Earl’s Cuts — and, maybe, some legendary eats — set for new home in Liberty Bank Building

(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

CHS Pics | A New Seasons opening in Ballard ripples into the Central District

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:

Employees say corporate managers retaliated against Portland workers who spoke up about working conditions, even hiring a notorious Trump Hotel union-buster to intimidate and silence them.

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One to hospital in shooting at 23rd and Union

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.

Despite pullback on expansion, New Seasons plans to open Central District store in 2019


With a backdrop of corporate drama and shifting expansion strategies, Portland-based New Seasons tells CHS it remains committed to expanding to Seattle and opening a new grocery store in the Central District:

New Seasons remains excited to open the 23rd and Union location. Our plan is to open the store in 2019. We’ve already been working with a Central District Advisory Council (business leaders, local nonprofit representatives and neighborhood council members who serve the Central District) to understand the needs of the neighborhood.

As part of announcements this week that CEO Wendy Collie was stepping down, the company announced it will pull out of its plans for new stores in California. Continue reading

Midtown Center redevelopment moves forward in design review process

A rendering of the planned, mostly public plaza (Image: Weinstein A+U)

The East Design Review Board Wednesday night gave its blessing to the early plans for redevelopment of the Midtown Center at 23rd and Union. The decision moves the project forward to the next phase in the process with hopes for better connections to the Africatown Plaza project that will neighbor it and a better approach to connecting the development’s massive internal plaza to the area’s surrounding community.

In a packed meeting room at Seattle University, community members who spoke during the public comments portion of the night’s proceedings expressed general support for the project but many said they hoped to see more thought given to design that highlighted the corner’s place in African American culture in the city.


The future view from Cal Anderson… will need more work

Broadway Bonney-Watson development kicked forward… barely
Meanwhile on Broadway… Public comments and the board were mostly in agreement Wednesday night — the Modera Broadway project won’t need a third pass in the early phase of the design review process but it will need a lot more work before the project gets by the board. Avoiding a relatively rare third “early design guidance” review, the board required an extra hour of deliberation as it asked developer Mill Creek Residential and Weber Thompson to do even more to activate the street level design along Nagle and connect the project to Cal Anderson, ultimately deciding three votes to two that the plans were close enough at this point to advance… like we said, barely. You can check out more on the “live/work unit”-heavy design proposal signed-off on Wednesday night here.


“Street life is the most important identifying characteristic,” one public speaker said about the corner, saying she was worried the design by Weinstein A+U architects is “taking all the life and energy to the internal courtyard.” “It’s not going to be a space that generates energy itself,” she said. Another described the early massing for the project as “Eurocentric” and “very linear.” Continue reading

Two Central District cafes facing closure point finger at Seattle City Hall

They both have become familiar faces whenever Central District small businesses are being discussed — usually in the context of the next big development or the next big infrastructure project promised to bring change to the neighborhoods their cafes have called home. Neighbors are now saying their goodbyes to Felix Ngoussou’s Jackson St. Lake Chad Cafe and Sara Mae’s 701 Coffee.

The 23rd and Cherry cafe owner Mae said she takes personal responsibility for 701’s closure but said she also lays blame with Seattle City Hall and District 3 representative Kshama Sawant for what she predicts will be a wave of Central District closures:

701 is just one in a line of real small businesses in the Central District that have been forced to close. We aren’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last. I firmly believe this trend will continue. There’s certainly no elected official—Kshama—that is going to give two shits about the plight of Central District Small Businesses. We have an elected official in the Central District who isn’t willing to devote some of her time and political capital to assuring that there is prosperity on the horizon for Central District small businesses. Instead she has created a movement that is based on resentment, and divisive political rhetoric that serves no purpose but to hold power, and keep people who are struggling trapped in a cycle of spinning their wheels, waiting for her precious cake. Frankly, all we have received in the aggregate from Kshama in all of this is Central District small business circumstances that has worsened under her reign.

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After ‘nightmare’ arson fire, Med Mix returns to the Central District

Tuesday, we found out just how many people love tacos and broke some news about the future of food and drink at 23rd and Union. Today, CHS has good news on a sad part of 23rd and Union’s restaurant past. Five years after an arson fire destroyed its 23rd and Union shop, Med Mix is open again in the Central District.

Owner Otmane Bezzaz dropped CHS a note earlier this week to announce that, “after years of trying to come back,” his new location just off 23rd and Jackson is now open. Continue reading

Broadway-born Tacos Chukis set to join the community at 23rd and Union

A taco joint with one of the humblest starts on Capitol Hill is ready for yet another Seattle expansion. The good news for fans of Tacos Chukis: This one is within walking distance.

“It’s a community we’d love to be part of,” Chukis owner Beto Salmeron tells CHS about the early plans for a late summer opening of a new Central District Tacos Chukis at 23rd and Union.

Tacos Chukis, born on Broadway in 2011 and known for its affordable and near perfect street-style tacos, will be taking on a relatively massive restaurant space in The Central, the first of a wave of development around 23rd and Union from Lake Union Partners. The apartment building is also home to e-bike dealership Electric Lady and coffee shop + hair salon Squirrel Chops. The project opened in 2016 but the quest to fill its large, anchor tenant-style restaurant space has been a long one with more than a few big players bowing out along the way. Continue reading

First look at new plan for redevelopment of 23rd and Union’s Midtown Center

Monday’s MLK Day 2018 marchers will pass by the site of the next major change for the neighborhood around 23rd and Union. Here are the first designs for the new mixed market-rate and “inclusive development” project planned for the Midtown Center block.

The newly released plans from architects Weinstein A+U and the Berger Partnership include room for somewhere around 429 units in 273,000 square-feet of residential space, new restaurant and commercial space surrounding a large “public plaza,” and room for nearly 300 vehicles to park below ground. Continue reading

Developers collecting ideas for ‘public square’ at 23rd and Union

Later this month, the redevelopment of 23rd and Union will continue with the first design review for the huge “inclusive development”-focused project from Lake Union Partners, Capitol Hill Housing, and Africatown set to rise above the corner currently home to Midtown Center. As the planning comes together for the mixed market-rate and affordable development, there is an opportunity for neighbors to start shaping a key element of the design.

Developers are collecting feedback on plans for a “public square” at the center of the four apartment buildings being planned for the site:

Most prominently, the project includes a public square almost 9,000 sf in size. The square is accessible from East Union Street and both 24th and 23rd Avenues. Surrounded by active retail users, the square is intended as a community gathering space during the daytime and evening hours, with special event programming from local community groups.

You can learn more about the plans and provide your suggestions for the square’s features at courb.co/midtown.

Patrick Foley of Lake Union Partners tells CHS this the first time his firm has used the coUrbanize platform on a project. Continue reading