Undre Arms, hookah lounge and Thai Curry Simple readied to make way for 1111 East Union development

There are signs that a hookah lounge, Dominic Holden’s favorite walk-up curry window and people living in 11 apartment units will soon be looking for new homes. There are no approved demolition or construction permits yet but the first physical manifestations of the 1111 East Union redevelopment project are appearing in the peculiar triangle lot at the intersection of Union, Madison and 12th Ave.


We reported back in August on the re-birth of the project that will replace the legendary but dilapidated Undre Arms Apartments building, the former paint store-turned smoking club Cobra Lounge and the Thai Curry Simple walk-up that filled in the shuttered coffee hutch on the lot last fall.

Tuesday morning, a crew began drilling bores at the site for soil samples as part of the process for determining if construction of the 6-story, 105-unit mixed-used development including two levels of underground parking can move forward, according to one of the workers. The underground parking, by the way, is the biggest change in the construction permit application from the design process when the developer was only talking fewer than 20 parking spots. The new plan calls for nearly 80.

Meanwhile, last week, a memorial to a slain SPD officer was removed from the site. In 1984, officer Nick Davis was killed on duty and a memorial was created near the spot where he died. The East Precinct command tells us the 1000-pound memorial is safely stored away and will be on display at the SPD museum and that Davis’s son was on hand to help with the move. According to a representative from Washington State Concerns of Police Survivors, a group for families of slain Washington law enforcement officers, the Davis family decided to have the memorial moved due to uncertainty about returning the stones and placard to the site after construction.

For residents of the Undre Arms, 11 of the 14 apartment units are currently inhabited according to filings with the city. The permits to move the tenants and begin demolition have not yet been approved.

Erin Cobb of the Cobra Lounge says the buildings are slated to be torn down “in a few months.” We asked him what he plans to do with the Cobra with the impending demolition approaching. “Just trying to move somewhere on the hill,” Cobb wrote.

Also no word on where the Stranger’s Dominic Holden will get his lunch once work on the site begins.


9 thoughts on “Undre Arms, hookah lounge and Thai Curry Simple readied to make way for 1111 East Union development

  1. I have always thought the Undre Arms was a pretty clever name, thumbing the nose at all those “uppity-sounding named” Arms.

  2. Wasn’t it something like “Underwood Arms” but some of the letters fell off so the hipsters of the 80′s thought it would be fun to leave it like that?

  3. I took a look at the Seattle Times historical archive (via the SPL website – library card required to search) to see what I could find on this.

    Walt Evans’ column (which is filled w/short bits and features) from December 2, 1976 offers the following:
    If you like aptly named places, there’s an apartment house on 11th Avenue, just south of Madison Street, that’s called The Undre Arms. The insurance man, Paul McKillop, who owns the building, says spelling it UndRE, “gives it a little class — which is the extent of the building’s class.”

  4. These are apartments, not condos. Pretty much all of the current development has switched to apartments due to the housing meltdown.

    As to whether the neighborhood “needs” more condos…well, we’re the most densely populated neighborhood in the city and home ownership ensures that people take pride in and have a stake in their neighborhood. Home ownership is not the evil that some people make it out to be, although I see that the high prices of the last years have led to pricing many people out of the market in our neighborhood.

  5. Very sad that the memorial has been removed from the site. Good to hear it may be in a safe place for now. I hope the developers, the east precinct and police guild strive to have that memorial reintalled on the site. It’s an every day reminder of the dedication of our police force and the fact that this officer gave his life for the neighborhood. Do what you can to have it reinstalled on the site. It’s an important part of our history and the neighborhood.

  6. I was noticing that as condos it appeared that this 105 units only warrented 20 parking spaces on-site, but as apartments it now warrents 80. Any idea why condos verses apartments would change the number of on-site parking requirements, or why only 80 is suffiecient for the current proposed use? Just seems more living and shopping spaces would need to accomodate more travelling and resident parking. THX!

  7. I’m guessing that the developer did some research on parking demand and decided it was worth the cost to add a level of underground parking to meet the demand. That said, it’s not surprising that fewer parking spaces than units are needed — it’s easy to live on Capitol Hill without a car, and cars are expensive! (parking, depreciation, capital cost, maintenance, insurance, etc.)