CHS Community Post | Three Capitol Hill residents helping to raise funds for Café Nordo’s new home

nordoCafé Nordo has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $35,000 for a complete kitchen build out of its new home in Pioneer Square.

The Kickstarter effort is a critical part of its capital campaign to raise $250,000 to fund renovation of the 1890s-era Globe Building at the corner of Nord Alley and South Main Street, across from Occidental Park in historic Pioneer Square. The longtime home to the iconic Elliott Bay Book Company is being transformed into Nordo’s Culinarium, a spectacular new venue where food meets performance, literary and visual arts.

Café Nordo’s Erin Brindley (artistic director), (Maximillan Davis (associate artistic director) and Opal Peachey (member concierge) all call Capitol Hill home.

The troupe will occupy one floor for performers and audiences, and the lower level previously occupied by the Elliott Bay Café will be built out with state-of-the-art professional kitchen technology to handle food service. Whether an intimate culinary experience with one of Seattle’s many star chefs to visual artists to large-scale theatrical productions, the unique space will accommodate and enhance the many worlds audiences dine in at Café Nordo.

For more information on Café Nordo’s Kickstarter campaign, visit cafenordo.com.

CHS Community Post | Central Area David and Goliath Fight in Progress: Why should anyone living on Capitol Hill care?

Neighbors alongside Swedish Medical Center: Cherry Hill are not sleeping well. They are spending many evenings a month meeting in small groups, and hours of their time trying to motivate neighbors, who are unaware of the waking giant in their midst. The giant is a medical center, a “Major Institution”, which has applied for a “Major Institution Master Plan”, or MIMP, in order to increase the size of their campus by nearly 100%. MIMPS are meant to allow Major Institutions to grow larger than for-profit businesses are allowed to, in residential neighborhoods. The idea is that Major Institutions, like schools and hospitals, benefit the surrounding neighborhood and the city, at large, so the zoning of certain areas is waived to allow the beneficial institution to expand. This is the idea. The reality, in this case, is different because a for-profit corporation is pushing this development.

We need to go back a couple of decades to see how this ‘Major Institution’, became a front for a corporation. A couple of decades ago, The Sisters of Providence Hospital, at the time, sold nearly half of their campus to the for-profit developer, Sabey Corporation. The sale was necessary because Providence couldn’t fill their hospital beds with patients. There was no need to expand at that time, quite the opposite. The egregious thing about this expansion is that the hospital, as a care-giving, doctor-visiting-patient-in-room sort of thing is not what is growing. What is being proposed are doctor’s-office towers, research facilities, and laboratories. In other words, support facilities. Swedish: Cherry Hill would not be the only facility benefiting from these support businesses. These would be rent-paying, medical-retail businesses, filling the office towers as for-profit tenants in a for-profit scenario on the property that was once a care-giving-doctor-visiting-patient hospital. Sabey Corporation is taking advantage of the MIMP process and trying like hell to build enormous office towers in the middle of Seattle’s oldest, residential neighborhood. We are trying to stop them.

We are trying to stop them because, if their plans are realized, the whole of our neighborhood, just south of Capitol Hill will be destroyed. It will happen slowly until these 110-year-old Victorian homes will be a distant memory; along with tales of how one used to be able to drive from Ezell’s to the freeway in ten minutes. The current Draft Environmental Impact Statement for this MIMP clearly states that intersections, that are, currently, passable by traffic, will become impassable. Traffic in and out of our neighborhood will be at a standstill. Pollution will rise, pedestrian traffic will suffer, beautiful homes will be sold and razed for a larger ‘Medical Center’ footprint, crime will go up, more home-owners will sell. It’s formulaic.

There has been a lot written and a lot of talk, lately about developers having their way with Seattle. This is one more reality episode of “Developers Gone Wild”, and they are drunk with power. We are over here in The Hood, fighting for our homes, for our streets, for our air-quality, and for our sanity. We are extending an invitation to our neighbors on The Hill to take an interest in our struggle to keep corporations out of the MIMP process, to hold Swedish: Cherry Hill to livable heights, bulk and scale of development as befits this venerable neighborhood. Come to a meeting of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee as they try to sort this thing out with Swedish and Sabey. If you have a free evening this Tuesday, September 30th, come on down and check out the action. It’s getting good. You won’t be disappointed.

-Abil Bradshaw

CHS Community Post | Health and Happiness Class

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Saturday, October 4, 9AM to noon.  $50/ student

Learn the latest research and practices to improve your health and increase your happiness, including a basic meditation technique. Topics covered include meditation, movement, food, sleep, gratitude, mindfulness and brain research.

Mary Davis is a Family Nurse Practitioner, Chopra Center Certified meditation instructor, Health and Happiness consultant who teaches classes, leads groups and offers individual consultations.

Boyer East and 18th East Seattle, WA 98112

Capitol Pill | Fall fatigue can be your friend

We’ve asked Karyn Schwartz, owner of the Sugarpill apothecary on E Pine, to contribute to CHS about health and Hill living on a semi-regular basis. If you’re an expert and want to share with the community in a recurring CHS column, we’d like to hear from you. This is her first post for CHS.

I was walking to the shop this morning –- living back on the Hill after a 20 year hiatus in the south end and getting to know the trees on Pine Street all over again –- and noticing how the leaves are drying, how the light has already changed, and how people are starting to shrink back into their jackets and scarves after a long, hot summer of skin and sun. I love being able to see the seasons shifting, and being reminded about the ways in which the elemental changes in nature are reflected in our own bodies.

Right about now, at the end of late summer and beginning of fall, almost everyone experiences a drop in energy. This is the season when the outward, fiery, expansive energy of spring and summer is changing back to the inward, calmer, slower energy of autumn and winter. Continue reading

CHS Community Post | Northwest Polite Society Hires Two New Team Members

Colin-Bishop

Local Seattle Marketing Agency Appoints New Principal and Public Relations Associate to Head Growing Business.

SEATTLE, Wash., September 25, 2014 – Northwest Polite Society, a Seattle based marketing agency announced today recent additions to the company’s team.  Ben London joins the agency as Principal/Director of Business Development and Colin Bishop as Public Relations Associate.  With the new team members, Northwest Polite Society has added capacity to manage their steady growth.

“I’m very excited about the addition of Ben London and Colin Bishop to the team at Northwest Polite Society.” Said Chuck Zimmerman, founding member of Northwest Polite Society. “We feel fortunate to have found them and know they will contribute greatly to the continued growth of our group with Ben leading New Business Development and Colin as PR Associate.”

London is an accomplished executive in the Seattle music/technology industry with over twenty-five years of experience in media creation and goal-driven business initiatives. London comes to Northwest Polite Society from Hewlett-Packard where he oversaw music and media business development in their Personal Systems Group. There, he built successful partnerships with top-tier music and entertainment brands

Prior to Hewlett-Packard, London was an executive with the Recording Academy (Grammys) where he managed the organizations office in the Pacific Northwest and worked closely with world-class musicians and music community leaders on a number of business, advocacy and education ventures.

London was an early hire at Experience Music Project (EMP) museum where he served as Senior Curator of Public Programs and spearheaded many successful programs and exhibits such as the long-time running Sound Off! youth band competition. A life long musician, London was the founder of the Seattle band Alcohol Funnycar, which released albums on both independent and major labels.

“After 4 years of working for a massive global technology company, I am pleased to find an opportunity that’s a better cultural fit for me.” Said London on his new position. “I’ve seen Seattle go from a tiny outpost to one of the most vibrant cities in the world. Joining NW Polite Society- I feel like I know how Dave Grohl must have felt when he joined Nirvana: there’s nothing but possibility ahead.”

Colin Bishop, the latest public relations associate, comes to Northwest Polite Society as a recent graduate from Gonzaga University. Bishop has worked with numerous Seattle based integrated public relations agencies such as GreenRubino and Curator PR. After a year in the greater Seattle area, Bishop chose to begin work with Northwest Polite Society to be closer to one of the major cultural centers of Seattle.  Apart from public relations, Bishop is also a seasoned photographer with experience in lifestyle and documentary content and has worked with numerous film and photography companies in the metro Seattle area.

“I am excited to begin with Polite Society and help develop the public relations department further. With my past experience in the consumer PR world, I am more than thankful to find myself with an agency that helps out so many local businesses and organizations reach their publics. I hope to bring our clients PR driven initiatives that deliver a positive return on investment.”

With these new hires, Northwest Polite Society intends to expand their business further with exciting opportunities on the horizon.

 

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About Northwest Polite Society

Northwest Polite Society a full service agency that specializes in the artful disruption of traditional marketing tropes. NWPS believes in creating locally relevant, credible connections that build long lasting relationships between brands, consumers and communities. Founded in 2012 by Chuck Zimmerman and Tina Meadows, Northwest Polite Society offers marketing, website design, public relations, social media, graphic design, promotional services and event production. Located in Capitol Hill, Seattle, Northwest Polite Society continues the tradition of strong cultural presence in the Northwest with the mantra “Everyone should have a voice in their society.”

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CHS Community Post | Capitol Hill business owners to Sound Transit site developers: Make it unique

Panel Members Left to Right: Karen True (Pioneer Square Alliance), Moderator Michael Wells (Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce), Binko Chiong-Bisbee (Kobo), Tracy Taylor (Elliott Bay Book Company), Michael Oaksmith (Hunters Capital), Linda Derschang (The Derschang Group), Chip Ragen (Ragen Associates), Tim Farrell (Tarragon).

Panel Members Left to Right: Karen True (Pioneer Square Alliance), Moderator Michael Wells (Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce), Binko Chiong-Bisbee (Kobo), Tracy Taylor (Elliott Bay Book Company), Michael Oaksmith (Hunters Capital), Linda Derschang (The Derschang Group), Chip Ragen (Ragen Associates), Tim Farrell (Tarragon).

2014_9 Broadway Retail Panel 2As a reminder, anybody can post to CHS. You can find our latest contributions in the CHS Community section. Posts of high quality and interest may be shared on the CHS homepage. Thanks to all community contributors for being part of CHS! CHS reported on the “transit oriented development” process at Capitol Hill Station here: Developers vying to build Capitol Hill Station housing+retail say properties are overvalued

By Michelle Hippler, Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, the Capitol Hill Champions hosted a Broadway Retail Panel Luncheon at the Capitol Hill Library where neighborhood business owners spoke candidly to the developers who will bid on the prime real estate above the Link light rail station on Broadway. The resounding message was that developers have to get it right, and that means thinking more creatively about the retail spaces.

The bottom line, as Linda Derschang (Linda’s, Oddfellows, Smith, et. al.) put it: what really created the thriving Pike/Pine corridor business district was the high rent on Broadway. Pike/Pine happened because “nobody small and new could afford Broadway anymore.” Fast-forward to 2014 and even she is nervous about signing a long-term lease for Linda’s Tavern on Pine where the rent is expected to triple within a few years and the landlord refuses to make any improvements. “Will the renters filling up all these new apartments come to Linda’s? Will all the indie rockers move away?”

Continue reading

CHS Community Post | On 15th Video Closes–A terrible loss to the community!

On a Tumblr notice entitled “The Ghost of On 15th Video,” the staff announced on September 8, 2014 that the store would be closing, effective immediately.  We are in shock at the loss of this wonderful store, with its dedicated, long-term staff.  We loved walking from our home to the video store to pick out a new or old favorite.   Talking with the staff was always fun.  :(

Is there any way for the staff to operate the store as a cooperative, similar to the recent transition for Scarecrow Video?  I would be interested in investing.

http://on15thvideo.tumblr.com/

CHS Community Post | Micro-Housing: An architect’s perspective

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 I just finished reading the white paper called “Responding to Changing Households: Regulatory Challenges for Micro-Units and Accessory Dwelling Units” published by the NYU Furman Center. Dry? Not at all!

It’s a little bit of a commitment but an easy read overall. And it’s chock full of important micro-housing data. I recommend that anyone interested in expressing an opinion over the micro-housing debate read it. It’s the first report of its kind, yielding comprehensive analysis of the state of micro-housing in five major cities across the country: Seattle; Washington DC; New York; Denver and Austin.

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Option 1 Image: vergeAD’s schematic design for a 32 unit micro building with a 200 SF average unit, in Seattle. Units are significantly larger than what is currently on the market.

I’m not here to question the need or validity of micro-housing. Someone else can do that. I believe in it.

This Furman white paper, without question, concludes that micro-housing is the future because it is the best known model that can respond to “the misalignment between the nature of the [housing] stock and the needs of renter households.”

“[Since the 1950s] household sizes have shrunk, people are waiting longer to marry and more are unmarried or divorced, more people are living alone, more people are sharing housing with unrelated individuals, and people are living longer.” Yet our housing stock doesn’t look much different than it did decades ago.

Seattle provides an interesting case study. We have more micro-housing development than any other studied city. But, in our haste to blaze the trail, we are setting ourselves up for failure by moving too fast and letting developers exploit an obsolete set of land use and building codes.

With trail blazing comes controversy. Seattle neighborhood organizations have two primary criticisms of micro-housing. 1) It will adversely change the character of a neighborhood; 2) It will further burden the dearth of parking availability.

Protesters gather close to Spain's Parliament during demonstration in Madrid

 I’d like to throw a few ideas into the ring that could potentially assuage the neighborhoods and close the housing stock gap at the same time:

    1. Car Ownership: Micro-housing should be allowed only in very dense neighborhoods where access to public transit and car sharing programs is high and where car ownership is low. In addition it should also be allowed in the “university islands” around town (UW, Seattle U, SPU, etc.) where it may function a bit more like a dorm.
    2. Density: The very dense neighborhoods (Capitol Hill, First Hill, Downtown, Belltown, Lower Queen Anne, ID) can most definitely become denser under the current zoning code. Infill micro-housing in these neighborhoods wouldn’t change their already dense character.
    3. Roll-out: Consider a micro-housing roll out. As the city grows and other neighborhoods become denser micro-housing can be added to that neighborhood’s mix. Let’s not  create a situation where a less dense neighborhood becomes dense because of micro-housing – which is where we are now.
    4. IBC: Let’s stick to the 220 SF apartment minimum established by the International Building Code. With some design ingenuity, 220 SF can be a great place to live.
    5. Kitchens: Let’s not regulate whether there’s a kitchen in the unit or out. In fact, offer both options in the building. Those who have no desire to cook can have access to a shared kitchen. And the smaller percentage of those who want to cook regularly can pay a bit more for their own kitchen.
    6. Design Review: Require design review for ALL micro-housing projects – seriously!
    7. Connect the Dots: Micro-housing can solve other problems in our City. For example, incentivize developers to eliminate food deserts by locating fresh produce vendors in street level retail space or building next to a P-Patch. Or proactively partner with a car share program so a couple of the cars sit outside the building.
    8. Building Size: Consider whether there should be a cap to the number of sleeping rooms for micro buildings. If we limit them to say 30 occupants the building would necessarily be an infill project of less than 9,000 SF. This would prevent an entire block from becoming a micro building.
    9. ADUs: As a corollary to the micro-housing debate, remove the owner occupancy covenant required in single family zones, for all Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs/DADUs) so that the less dense neighborhoods have a densification plan that is commensurate with that zone.

We have a tremendous opportunity to lead the way in developing denser cities that provide for the needs of all their citizens – not just the select few. Let’s not set out to build the most micro-housing in the country, let’s set out to build the best micro-housing in the country.

Let’s build intentional, thoughtful and well-designed micro-housing buildings that support thriving communities.

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view from north with color accents

 Images: vergeAD’s mini studio project on Capitol Hill, infilling 4 stacked studios, each approx 380 SF.

Mike O’Brien of the Seattle City Council is reacting quickly with a compromise amidst the controversy which is partially laid out in this article. It’s a step in the right direction, but all you trail blazers out there, we still have some work to do!

CHS Community Post | East Precinct Advisory Council at Seattle University, Chardin Hall

EastPAC-LogoRecently, we requested citizen input as to top safety concerns in east Precinct neighborhoods. With several precinct –wide responses, we determined the top three concerns are:
1. Drug dealing/everything that goes with it (Loitering, suspicious activity, etc)
2. Gun Violence and shots fired
3. Burglaries and robberies
And, a fourth common concern:
4. Speeding and reckless driving

There are still prevailing concerns and recent activity that can be addressed with the East Precinct command staff at our August Community meeting TONIGHT! Please plan to attend:

EastPAC Community Meeting
Thursday, August 28th, 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Seattle University, Chardin Hall, room 142
1020 East Jefferson (enter at 11th and Jefferson, park free in front of building)