12th and John ‘squatter houses’ finally demolished making way for microhousing project

IMG_8725A doomed trio of three old houses have been demolished at the corner of 12th and John to make way for a a four-story apartment building with 51 apartment units.

The houses were involved in two separate fires earlier this year likely caused by “improperly discarded smoking materials” as squatters had been using the old homes that stood boarded up awaiting their demolition to make way for the new microhousing development.

City inspectors met with the Hardy Development Company this spring to discuss ongoing issues at their properties, which are slated for the new 51-unit apartment building. Hardy promised to secure the houses and clean up the properties prior to the fires.

Properties emptied of residents present a problem across the Hill. Since the spring of 2015, paperwork for demolition has been filed for more than 40 different addresses on and around Capitol Hill. Many continue to stand. Owners of vacant properties are responsible for keeping their buildings secure and maintained. Buildings that persistently violate those codes can be placed on the city’s vacant building monitoring program, which currently includes about 250 properties inspected quarterly.

Designed by b9 Architects, the new micro-apartment building is just a short walk from Capitol Hill Station and will feature no parking. How long until construction begins will be the next question for neighbors. The permit for building the project has been issued and is good through October 2017.

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

13 thoughts on “12th and John ‘squatter houses’ finally demolished making way for microhousing project

  1. I’m not sure why these qualify as microhousing. They have actual kitchens in the units and an actual bedroom space. They look quite different than what we traditionally label as microhousing aka aPodments.

    Glad to see this dark corner come back to life.

  2. Yes. As someone who lives next to another couple vacant properties that have turned into neighborhood nuisances, it’s nice to see the old buildings get demolished, at least.

    I’m not necessarily fond of the boxy look, that seems kind of generic, but there are elements that seem thoughtful, and it probably fits in well with the Light Rail Station/Jet Age esthetic, I guess.

    • “neighborhood nuisances” ?? what about the people that got displaced out of their homes? and the homeless squatters who may or may not even be attempting to use the property now? you should be glad you have a home on capitol hill . doubtful these “nuisance” propertys have even affected you and your neighbors in the slightest way other than not wanting to actually look into the eyes of what’s real around homelessness and displacement all over this city

    • I’m with you Bex. “let’s get real” thanks for the token hand wringing about the poor helpless squatters and the “you should be glad to live here so shut up” comment. why assume these haven’t affected the neighbors? Obviously they have. Squatter houses are frequently sites of fires and crime. How would you feel if you had spent your hard earned cash to live next door?

  3. I figure letting those buildings go to pot will make the neighborhood grateful for whatever comes next, no matter how fugly. Not a bad strategy.

    I am a little surprised these are supposed to be microhousing units – that seems so 2012. The newest CH tenants seem to want full sized, decked-out apartments.

  4. I’m surprised that there is no retail or commercial space at the street level. I like the scale of the buildings. I wish that the massing were simpler and fewer materials/colors were used but people seem to love the visual clutter.

    • Which is unfortunate as a block South you have commercial. This should have been rezoned. With people commuting to the LR station, great opportunity to have a business here.

    • I wouldn’t say a “nuisance”…..more like an unfortunate trend (but maybe one whose time has passed?). The buildings are very cheap-looking and sterile. Also, it’s like no one actually lives there….I have never seen anyone come or go from an apodment, and there is no signs of life otherwise.

    • These are not aPodments. Each unit has a regular bath, standard size kitchen and bedroom with a washer/dryer in each unit.

      As far as aPodments, I don’t like the developers shadiness but I live next to an aPodment building and they are fine.