Downtown ribbon cutting includes good vibes for new bike projects including Pike protected lanes

Now on 8th Ave (Image: SDOT)

Mayor Jenny Durkan and SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe weren’t out for a ride but they did come out to celebrate Wednesday’s opening of a new 8th Ave protected bike lane with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The redesigned 8th Ave includes a “one-way northbound protected bike lane between Pike St and Bell St, one travel lane, paid parking and load zones, and new bike signals at busy intersection,” SDOT reports. “This project completes a two-way couplet for people biking with the existing one-way southbound 7th Ave protected bike lane.” Continue reading

No reported injuries in reported ‘bug bomb’ explosion in Capitol Hill apartment building

Seattle Fire responded but fortunately found no flames after a reported explosion blew open doors inside an E Olive Way apartment building Wednesday.

According to SFD radio updates on the just before noon incident, units were dispatched after a resident reported an explosion inside the E Olive Way at Bellevue building.

Arriving firefighters found a bug bomb was to blame.

According to radio updates, fumigation efforts apparently set off an explosion caused by a small gas leak inside an apartment, blasting open the unit’s doors but causing no immediately reported serious injuries.

There was no fire reported and power remained on at the building, according to SFD updates.

On the List | Outdoor yoga, Sonics appreciation, kid-designed parklets, Brewlab birthday party, and a Trove comeback

If you’re going to have Big Beer in your neighborhood you might as well enjoy the parties (Image: Redhook)

(Image: The Hopvine)

Watching paint dry might not be everyone’s idea of a fun night out, but comedian Mihkel Teemant puts a spin on it at Club Comedy Seattle this Thursday. During the comedy show, the audience can paint along to a Bob Ross video. With QTPOC Is Not A Rapper on Friday, no-cover comedy at The Hopvine and Unladylike at Jai Thai this Saturday, comedy fans will be able to their fix this weekend.

Speaking of fixing: this Saturday, the Capitol Hill Tool Library is hosting another Repair Café.  A team of volunteer fixers will help repair broken household items, including clothing, electronics, jewelry and small home appliances.

Find out where else to go and what to eat and see this weekend on the list below, and head over to the CHS Calendar for more events.

WEDNESDAY, Aug 14: No, the Seattle SuperSonics are not coming back to Seattle (yet). But the owners of Life On Mars, self-declared “huge Sonics fans” want “their” team back. So, naturally, they covered one of their bathrooms in Sonics-themed wallpaper. The wall collage will be unveiled this evening during the Sonics Appreciation Party. Showing up in Sonics gear will get you 15% off drinks all night. Life on Mars, 7 – 10 PM  Continue reading

Design reviews: Knights of Columbus development’s Harvard plans, plus a ‘mass timber’ first on First Hill

A split decision last spring will bring one of twin new projects planned to rise around the historic Knights of Columbus building in front of the East Design Review Board again Wednesday night. Meanwhile, another project coming in front of the review board would create Seattle’s tallest “mass timber” building.

The 704 E Union component of the Knights of Columbus project — a planned seven-story, 37-unit apartment building that will neighbor the overhauled landmark — passed through the first stage of review in April with the board’s only concern centering on a “gasket” connection planned with the 106-year-old masonry clubhouse structure.

But before the full development can move forward to the final recommendation phase of Seattle’s design review process, its larger twin planned for the land currently dedicated to surface parking along Harvard still has a few rough edges that need to be smoothed including “unresolved issues relating to tree placement, open space and the relationship of the project to the neighbor,” the board’s report on the April session reads, the St. John’s Apartments and, most importantly to you summer drinkers, encroachment on the St. John’s bar patio. Fighting words, no? Settle down. There’s a plan. Continue reading

Citywide rep González part of Capitol Hill EcoDistrict delegation on ‘sustainable, urban strategies’ European field trip

(Image: @cmlgonzalez)

To break the the mayor’s veto of the Seattle City Council’s Sweetened Beverage Tax revenue plan, citywide council member Lorena González had to make an international phone call in the middle of the night to cast her decisive vote Monday afternoon Seattle time.

Turns out, González is abroad this week studying “sustainable, urban strategies” thanks to the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict.

The council member is part of a huge delegation, according to Capitol Hill Housing which started the EcoDistrict effort in 2013 with funding from The Bullitt Foundation to increase sustainability efforts in the neighborhood.  Continue reading

Uncle Ike’s ‘Capitol Hill West’ shop ready to start construction on E Olive Way

(Image: CHS)

A year after The Reef won the race to bring legal pot to Capitol Hill’s western slope of E Olive Way, its neighborhood competition will finally begin construction on its new store.

Last week, the city’s planning department finally approved the construction permit for Uncle Ike’s “Capitol Hill West” shop, a project that will convert a former two-story legal office building neighboring The Crescent into E Olive Way’s second marijuana store.

Pot entrepreneur Ian Eisenberg paid more than $2 million for the two-story, 1967-era property in the fall of 2017 as a land rush for E Olive Way properties played out after shifting laws and policies opened up the street to I-502 pot development. Continue reading

Expansion of Capitol Hill’s Phoenix Comics also an illustration of Broadway lease challenges

(Image: @jennykeery via Instagram)

Good news for one Broadway small business is balanced with yet another tough change for another.

With nearly 30 years of business on Capitol Hill under its belt, Perfect Copy and Print is again on a search for a new Capitol Hill home. Its exit will mean expansion for neighbor Phoenix Comics.

“It’s a bit of a leap of faith,” Phoenix owner Nick Nazar says. “We’re seeing a lot of growth.”

Now five years old, Phoenix Comics is ready to expand into the old Perfect Copy space, knocking out a wall and creating more room for board games, and gaming, Nazar said. Continue reading

City Council overcomes mayor’s veto on Seattle’s Sweetened Beverage Tax revenue plan

The Seattle City Council doubled down on its plans for how best to spend $6 million in Sweetened Beverage Tax revenue Monday, voting to ignore Mayor Jenny Durkan’s veto of the legislation.

Only interim Council member Abel Pacheco, downtown rep Sally Bagshaw, and North Seattle rep Debora Juarez sided with the mayor Monday.

CHS reported on the fight over funding scraps for health and food programs as the mayor attempted to focus the tax revenue on a smaller set of existing resources vs. creating new, often progressive programs.

The tax on sugary beverages was originally earmarked for creating new programs related to “healthy food and beverage access, birth-to-three services and kindergarten readiness, a public awareness campaign about sugary drinks, support for people actively living with obesity and diabetes, community-based programs to support good nutrition and physical activity and evaluation support for those programs.” With Monday’s veto-killing vote, the council’s plan for new programs can again try to move forward.

Meanwhile, Monday’s full City Council action also included approval of Seattle’s Green New Deal resolution. Durkan’s response to the approval was much friendlier than the sugary beverage tax situation. In a statement, the mayor applauded the vote and said she was “committed to expediting climate action” by issuing an Executive Order directing City departments to “evaluate how they can accelerate their action items under the City’s Climate Action Plan, and how Seattle can best meet the goals of the Green New Deal.” The final resolution can be found here.

Remember the Capitol Hill deli+speakeasy financial mess? Sibling fashion boutique Estate now shuttered over unpaid rent

Estate, a Capitol Hill street fashion boutique started by people involved in the By the Pound financial implosion on E Olive Way, has suddenly shuttered and owes $10,000 in unpaid rent according to a county eviction notice posted at the 10th Ave retailer’s now emptied Pike/Pine location.

The shop opened in April with “mostly American street style brands in the $40 to $200 range” and managers who said they had put earlier financial issues behind them. “Burrowed in perhaps the coolest stretch of Capitol Hill on 10th Avenue just south of Pike, Estate radiates the ’80s and ’90s pop culture that owner David Lee grew up with,” Seattle Met gushed.

According to King County Superior Court records filed last October, the companies behind Estate owed around three months in in unpaid rent for the Pike/Pine shop before it even opened.

But later court records show a new agreement for the ground floor retail space in the Jack apartment building came with a short leash that required the business to pay off previously unpaid debts — and not fall behind on its lease again. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Housing unveils plans for eight-story ‘LGBTQ-Affirming Affordable Senior Housing’ development on Broadway

UPDATE: An early project rendering (Image: Environmental Works)

An early conceptual rendering of The Eldridge (Image: Capitol Hill Housing)

Architects and Capitol Hill Housing representatives have showcased plans for an eight-story affordable housing project specifically for LGBTQ+ elders on Broadway between Pike and Pine that will include at least 100 units at a mix of income levels rising above the preserved facade of an auto row-era Seattle landmark.

The project was originally planned to be located on their property at 14th and Union, but the location was shifted to Broadway partly due to influence from the city, according to Chris Persons, CEO of Capitol Hill Housing, the nonprofit developer at the center of the effort. He says the new spot is “much more in the center of the LGBTQ+ community on Capitol Hill.”

“This building is going to really make a mark,” Freya Johnson, project architect at Environmental Works, said Wednesday night during a community meeting at The Summit on Pike. “It’ll be a symbol that we belong here, that this is our Hill.”

One attendee said later: “In my lifetime, I didn’t think I’d see this.” Continue reading