On 15th Ave E, booming design business means expansion for Board and Vellum, new start for Capitol Hill nonprofit

In a booming city full of redesign and redevelopment, Capitol Hill design and architecture firm Board and Vellum has decided 15th Ave E is the place for it to grow, too.

“Board and Vellum has grown from a staff of one back in 2011 to just under 40 people today,” firm principal Jeff Pelletier tells CHS. “We have seen tremendous growth in our landscape architecture and interior design studios and being able to occupy the whole building will mean we have certainty of where we will work for years to come while accommodating any future growth in our staff size.”

That growth means Board and Vellum has undertaken two of its most important design projects yet. Continue reading

Spice Waala’s Indian street food going ‘brick and mortar’ on Capitol Hill — UPDATE

(Image: Spice Waala)

If you are tired of “street food” variations of your favorite global cuisine, we cannot help you. You might be a bad person.

Spice Waala, Seattle’s purveyor of “authentic Indian street food,” will be the next mobile venture to put down brick and mortar roots on Capitol Hill.

“This allows us to start bringing to life a lot more Indian street food that we couldn’t do at the markets,” Uttam Mukherjee tells CHS. “Our focus is Indian street food, quick, below $10 price marks, a lot of fresh grilling in front of you.”

It will be a bit of a one for one trade on 15th Ave E where Kanak Cuisine of India has been “temporarily” closed after just over four years of business.

Spice Waala will bring a newer, fresher, but more nostalgic take on Indian food to the small restaurant warren that has been on a bit of a global jaunt in recent years with Indian Kanak and a Middle Eastern joint filling the space in recent years. Continue reading

Community meeting with developer will discuss plans for mixed-use future of Hilltop Service Station property

In January, CHS broke the news that the inevitable redevelopment of the Hilltop Service Station property would be carried forward by a developer with neighborhood roots.

Hunters Capital has plans for a five-story, 75-unit development at the corner of 15th and Mercer that are just being formed.

Saturday, the developer will meet with neighbors in a community session to discuss the early plans for the project.

The meeting will be held Saturday, February 23rd in the Miller Community Center multipurpose room from 11 AM to noon. You will have the opportunity to “join the project team and their architects to discuss the vision and approach for this new project in the neighborhood” as part of the city’s new early outreach efforts around new development.

 

‘The Intimate Values of Inside Space’ — Of course an art show mixed with a townhome open house is happening on Capitol Hill

At first glance, “The Intimate Values of Inside Space” sounds like your quintessential Capitol Hill Art Walk Valentine’s Day show.

The one-night exhibition, opening this Thursday during the monthly art walk at the new construction at 1532 15th Ave E, checks many of the typical boxes. It is curated by two local artists, Gabriel Molinaro and Alexander Keyes. And it groups together a group of great local artists, such as Jennifer Zwick, Philippe Hyojung Kim, Natasha Marin and local bands like Cumulus and Mahal. It also name-checks a French philosopher (Gaston Bachelard) along with a fancy-sounding concept (topoanalysis, in this case).

The Intimate Values of Inside Space

What’s peculiar, however, is its setting: six new construction townhouses. Hosted by Keyes, artist-turned-real-estate-agent, and real estate developers and investor company Build with Style, ‘The Intimate Values of Inside Space’ is also a real estate open house. Continue reading

Hunters Capital plans five-story, 75-unit development for 15th Ave E Hilltop Service Station site

With a road ahead of years of soil clean-up and Seattle’s long and winding public design process — plus a few stops along the way at Jim’s Hilltop Service Station which is hoped to keep operating through the process — the future of the corner of 15th Ave E and E Mercer is coming into view.

An early site plan for the property from developer Hunters Capital and the architects at Studio Meng Strazzara details a project planned to rise five stories and feature 75 units over 5,000 square feet of commercial space and 27 underground parking stalls.

The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce first reported the city filing Tuesday. Continue reading

City agrees to ‘no controls’ in battle over Capitol Hill’s landmarked Sullivan House — UPDATE

(Image: CHS)

While we’re celebrating a group dedicated to Capitol Hill history and preservation, here’s an update on one of the neighborhood’s most recent official landmarks — that won’t be protected as a landmark.

Last March, CHS reported on the ownership trust behind 15th Ave’s Sullivan House taking the city to court over the 120-year-old Capitol Hill mansion’s approval as a Seattle historic landmark and the decision’s scuttling of a planned multimillion sale.

That case has now been resolved with an agreement forged via the Seattle Hearing Examiner for the city to agree to not require controls that would have prevented demolition and development of the dilapidated but historic property. Continue reading

Building by building, apartment by apartment, Capitol Hill short-term units coming back on market for long-term renters

This week, you could rent eight apartments in 15th Ave’s Murray Hill building for short-term stays. That will change by May 1st.

Seattle affordability warrior, before you begin your wave of Capitol Hill vigilantism against buildings you believe are skirting the city’s new short-term rental regulations, chill out and wait until May.

“We are planning a mixture of long term rental and Airbnb,” Cathy Qui tells CHS about the plan — within 120 days — for the Murray Hill Apartments, the 15th Ave building she and her husband purchased for just over $4.1 million last March. Continue reading

‘Erotic memoir’ writer hopes for silver lining after brass handcuff jewelry ripped off in 15th Ave E burglary

A scene from @arielmstallings Instagram story on the incident

East Precinct cops haven’t tracked down the bad guys yet but they might have a better idea of what to give their loved ones for Valentine’s Day this year.

A weekend break-in at a 15th Ave E coworking space left the office ransacked and the burglar enriched with laptops, tablets, checkbooks, and, the author and artist behind the project tells CHS, about 80 pieces of jewelry being prepared for shipping.

The break-in at The Office above Ada’s Technical Books included several pieces of unique jewelry created to accompany a new book, Pros before Bros, an “erotic memoir” and “true story about sex work and grabbing your own healing by the balls” by Seattle writer Ariel Meadow Stallings. Continue reading

‘That neighborhood feel’ — Capitol Hill developer adds to 15th Ave E holdings with Hilltop Service Station deal

Jim’s Hilltop Service Station should have a few more years along 15th Ave E (Image: CHS)

A multimillion, just before Christmas real estate deal will put the 15th Ave E land home to Hilltop Service Station in the hands of a Capitol Hill developer.

Hunters Capital, the real estate development and management company known for preservation friendly investments in commercial, retail, and housing developments across the neighborhood, is purchasing the property with long-term plans for development.

“We’re big fans of 15th,” Hunters Capital’s Mike Oaksmith tells CHS about the deal. “We love that neighborhood feel.” Continue reading

How a group of ‘Poseurs’ created yoga community on the Hill

The evening sky above Capitol Hill is dark. Outside, a mean cold nibbles at any piece of skin left uncovered, but the basement studio of 15th Ave E’s Dance Underground, decorated year-round with soft Christmas lights, feels warm and fuzzy. The weekly yoga class, organized by yoga group Poseurs, just finished. Students stream out of the room. Others linger to talk, check in with each other, hug. “I love you,” says one person as they leave.

“Poseurs is the place where I feel like I can go in my pajamas and everyone’s chill with it,” says Alyssa Yackley, who’s been teaching with Poseurs since 2017. “There’s something about showing up to a place where everyone’s there to practice yoga, be in service of the community. There’s not a lot of space in the city to feel that way.”

“I’ve done a lot of classes at Corepower, and it’s a lot of Lululemon, a lot of thin white people,” adds Silver Fox, who’s been going to Poseurs for two years and started teaching classes last year. “I felt out of place. Seattle hasn’t felt like home to me until I found Poseurs.”

Technically, Poseurs is not a yoga studio. For one, the group doesn’t have its own space but instead organizes classes at Dance Underground, the Vajra or Love City Love. The “community,” as the teachers and founder Emily Denton call it, also doesn’t operate like most other yoga studios on the Hill or elsewhere. A core group of 5 to 10 regular teachers volunteer their time, and the classes are donation-based. Continue reading