15th Ave E QFC block has new owner: Capitol Hill’s Hunters Capital

The “big property deal set to reshape Capitol Hill’s somewhat sleepy 15th Ave E” has gone down. For now, the quiet-er stretch of Capitol Hill commerce will stay as somewhat sleepy as ever.

“We look forward to becoming a part of this vibrant street as we value the unique retail and residential mix,” Jill Cronauer, chief operating officer at Hunters Capital said in an announcement Monday morning that the Capitol Hill-focused real estate development and property management firm has acquired the block of 15th Ave E home to QFC and a stretch of local businesses for $11.25 million. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Rock star data scientists and UX design writers at The Lab

It was a small but remarkable crowd that gathered inside a new venue on 15th Ave E on a mid-March Thursday night. It is not every night a group gathers to rub elbows and enjoy a drink with a rock star data scientist.

CHS visited The Lab last month during an appearance by Field Cady, data scientist at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. For $60, data science fans got a copy of his new book, The Data Science Handbook, and a special presentation and signing with the author. Your ticket also got you a drink to help loosen up the conversation about data analysis methodology and big data software. Party! Continue reading

Chamber ramps up campaign for expanded Capitol Hill Business Improvement Area

A campaign to create a $1.6 million program to address clean streets, public safety, and business growth across Capitol Hill’s commercial districts will begin a new phase this week with the first in a series of planned open house sessions to gather support for an expanded Capitol Hill Business Improvement Area and a new, larger charter for the organization behind the campaign, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce.

Open House – Capitol Hill BIA Expansion

In February, when chamber director Sierra Hansen officially announced the campaign to form a new Business Improvement Area, she said the organization had received commitments from about half of the 60% of 650 commercial property owners needed to move the proposal forward to the City Council for approval.

As the petitions have been circulating, Hansen said much of the past month has been spent following up with those committed owners, gathering official signatures and scheduling meetings with other stakeholders.

“Our list of supporters is strong,” she said, noting it includes Capitol Hill real estate developer Hunters Capital, faith-based organizations, Capitol Hill Housing, and residents.

Hansen declined to say what gains in the percentage of needed signatures the chamber has been able to secure in the early days of the campaign.

Not everyone is buying into it. Morris Groberman, who along with an investment partnership owns Harvard Market, says the current, smaller BIA focused only on Broadway already doesn’t do enough to clean up the neighborhood and keep crimes down — and he says his taxes are high enough already.

“I can only pass so much on to the residents before it hits my bottom line,” he said. Continue reading

Olive Tree’s new Capitol Hill branch now open on 15th Ave E

The flavors of the Mediterranean — by way of Kent — are now resident on 15th Ave E. Olive Tree opened this week in the space of a short-lived Latin American restaurant and a long-lived Bagel Deli.

CHS talked earlier this year with  Zana Abdulaziz who opened the first Olive Tree in Kent with his brother-in-law Ranj Rebwar in 2009. Abdulaziz told CHS the business partners chose 15th Ave E because it is a community-based neighborhood in the midst of the busy Capitol Hill restaurant scene. “We have an amazing product,” Abdulaziz told CHS last month. “We have an amazing vision of what we’re trying to do. If Olive Tree is to take off, Capitol Hill is the place to make it happen.” Continue reading

The tale of a new home for Postal Plus, an expansion for Ruckus pot shop, and the exit of a Capitol Hill antiquarian book seller

Postal Plus will, indeed, be moving on from its longtime home on Republican at 15th. Because this is Capitol Hill, Seattle in the year 2017, the move involves both a pot shop expansion and changes for an antiquarian book seller.

Let’s start with the mail. Postmaster Ed Zhang has found a new address to help serve as a contractor for the United States Post Office.

“I feel very much relieved,” Zhang said about finding a new location.

Zhang said the new location, which formerly housed Louis Collins Rare Books, is not only more affordable, but it also has space for parking. Zhang said the lease he signed is for 10 years with the option to renew for another 10. After taking the weekend to move and set up, the shop will reopen at 1211 E Denny Way on April 3. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Aviv Hummus Bar coming to 15th Ave E

aviv_no_bleed

David Nussbaum is bringing silky-smooth, mouthwatering hummus and steamy hot pita to Capitol Hill.

Aviv Hummus Bar is planning to open on 15th Ave E this May.

Nussbaum has worked in the restaurant industry his entire adult life and after years of wanting to open a place of his own. Now he has finally locked down a location for his own project.

“I’m just at that point in my life where I just need to do this myself. I’m ready to be my own boss and share my vision with the rest of Seattle,” Nussbaum told CHS.

Aviv is Nussbaum’s middle name and means spring in Hebrew, which invokes thoughts of fresh and new that he hopes to bring to his restaurant. Continue reading

After 71 years, Group Health marks Kaiser Permanente change at Capitol Hill campus

An experiment in health care born out of the labor and social movements of the pre-World War II Pacific Northwest transitioned to a larger, better-resourced future Monday morning at the site on Capitol Hill of its first hospital. Bathed in the blue light of thousands of LED lights, the new signs and a new system of health care were introduced this morning at the 15th Ave campus where Group Health first put the old St. Luke’s Hospital to use before creating its own Capitol Hill facility.

“We are honored to care for even more Washingtonians and their families,” Susan Mullaney, president of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington said. “Beginning today, Washingtonians can access Kaiser Permanente’s high-quality care and coverage across the state.” Continue reading

‘SAVE OUR POST OFFICE’ — 15th Ave E meeting to help Postal Plus find a new home

Zhang (Image: CHS)

Zhang (Image: CHS)

As what could be the biggest change for the street in decades plays out, the community around 15th Ave E’s shops and restaurants is coming together to help make a smaller change in the neighborhood work out for a longtime neighborhood business.

In October, CHS reported that mailing and package services stop Postal Plus was faced with doubling rent and needed to find a new home. Sunday, a neighborhood meeting organized by resident Ellen Taft is being held at Victrola to help postmaster Ed Zhang find a new home:

SAVE OUR POST OFFICE

Taft says Sen. Patty Murray Rep. Pramila Jayapal aide Raman Khanna will be on hand for the meeting.

The business situation around Postal Plus is more complicated than most small ventures on the street. Continue reading

Big property deal set to reshape Capitol Hill’s somewhat sleepy 15th Ave E

img_1796In a sellers’ market on Capitol Hill, another big real estate deal appears primed to remake part of the neighborhood. CHS has learned that property on a key block in the heart of 15th Ave E’s strip of shops and restaurants recently hit the market and already has a prospective buyer with plans for a multi-story, mixed-use building stretching from the site where the 15th Ave E QFC stands today to cornershop ShopRite.

“If God means for us to stay, I am staying,” ShopRite owner Mohammad Abid tells CHS about the deal and his long-term lease in the building the shop has called home for more then 20 years.

Fortunately, the coming changes are still a ways off. Continue reading

Olive Tree bringing Mediterranean flavors — and ‘amazing vision’ — to 15th Ave E

1294585_169476753243091_555668481_oSince 2009, Zana Abdulaziz and his brother-in-law Ranj Rebwar have been serving up Mediterranean cuisine in Kent. Soon they’ll be feeding kebabs, gyros, and hummus, and falafels to hungry Seattleites on 15th Ave E.

For a while now Abdulaziz and Rebwar have been wanting to open a second Olive Tree location — on Capitol Hill in particular.

“I like how there’s a lot of restaurants here. I really, really like the vibe,” Abdulaziz said.

They chose 15th Ave E because it is a community-based neighborhood and they hope to find staff members that are oriented that way and will be like family at Olive Tree. They hope to the new restaurant — their second location — open in March.

“We have an amazing product,” Abdulaziz said. “We have an amazing vision of what we’re trying to do. If Olive Tree is to take off, Capitol Hill is the place to make it happen.” Continue reading