$1.7 million per month in Central District and Capitol Hill pot sales

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 3.10.22 PMLast week as the state’s entrepreneurial ranks of I-502 retailers did their best to drum up even more business on 4/20, protesters again targeted 23rd and Union’s Uncle Ike’s to speak out against change in the neighborhood — and, for some, the inequitable way the legalized drug industry has played out. But just how big has the industry grown?

Across Capitol Hill and the Central District, there were more than $1.7 million in I-502 marijuana sales last month, according to state data organized by 502data.com. 84% of that was generated by Ike’s. The rest were generated by Uncle Ike’s closest competitor, Ponder, which opened in September just down the block on E Union, and 15th Ave E/Republican’s Ruckus, which opened as the first pot shop on Capitol Hill in December.

37% of those dollars went back to the state, remember. Since its birth in late September 2014, Uncle Ike’s has paid the state $6.9 million in excise tax. Don’t feel too sorry. Owner Ian Eisenberg got to put the remaining $12.3 million of it to work powering the business and doing whatever else he likes to do with his money. Uncle Ike’s is a CHS advertiser! In the meantime, Ike’s is now the second largest pot retail location in the state after Vancouver’s Main Street Marijuana.

How the sales trends will continue is anybody’s guess. The three active retailers in the area produced growth of 11% month over month coming into March. We’re going to assume 4/20 sales were good. And another boost is in the works as Capitol Hill’s second I-502 pot shop — and the second along 15th Ave E — is currently under construction.

Counting producers and processors as well as retailers, Washington pot is a $17 million per month industry. State sales totals from 502data.com

Counting producers and processors as well as retailers, Washington pot is a $17 million per month industry. State sales totals from 502data.com

Buy or move? Lambert House faces $2M decision on Capitol Hill home

A Capitol Hill LGBTQ youth nonprofit needs around $2 million to keep its 35-year home. It likely says a lot about the strength of the Lambert House that the news about its 15th Ave home brings a confident statement about its future — not a panicked cry for help. The response also says a lot about what it is like to run a successful nonprofit on Capitol Hill as the waves of development continue.

“The planned sale of the property comes at a time when Lambert House was considering the possibility of expanding our space,” writes Lambert executive director Ken Shulman in an announcement about the situation.

“It also coincides with the redevelopment of many properties on Capitol Hill, and elsewhere in Seattle, as land values have skyrocketed and older buildings are being razed to make way for denser and more profitable use.” Continue reading

Apollo Nails joins growing beauty economy on 15th Ave E

(Image: Photo by Derek Reeves via NK Architects)

The corner where Chutney’s once stood will soon be home to Apollo Nails in the new Stream Fifteen building (Image: Photo by Derek Reeves via NK Architects)

(Image: Apollo Nails)

(Image: Apollo Nails)

There’s going to be a new business on 15th Ave that doesn’t involve marijuana. Apollo Nail Salon is set to take up all of the commercial space in the new Stream Fifteen building on 15th and Mercer.

Owner Johnny Le and his wife and business partner Connie say they’ve been wanting to open something on Capitol Hill and are only now finding the right space, about 3,000 square feet of it.

“We thought it was a great spot,” Johnny Le said. “Capitol Hill was always on our mind.”

The couple opened their first salon in Poulsbo 10 years ago. A few years later, they expanded to Silverdale, and then Queen Anne in 2012.

Once they open, Le said they hope to offer a full spa-type experience for women and men, including nails — both mani and pedi), facials, waxing, and eyelash extensions. He said they will not use acrylics for nails, which should mean no fumes wafting up to the apartment dwellers overhead. Continue reading

Liquidation: Healeo shutters Capitol Hill cafe, lives on in wholesale juice biz

(Image: Healeo)

(Image: Healeo)

(Image: Healeo)

(Image: Healeo)

When your family has a deal in place to sell its building at 15th and Madison for $33.5 million and you have a popular but profit-challenged nutrition-oriented cafe and juice bar in that building, you probably can’t complain when your cafe can no longer afford the rent.

We missed the announcement in the wake of Chicago-based Equity Residential’s acquisition of The Pearl building in December but Justin Brotman’s healthful cafe Healeo shuttered earlier this month.

Brotman tells CHS that the Healeo business lives on as a wholesale juice concern 50% owned by local Charlie’s Produce. Small test shops around 500 square feet could be in the Healeo brand’s future.

Brotman also has his hands and fingers full this presidential election year typing out Tweets and updates faster than even CHS with his social media-focused political news operation Bipartisan Report. “Internet Newspaper and powerful news search engine. The Internet’s Largest newspaper,” the site bills itself.

Healeo opened in 2009 as a glossier than you might have expected “neighborhood nutrition bar.” With his family’s Costco roots, Brotman’s 15th and Madison cafe and juice bar looked ready to be the first of many Healeos. But the start-up nature extended to the business’s profits — a 2014 lawsuit brought by a bookkeeper who claimed she was owed more than $20,000 noted that from 2009 to at least mid-2014, Healeo “operated on negative margins” and often required “cash infusions” from a Brotman Family Trust.

Still, the cafe had plenty of fans — CHS once slurped a smoothie with Chihuly — and the wholesale juice business has a solid customer set, Brotman said. You’ll probably see Healeo here again.

“I’ll miss our corner but we will likely be back on the Hill somewhere in a small spot,” Brotman said.

You can learn more about where to find Healeo products at healeo.com.

Demolition at 15th and Howell

"Bob, what have we done?" (Image: CHS)

“Bob, what have we done?” (Image: CHS)

Longtime readers of the site know CHS is your leading source for Capitol Hill demolition porn:

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 10.16.53 AM

Though our own pace of demolition postings has slowed, it’s not because the development pace has finally slowed down and fewer demolitions are happening on Capitol Hill — we recently tallied 94 demolition permits in 2013, 70 in 2014, and 67 through September 2015.

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Tearing down Ballard? DPD demolition-related permitting activity, 2015 (Source: seattle.gov)

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But the location and scale of the tear-downs has changed. The era of ripping down a block of old buildings in the heart of Pike/Pine — for now — has passed. The recent demolition that quickly and mostly quietly came at 15th and Howell is an example of a ripping apart of an older building we might skip these days, leaving Twitter and Facebook to document the mildewy smell of splintered boards and piles of twisted metal mixed with yellowed insulation.

Tuesday, it inspired a CHS Community Post documenting the old apartment building mid-demolition — and then the corner was cleared. The recent increase in ejected furnishings and old appliances from the apartments being spread around the neighborhood had come to an end.

What’s next is another thing neighbors on Capitol Hill have become more accustomed to. Construction will soon begin on an “urban apartment building” with 57 “small residential units.” The microhousing from developer Greenbuild and designed by Caron architects got its final approval from the design review board about a year ago last January. When it is complete, the corner will have traded two buildings with 8 units for nearly 60 averaging 341 square feet a piece.

1420 E Howell - 1 of 2

CHS Pics | Capitol Hill Valentine violinist

Valentine's Violin - 1 of 6

While we were thinking about different ways to say I love you on Capitol Hill, CHS found Alen̈a hard at work Tuesday at the 15th and John Safeway earning money for a new violin with some Valentine-worthy performance. Stop by with your sweetie and drop a dollar or two in the can for love.

Second Capitol Hill pot shop approved for 15th Ave

IMG_5911The owner of Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop may finally realize his aspirations to open a recreational marijuana store in his 15th and Republican building, even if the business itself isn’t his.

A West Seattle medical marijuana entrepreneur has been given the green light by the state Liquor and Cannabis Board to open a retail marijuana shop in the space last home to the Capitol Hill Family Arcade.

The permit approval for Lion’s Heart puts owner Daniela Bernhard one step closer to opening Capitol Hill’s second pot shop in a building owned by fellow potreprenuer Ian Eisenberg. Bernhard was a co-owner of the Northwest Patient Resource Center in West Seattle prior to moving ahead with her Capitol Hill business.

Bernhard did not respond to CHS requests for comment and Eisenberg said he could not comment on the approval. Continue reading

Police investigate 15th/Harrison gunpoint robbery

A male victim reported he was robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning near 15th and Harrison.

Seattle Police were called to the 1500 block of E Harrison just after 2:20 AM Sunday morning to a report of a pistol-point robbery involving a male suspect who fled in a waiting vehicle.

The victim told police he was robbed of his wallet by the armed suspect who then fled in a lowered red Honda. The suspect was described as a Hispanic male in his 30s with a goatee, wearing a dark hooded jacket, blue jeans, and tennis shoes. A female accomplice was waiting for him in the vehicle. The car was last seen headed north on 15th Ave E.

Police arrived in the ares just minutes after the robbery but found no sign of the car or its occupants. There were no injuries in the incident.

The hold-up is the second armed robbery on Capitol Hill CHS has reported in the past week. Last weekend, a man told police he was carjacked at gunpoint at 12th and Denny.

Board and Vellum architects designing own new home on 15th Ave

Capitol Hill architecture firm Board and Vellum has an intriguing project to design — its new 15th Ave E office.

Principal Jeff Pelletier tells CHS his firm is moving into the former credit union building on 15th Ave E joining Seattle Area Support Groups and Community Center upstairs.

“It’s just a great speed,” Pelletier said of the firm’s plans to stay on 15th Ave. “It’s Capitol Hill but a little calmer, quieter.”

Pelletier said many of the company’s 19 architects also live nearby. Meanwhile, the parking lot adjacent their new building is destined to be home to a new four-story apartment development.

Board and Vellum designs residential and commercial projects. They’ve been working out of the 15th Ave E building also home to Sur 16 and Dance Underground.

Their new office will fill the ground floor of the former Salal Credit Union. Pelletier said to expect a bright and white space with reclaimed furniture that appeals to the residential clientele that are such a big part of their work. You may have also seen Board and Vellum’s designs nearby inside Ada’s Technical Books.

Upstairs, SASG has moved in and is back to work supporting community groups focused on HIV issues and other recovery assistance like addiction after 26 years nearby in the Dunshee House. The old house, in the meantime, was purchased and is slated for demolition and redevelopment as townhouses. Maybe the future residents will put Board and Vellum to work designing their living spaces.


Capitol Hill food+drink | Coastal Kitchen sets sail under new ownership

Hardy in 2012 (Image: CHS)

Hardy in 2012 (Image: CHS)

The Capitol Hill food and drink economy remains hot — here’s a look at more than 20 new joints planning to open in 2016 — but it was a more unique opportunity that brought a local group of savvy restaurant investors to 15th Ave E to add a longtime part of the neighborhood to their portfolio.

Coastal Kitchen is now part of the South Sound Restaurant Group, a family-run company that holds a small set of neighborhood-focused restaurants with one key unique attribute: they also own the building.

“They’re all kind of icons, kind of neighborhood joints,” Jonathan Tweten tells CHS of the group of restaurants the Coastal Kitchen will now be part of.

Tweten tells CHS his family’s company acquired the 1924-built building the restaurant has called home for more than 20 years and the “line for brunch”-powered Coastal Kitchen from owners Jeremy Hardy and Tia Holt Hardy last month for an undisclosed amount. Continue reading