About Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is a CHS reporter. Reach him at chasecohen@gmail.com and @bchasesc

The Real World ends production on Capitol Hill for show’s 32nd season

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(Image: @mtvchallenge28 via Twitter)

The time has come for the Real World cast and crew to pack up and bid farewell to Capitol Hill. Filming has wrapped for the 32nd season of the reality TV show that will feature a group of strangers living and partying on Capitol Hill, according to fan sites tracking the production.

18 years after the first season in Seattle, Real World producers staked out a new set in the 12th Ave Ballou Wright building between Pike and Pine. The office space-turned-Real World house was previously occupied by digital design firm Creature, which filed for bankruptcy shortly after leaving the space in May.MTV representatives have not returned calls on the status of the production. A representative for building owner Hunters Capital told CHS the space will likely be put back into use as an office. The show’s production company leased the space through September.

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What the new Volunteer Park Amphitheater could look like

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One of the four concepts ready for feedback (Images: Ora Architects)

Replacing the no-frills brick-and-concrete Volunteer Park Amphitheater has been talked about for years. Thanks to a nonprofit championing the cause, the first design concepts are finally complete.

ORA Architects and Walker Macy Landscape Architects developed four concepts using feedback from the public and more than 30 performance organizations. All the designs include a shelter, backstage space, and bathrooms built into the structure as required by the city.

The Volunteer Park Trust is holding an open house at Miller Community Center on Wednesday to take public feedback on the designs. Construction is slated to start in 2017 with a grand opening scheduled for December 2018. The project will require approval from the parks department. Continue reading

And what the Seattle Asian Art Museum expansion could look like, too…

(Images: LMN Architects)

(Images: LMN Architects)

As Volunteer Park’s 83-year-old museum prepares to undergo its first major upgrade, the Seattle Art Museum is seeking public input on the plans. Community outreach meetings are scheduled for September and October.

Preliminary designs for the Asian Art Museum call for adding at least 7,500-square-feet of new gallery and event space, as well as an education studio and art storage space. A terrace, seat wall, and rock garden are part of the plans for outdoor improvements to the backside of the museum. Continue reading

Liberty celebrates a decade of craft cocktails and sushi on Capitol Hill

15th Ave E is a place where businesses tend to stick around. The neighborhood commercial district is still home to a century-old cobbler and one of the area’s longest standing mechanics. Ten years ago it was still supporting a church-run thrift shop called Trinkets & Treasures.

The wicker furniture and dusty vinyl records left in 2006, but in its place came a bar that has become a neighborhood institution in its own right. This month Liberty celebrates 3,800+ consecutive days of business on Capitol Hill.

Owner Andrew Friedman has been at the helm every one of those days and plans to continue being a constant presence even as ownership changes loom for the cocktail and sushi lounge. “I really enjoy the community aspect of a neighborhood bar,” Friedman said.

The craft cocktail craze was still a few years off in Seattle when Friedman opened Liberty in 2006. Having prior service industry experience, Friedman decided to take a shot at opening a bar when he walked  by15th Ave space and noticed it had become available. “I knew I wanted to open a bar … I was dreaming of being on Capitol Hill,” he said.

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Jury finds Broadway Grill hacker guilty in massive credit card theft case

Screen-Shot-2014-07-07-at-11.21.24-AMThe son of a Russian lawmaker was found guilty Thursday of an international computer hacking and identity theft scheme that included stealing credit card numbers in 2010 from the now-shuttered Broadway Grill on Capitol Hill.

A federal jury in Seattle found Roman Seleznev guilty on 38 of 40 counts, including computer hacking, wire fraud, and identity theft. He faces up to 34 years in prison when he’s sentenced in December.

According to a 2011 indictment, Seleznev’s hack of the Broadway Grill point of sale system resulted in at least $1.7 million in losses to banks and credit card companies. The DOJ also alleged Seleznev operated a global “carder” system to aid hacking and the sale of credit and bank card data. Investigators said Seleznev was linked to data breaches at Mad Pizza locations in the area, and a breach at Grand Central Baking.

In total, prosecutors said Seleznev pilfered $170 million through his international hacking operation. Continue reading

Agreement on $17M+ land lease will put Capitol Hill Station development on track for fall 2019 opening — UPDATE

In spring 2018, developer Gerding Edlen will finally break ground on the 100,000-square-foot Capitol Hill Station commercial, housing, and community space project. To do it, the developer needs to sign a land lease for the Sound Transit-owned property.

On Thursday, the Sound Transit board will vote on three 99-year lease agreements to hand over control of Sites A, B-South, and C — the paved over, fenced off parcels along Broadway between E Denny Way and E John. If approved, it would put Gerding on track to finish the project in fall 2019.

UPDATE (3:20 PM): The Sound Transit board unanimously approved the lease agreements Thursday afternoon, paving they way for Gerding Edlen to dive into the design phase of the project. “Today is a really exciting day,” said Sarah Lovell, a member of Sound Transit’s “transit orientated development” staff.

In addition to some 400 apartments, the project will include a retail “bazaar” anchored by a grocery store. Portland-based New Seasons Market and Capitol Hill’s Central Co-op are currently vying to take over the space. The project is also slated to include a daycare, community space, and permanent home for the Broadway Farmers Market.

Board members said the project would be an example for all future TOD projects along the expanding light rail system. Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff praised his staff following the vote, saying many had lived and breathed the deal for the past six months. “It’s easily the most ambitious TOD action the agency has ever taken,” he said.

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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

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

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

Capitol Hill Block Party ready to welcome Paul Allen-backed Upstream to Seattle music festival scene

As Capitol Hill Block Party owner Jason Lajeunesse decompresses from the 20th edition of the annual E Pike music festival, it’s hard not to turn an eye to 2017. The CHBP crew have already started the process of booking bands for the 21st installment of the event, but planning this time around is coming with a little more urgency and trepidation than in years past.

Last week, Paul Allen announced Upstream, a large South by Southwest-style music and ideas festival that will takeover a massive footprint in Pioneer Square from May 11th-13th.

With a goal of booking 200 artists, primarily drawn from Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, the festival has the potential to lock-in bands with contracts that prevent them from playing other nearby festivals or venues during the summer. Continue reading

On the List | Linda’s Fest turns 7, Summit Block Party takes 2016 off

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A Linda’s Fest moment past. Rock on. Etc. (Image: CHS)

Outdoor summer events on Capitol Hill roll on in August with an E Pine staple of stiff drinks and loud music. Saturday, six bands will take over the back parking lot of Linda’s Tavern for the 7th annual “raddest free rock show of the summer.”

Linda’s Fest goes down August 20th and features a slate from Seattle’s punk scene:

  • Fred & Toddy of Dead Moon
  • Acapulco Lips
  • Steal Shit Do Drugs
  • Sashay
  • Bad Future
  • World Bank

This year’s festival will also be the first to be surrounded by a fully occupied Pike Motorworks building. CHS previously wrote here about the flood of new apartments towering above Capitol Hill’s nightlife venues.

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Renter Summit seeks to build tenant power on Capitol Hill

13925584_1033358373447357_8610625736069031429_oRenters make up roughly 80% of Capitol Hill residents but organizers of an upcoming summit say most are left out of crucial public policy decisions. In an effort to kickstart a renter power movement in Seattle, the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict is holding its first Capitol Hill Renter Summit September 24th.

“It’s about giving the silent majority of the neighborhood a voice,” said EcoDistrict director Joel Sisolak.

The summit will feature issue briefings followed by breakout discussion groups. Leading up to the event, EcoDistrict organizers reached out to renters on Capitol Hill to head the discussions. Mayor Ed Murray will give an opening address, and House Speaker Frank Chopp and State Senator Jamie Pederson will join other local elected officials for a live Q&A session.

Sisolak hopes the summit will inspire a pipeline of building ambassadors that will see themselves as the rightful advocates for a crucial segment of Seattle’s population. “The renters summit is more of a launch than an endpoint,” he said.

You can RSVP for the free event here. The first 50 people to sign up get a free “renter power” t-shirt. Continue reading