,” a spokesperson for Equity Residential tells CHS about its $10.3 million purchase of the building and parking lot at 14th and Madison that is now slated to be demolished sometime in the next year. “We’re all over the Seattle market. It’s such a terrific long-term market for renters, were looking to expand our footprint there.”

The spokesperson tells CHS that Equity plans to develop a six-story, 140-unit mixed-use apartment building with hopes of starting construction late next year after the prerequisite rounds of permitting and design review. The new building will include some 3,700 square-feet of retail — room for a new pizza joint, perhaps — and will include underground parking. The goal is to have the project open for eager Capitol Hill renters by 2017, the spokesperson said.

The confirmation of Equity sticking to what it does best squashes a rumor that had been circulating about a possible hotel planned as part of a new development at the site.

The design of the building has not yet begun as Equity is still settling on an architect for the project. We looked here at the types of buildings the Equity Residential builds and holds in its vast portfolio. Situated on a rising slope along E Madison and overlooking the Broadway basin leading to First Hill, the building will fill a prominent corner on the street and will be just a block from the dramatic rise of the Bullitt Center, touted as the greenest commercial building on the planet.

While the new building will be the first project Equity constructs on Capitol Hill, it has purchased three others amid an increasingly lucrative rental market in the area.

“We very much like the Capitol Hill area,” the Equity spokesperson said. “We think it’s a strong submarket.”

Chuck’s Central District to add E Union parklet

Inside Chuck's -- we're guessing there will not be a giant refrigerated case in the new parklet (Image: CHS)

Inside Chuck’s — we’re guessing there will not be a giant refrigerated case in the new parklet (Image: CHS)

Chuck’s Central District is already a bottle and mug-filled playground for beer lovers on E Union. This summer, it should add a new place to hang out along the street as the beer shop will join the roster of businesses participating in the city’s growing parklet program. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Last night at Piecora’s

(Images: Suzi Pratt for CHS)

(Images: Suzi Pratt for CHS)

We interrupt this stream of news about new restaurant concepts, craft cocktails and farm-to-table creativity for an unusual dollop of food+drink nostalgia. Here’s a look at some of the sights from Tuesday’s last night of service at Capitol Hill’s Piecora’s Pizza after 33 years at the corner of 14th and Madison.Final Night at Piecora's Pizza in Capitol Hill Seattle

CHS wrote here about what comes next after the Piecora family sold their building to an apartment developer for $10.3 million.

Many others have, of course, stopped in to say goodbye and share their thoughts on the end of the Capitol Hill institution. Not completely satisfied with nostalgia, we can’t resist the urge to look for a trend others might have missed in the change. One that comes to mind is the death of simple places to eat that kids like on Capitol Hill. You can call it a childless neighborhood but you would be wrong. Still, places like Chutney’s, Boom Noodle, Montlake Alehouse (yes, the alehouse had a kid pit), and, now, Piecora’s are gone. Watch your backs El Gallito, Vios, and Genki Sushi.

Final Night at Piecora's Pizza in Capitol Hill Seattle

More pictures of the final night at Piecora’s are below. Continue reading

Neighbors question Seattle design review as very brown Capitol Hill apartment building moves forward

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

The City of Seattle will — at least temporarily — let work get back on track at a nearly completed, six-story Capitol Hill apartment development brought to a halt by a dispute over the color of the building’s siding. Meanwhile, we have the letter from the project’s neighbors that helped spur the Department of Planning and Development to act — and might prove a type of manifesto for those in the neighborhood that would like to see greater efforts to create higher quality, better looking developments on the Hill.

In late March, CHS reported that Alliance Residential, the developers who acquired and are now constructing the Viva project at 12th and Madison, had been denied a temporary certificate of occupancy over an issue with the a discrepancy between the building’s approved design and its final form.

“The building was approved with an accent color, but was built all one color,” a DPD representative said about the dispute.

According to DPD, Alliance will now be issued the temporary permit which will allow work to continue as the project transitions from construction to finishing and preparation for new apartment and commercial tenants. DPD says “the applicant will address the accent color siding issue” before a final “Certificate of Occupancy” is issued for the 105-unit mixed-use apartment building.

Alliance development manager Dave Knight called the situation as “unfortunate misunderstanding” resulting from the building’s long path from original plans in 2007, to a new architect, then a new owner in Alliance. “You think you’re doing the right thing,” Knight said. “Then the planner came out and said what was built didn’t match renderings.”

But, according to a lengthy letter sent to DPD by residents of the Union Art Coop across the street from the Viva, the issue with the discrepancy over the approved siding color is only one of a list of problems with the new building.

“It appears that the builder has violated several conditions of their Master Use Permit,” the letter reads. Continue reading

1,000 feet of electrical wire replaced under north Capitol Hill

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More showing than telling in this press release gem (Photo: Seattle City Light)

It won’t do anything to stop the next Crow Blackout, but recently replaced electrical cable under north Capitol Hill should mitigate other types of blackouts for several decades to come. Seattle City Light announced crews recently completed construction to replace 1,000 feet of failing 30-year-old underground high-voltage cable under East Boston Terrace.

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For the few that live along the little kidney bean-shaped loop perched above Interlaken Park, work stoppage will be a big relief. And architecture buffs can get back to snooping around Capitol Hill’s modernist enclave.

Work to replace the conduit system began in October and was completed in March. According to Seattle City Light, the upgrade was an important part of maintaining service reliability. The final street and sidewalk restoration will be scheduled and completed by the Seattle Department of Transportation

Plot twist: SIFF’s boozy Cinema Seattle clue of what comes next for The Egyptian

(Image: @HueyJune via Twitter)

(Image: @HueyJune via Twitter)

As CHS reported earlier this month, SIFF is making preparations for a return to Capitol Hill’s shuttered Egyptian Theatre for its 2014 festival. Tuesday, the marquee went back into motion for the first time since last summer.

We also reported that the movie-focused non-profit SIFF has been the only bidder to take over the old theater long-term as Seattle Central searched for a new tenant. Officials wouldn’t confirm a long-term lease but it looks like SIFF, managing director Mary Bacarella, and artistic director Carl Spence are making plans to open a new Cinema Seattle in the Egyptian according to, of all things, a liquor license application for the theater.

The application listing SIFF and the directors’ names is a request for a beer and wine license specifically issued for theaters. It was filed on Monday.

It’s possible — but not likely — Bacarella and Spence are pursuing the license just so festival goers can enjoy beer and wine during the Capitol Hill screenings of the 40th annual Seattle International Film Festival this May. Here’s hoping, instead, the application is another plot device in the Egyptian’s epic tale of loss and triumphant return to glory.

Vibrations Festival forgoes corporate sponsorship, looks to the crowd for return to Capitol Hill

Witch Gardens @ Cairo's Vibrations Festival

Witch Gardens (Image: CHS)

552012_10151170273376351_2115913652_n Speaking of good times at Capitol Hill music festivals, a free celebration of music makers, poets, filmmakers and artists is being planned for a comeback in Volunteer Park. After a one-year hiatus in 2013, organizers of Cairo’s summer Vibrations Festival are looking beyond the corporate sponsorship that has helped make the event happen in the past and are turning to the crowd to make a 2014 return of the event a reality:

After two years of collaborating with corporate sponsors, the Cairo team has decided to go DO IT YOURELF this year!

We need YOUR help to make Vibrations a reality.

This Indiegogo fundraiser will allow us to create the budget we’ve always wanted for Vibrations: with money to pay for top performers, sound equipment and engineers, visual artists, and staff for the event, Vibrations will be bigger and better than ever before.

2014 Vibrations is YOUR event! Help us make it happen!

We like that typo — we also like Vibrations.

If you want to “do it your elf,” you can give via this Indiegogo site.

The perks include limited edition Vibrations t-shirts, Cairo tunes, access to a special yoga session atop the Biltmore and, for the big givers, a tent at the Vibrations festival “with food and fresh watermelon juice.”

No date is yet listed for the festival which took place in August in 2011 and 2012. The campaign has its work cut out — despite some big(ger) media attention here and there, Cairo is currently at $261 of its $10,000 goal.