23rd Ave work includes electrifying bus route but no timeline for RapidRide

(Image: SDOT)

The City of Seattle says the second phase of the $43 million 23rd/24th Ave corridor improvement project is going well with the biggest risk being sorting out how to reduce the number of utility pole required to electrify the route for Metro coaches.

The update in SDOT’s latest report on major capital projects keeps the timeline for the work on the stretch south of Jackson on pace for completion before next summer. Continue reading

Work ready to begin on Montlake end of 23rd Ave corridor road diet

With work in the middle complete and crews still busy south of Jackson, construction is now ready to begin on the Montlake end of the 23rd Ave E corridor to give the road a diet, improve the area for transit, and make the streets in the area safer for pedestrians, bikers, and drivers.

“We’re designing 23rd Ave E/24th Ave E between E John St and Boyer Ave E by changing the 2 northbound lanes to 1 northbound lane and 1 center turn lane,” the Seattle Department of Transportation cheerily reminded residents in its recent construction bulletin mailed to area residences notifying that work was expected to begin this month. Continue reading

Rise and shine: Raised Doughnuts now open in the Central District

Mi Kim

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

Celebrate Doughnut Day as Raised Doughnuts makes final preparations on 23rd Ave home

It’s not quite ready for business yet but 23rd Ave’s coming soon Raised Doughnuts couldn’t let the celebration pass by unmarked.

Friday in celebration of National Doughnut Day, Mi Kim’s crew will be ready starting at 7 AM with half-dozen boxes all set for you to grab and go from in front of the about to open shop on 23rd Ave at Spring. Continue reading

After 37 years, Flowers Just 4 U opens on a new corner of 23rd Ave

Mary Wesley is ready for the next step in 37 years of flowers along 23rd Ave (Images: CHS)

In 1981, Mary Wesley moved her flower shop to a corner space on 23rd and Jackson. She renamed her shop Flowers Just 4 U, hoping a friendly name and two windowed walls would establish a community-centric atmosphere, drawing foot traffic in. 37 years later, Flowers Just 4 U has found a new home on the corner of Cherry and 23rd.

Wesley and her longtime employees Patricia Ross and Emily Steele are looking to continue their shop’s legacy as the store relocates to make way for the construction of a new, six story affordable housing development on its former site. Despite initial difficulties involving the lighting, floor plan, and moving flower fridges into the new space formerly home to 701 Coffee, the crew at Flowers Just 4 U is optimistic about the move considering their close proximity to Garfield High School, Garfield Community Center, residential homes, and other new shops and development opening in the surrounding area. Continue reading

23rd Ave road diet continues with year-long south project ready to dig in, bus-only lane cut from Montlake plans

23rd Ave south of Jackson

The process to overhaul 23rd Ave from one end to the other between 520 and I-90 is preparing for the next stages as construction is prepared to begin next month in the southern stretch of the corridor while a big change is being made to the plans in the north.

Wednesday night, the Seattle Department of Transportation will hold a “pre-construction open house” for the southern Phase 2 of the 23rd Ave Vision Zero project:

Phase 2 construction will happen along 23rd Ave S between S Jackson St to Rainier Ave S. While we don’t yet know an exact start date, we anticipate Phase 2 construction beginning as soon as May 2018 and lasting approximately one year. We will share more details about the construction schedule and phasing once the contractor is on board.

Wednesday’s meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, 2401 S Irving.

This summer, SDOT will also dig in for a few weeks on slimming down the 24th Ave E end of the corridor through Montlake. But a big component of the plan has been dropped:

In another unfortunate setback for Vision Zero and the Move Seattle Levy, SDOT has elected to remove the dedicated bus lane planned for 24th Avenue to give more space to cars. 23rd/24th Avenue, home to the 43 and 48 routes and used by over 6,000 bus riders daily, is one of Seattle’s supposed “transit priority corridors” (a phrase that grows ever more meaningless), slated for RapidRide buses in 2024.

“The 2015 Transit Master Plan called for bus lanes from Thomas St. to Roanoke St., almost all the way to the Montlake bridge,” the Seattle Transit Blog reports. “As the plan has evolved, neighborhood opposition has increased and the bus lanes have been walked back, until this month, when they were scrapped entirely.” Continue reading

A ‘Brutal’ landmark? East Pine Substation the Central District’s unlikeliest candidate for preservation

Tuesday is the deadline for you to weigh in on what might seem to be one of the more unlikely candidates to become a neighborhood landmark — Seattle City Light’s Brutalist, brick-walled East Pine Substation.

The E Pine at 23rd Ave facility will go in front of the  Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board Wednesday “to determine the historic status of the property prior to a SCL proposal to increase the substation’s capacity, security and reliability for the surrounding Central Area, First Hill, and Capitol Hill neighborhoods,” according to the department’s nomination document (PDF) on the property.

The nomination document describes the era of City Light’s investment in architecturally significant infrastructure: Continue reading

Raised Doughnuts finds home on 23rd Ave

(Image: Raised Doughnuts)

Change and redevelopment around 23rd and Union are shaping up quite nicely — but we’re not too sure about your belly. Popular pop-up Raised Doughnuts has found a home in the Central District.

The new doughnut bakery and counter is set to transform the old Collins Gold Exchange and minimart that was once lined up to become a Central District burger joint on 23rd Ave at E Spring. Continue reading

Black Lives Matter at School rallies outside Garfield High

Education leader Jesse Hagopian gathered with educators and students in front of the Central District’s Garfield High School Monday afternoon to rally for the Black Lives Matter at School effort in Seattle and beyond.

“Last year, one of our demands of the Black Lives Matter movement in schools was to have ethnic studies implemented across the Seattle school district,” Hagopian said in front of the rally and assembled media. “That effort turned out not to be hollow words.” 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.

Continue reading