Public comment and the East Design Review Board aligned Wednesday night in agreement that the latest designs for the proposed redevelopment of the Central District’s Midtown Center did not meet expectations for recognizing the history and the culture of African Americans and Black Seattle at 23rd and Union.
The “portals” that open to the street from Midtown: Public Plaza are still not open enough to foster a strong connection to the surrounding neighborhood and to support the hoped-for Black-owned businesses inside — the building needs to do more than utilize masonry to recognize African American-style architecture from the neighborhood — the design needs more “Afro-centric” colors and patterns and, as currently designed, looks too “South Lake Union” — features like the open plazas and a proposed video screen installation to showcase local arts and history need to have more fleshed out programming plans — a proposal to keep costs down on the three building development with connecting skywalks and fewer elevators and stairs needs more thought — and more.
They also agreed on something else.
The review board covering neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Montlake, and First Hill wasn’t necessarily the best body to make the decision.
“How is the Central Area design team not looking at this?,” one speaker asked during the public comment portion of Wednesday’s night’s review, the final stage for the project in the city’s public design process. She also stated the obvious — each member of the design board Wednesday night was white. Continue reading
Africatown has been awarded a major grant as part of more than $5 million in funding for equitable development in Seattle.
“Seattle is facing an affordability crisis, which has displaced far too many and left behind many of our neighborhoods and businesses,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said about the grants. “To tackle these challenges, our City is investing in community organizations who are leading the way in creating true economic vitality and opportunity within Seattle’s most underserved communities.”
Africatown will receive $1,075,000 for “capacity-building” and “development expenses to include affordable commercial space to the Midtown affordable housing project,” according to the City of Seattle announcement of the award. Continue reading
At least one person was shot in the leg and bullet casings were found spread across the intersection after a volley of gunfire from a vehicle that quickly sped away from 23rd and Spring Tuesday night.
Police and Seattle Fire rushed to the area just before 6:40 PM after multiple reports of shots fired on a night when most of the booms reported to 911 are fireworks. Continue reading
23rd and Union
The Central Area Land Use Review Committee hosted a meeting last week for developers and neighbors to discuss the ongoing Midtown Center project at 23rd and Union with the community. And while the meeting was ostensibly focused on the design of the project, neighbors and advocates at the meeting reminded developers of the block’s importance in the African American community’s past — and future — in Seattle.
The community meeting was a preview for an upcoming design review meeting that will take place July 18th at Seattle University that could be the project’s final step in the review process for the much watched development:
Design review: 2301 E Union
The project moved forward in the design process in January as many community members said they hoped to see more thought given to design that highlighted the corner’s place in African American culture in the city. Continue reading
If the test run was any indication, mornings are going to be a little brighter and more delicious on 23rd Ave starting Saturday.
Raised Doughnuts, transformed from the old Collins Gold Exchange and mini-mart at 23rd Ave and Spring, officially opens this weekend with raspberry holes, maple bars, apple fritters, sugared mochi, and good ol’ plain glazed doughnuts for its new Central District neighbors.
“The community right away was embracing us,” I-Miun Liu, a prolific Seattle food and drink entrepreneur and business partner in the project tells CHS. Liu said the opening was eased by advice and help from “businesses in the neighborhood who have come by and supported us.” Continue reading
Don’t worry — this is only the massing concept for the four-piece apartment building being shaped for the Midtown block
In July, the long awaited redevelopment of the Central District’s Midtown Center will finally take its last step in the design review process. But first, Wednesday night, neighbors will get a preview of the final plans as the Central Area Land Use Review Committee community group hosts representatives from developer Lake Union Partners and architect Weinstein A+U for an open meeting to discuss the latest designs:
Midtown Center Design Community Meeting
Seattle Police are investigating a mugging at 23rd and Union Wednesday night that reportedly netted a group of three thieves thousands in cash.
Officers were called to the southeast corner of the intersection at the Midtown Center shopping center around 9:15 PM to a report that a group of three males was seen pushing another person to the ground before fleeing in a vehicle last seen headed south.
Police found a man who appeared to have suffered a serious knock to the back of his head and who told police he had just been mugged of $4,600 in cash, according to East Precinct radio dispatches.
Police were searching for a vehicle described as a tan or beige four-door sedan and the three suspects. Police did not have specific descriptions of the suspects and there was no indication of why the victim was carrying so much cash in the SPD report on the incident.
Seattle Fire was called to the scene to treat the victim’s injuries.
(Image: Earl’s Cuts and Styles)
At its annual fundraiser last week, Capitol Hill Housing announced some news about its Liberty Bank Building project at 24th and Union that hits right at the heart of the “inclusive” development.
Ready to be displaced by redevelopment of its longtime Midtown Center home, Earl’s Cuts and Styles will be moving into the Liberty Bank development, leaving its former home of 26 years on the corner of 23rd and Union.
Earl Lancaster, the Earl in Earl’s Cuts and Styles, is ultimately optimistic about the move. “I never thought I would have to move, but change is good,” he said. “The neighborhood is changing quicker than we would know, but I’m happy to be a part of it and continue to have a footprint in the central district, which is where I grew up at.” Continue reading
Here is a preview of 23rd and Union sometime in 2019 when the neighborhood’s newest grocery store, New Seasons, is slated to open in The East Union mixed-use development.
Protesters targeted the grand opening of the Portland-based chain’s new Ballard store Wednesday with a list of anti-labor, union-unfriendly grievances:
One person was reported shot in the leg and police were searching for cars seen leaving the area after gunfire broke out Saturday night at 23rd and Union.
Seattle Fire responded to one person with a gunshot wound to the thigh found near the liquor store just after 9 PM at the corner per radio dispatch reports. Police were searching the area for cars seen speeding from the area following the gunfire while officers were also collecting evidence from bullet damage to vehicles in the parking lot at the scene.
There were multiple descriptions on the cars reported leaving the scene, some with damage from the incident. Police were checking vehicles around the area including one found at 23rd and Cherry where two people were reported detained.
Shell casings were found near 24th and Union, according to East Precinct radio updates.
The victim was taken to Harborview. We do not have further information on the patient’s condition.
Police said the victim’s injuries did not appear to be life threatening.
UPDATE 3/18/18 9:38 AM: SPD has posted a report on the shooting confirming our initial details and asking anybody with more information about the incident to call 911:
On March 17 at around 9:06 p.m., East Precinct patrol officers were dispatched to the area of 24th Avenue and East Union Street to multiple 911 calls of shots fired. Upon arriving, officers quickly found a gunshot victim. The man had been shot in the leg. Officers immediately provided first aid and called for Seattle Fire Department medics. Police also canvassed the area for additional victims, suspects, and witnesses. Gang Unit detectives responded to conduct the investigation and process the crime scene for forensic evidence. Medics transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center for further treatment of his injuries. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call 911.
19th Ave fire
If you heard more sirens following the shooting response at 23rd and Union, those were Seattle Fire responding to the View at Madison apartments in the 1600 block of 19th where smoke was reported at the building just after 9:30 PM. Firefighters were dealing with a reported smoldering fire on the exterior of the building but found no flames inside per radio updates.