RIP, Broadway Sleep Train

Breaking news from Broadway. The chain that inspired one of the largest WTF? storms in CHS history when it arrived on Capitol Hill in 2016 is no longer. Sleep Train is gone. Welcome our new retail bedding manufacturer overlords, Mattress Firm.

Confused? Here’s the FAQ.

Central Co-op drops Capitol Hill Station bid over cost concerns

When the development opens in 2019, Central Co-op won’t be the retail anchor at the middle of thousands of square feet of new restaurants, shops, services and community space surrounding Capitol Hill Station. Interim CEO Garland McQueen announced the decision to drop its bid for the project Sunday night at the co-op’s annual owner meeting.

In a statement sent to CHS, McQueen said cost was the big factor: Continue reading

Seattle has competing plans for two June 11th Pride Marches — both on Capitol Hill

Seattle-Dyke-March-2015-15 (3)

The Seattle Dyke March, so far, faces no competition in 2017 (Image: CHS)

There are currently two competing plans for a June 11th Seattle “sister march” in conjunction with the 2017 National Pride March in Washington D.C. And both are being planned for Capitol Hill.

Organizers of the Broadway-centered Capitol Hill Pride Festival are protesting a decision by Seattle PrideFest to hold a march planned to start in Cal Anderson on June 11th along with marches expected to take place in cities across the country. The Broadway festival organizers say their plans for the same date starting on Broadway have been in motion since January: Continue reading

CityMD making plans to add to Broadway’s healthcare boom

A New Jersey CityMD, for example (Image: CityMD)

A New Jersey CityMD, for example (Image: CityMD)

The future version of Broadway around Capitol Hill Station continues to take shape. A big part of it will be keeping an influx of new residents healthy.

City permits show urgent care and walk-in clinic chain CityMD is planning to take over a restaurant space inside the eclectic Broadway Alley at 219 Broadway E. Continue reading

Despite stormy economic seas, Whole Foods still set to anchor 17-story Broadway tower

The Danforth, still rising, its anchor Whole Foods, still coming to Broadway and Madison

The Danforth, still rising, its anchor Whole Foods, still coming to Broadway and Madison

As news broke this week that Whole Foods is pulling out of its plan for a new West Seattle store as part of nationwide cutbacks, CHS asked what about the company’s plans for The Danforth, the 16-story mixed-use building rising at Madison and Broadway.

A company spokesperson says plans have not changed for the Broadway store. “We are still on schedule to open our Capitol Hill store at the corner of Broadway and Madison in late 2018,” she tells CHS. Continue reading

You might be able to move into your new Capitol Hill Station apartment in 2019

Earlier this month, Sound Transit and Capitol Hill Station celebrated one year of service carrying thousands of riders every day on the light rail line connecting downtown to Montlake by way of Broadway. The two acres of so of pavement around the station, you might have noticed, remain empty but there are big plans. Here is what comes next after December’s first design review — and why the one-year celebration didn’t include a ribbon cutting from the project’s developer Gerding Edlen for the some 400 affordable and market-rate apartment units and 59,000 square feet of commercial and community space planned to rise around the station.

Destined to begin construction in 2018 and open for new residents late the following year, the architects behind the largest buildings and the key central plaza above Capitol Hill Station are refining plans following the project’s first step in the special streamlined design review process set up for the community-guided “transit oriented development.” As part of its application for the critical land use permit, Hewitt Architects submitted a roster of planned design changes based on feedback from the design review board for the project’s main Site A building along Broadway and the pedestrian plaza that will sit above the busy light rail station below and is hoped to create a central gathering place, a home for the Capitol Hill farmers market, and a new gateway for the adjacent Cal Anderson Park.

Here are some of the changes being planned for the next and final round of design review expected to take place this summer:

  • Parking: The developer’s rep told the crowd at the December design review that there was likely to be fewer parking spots than included in the design plan. True… kind of. The big lot is down to 158 spaces: Site A was previously showing 183 parking spaces on 3 below grade parking levels. This has been reduced to 158 spaces. 
  • Broadway pass-through: The plan for a passageway through the development to connect Broadway through to the internal plaza will be de-cluttered and the quasi-public space will hopefully be more inviting and provide small retailers with a more active environment: The pass-through for Site A has remained at 15’-0” minimum width and all bicycle racks have been removed. The residential lobby no longer lines the entire south side of the pass-through allowing for further activation of the retail spaces. Retail is now visible at both the west and east. 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

Part of SDOT’s Broadway safety fix will also roll out across Seattle: a head start for walk signals

We gave the coming Broadway “all way walk” the headline but one of the safety improvements coming to the busy area around Capitol Hill Station will be part of a simple but hopefully effective change to pedestrian crossing signals across Seattle:

At intersections where the city knows accidents are likely, SDOT will preemptively add what Murray called “pedestrian-friendly signals” — walk signs that allow pedestrians into an intersection before drivers’ light turns green, giving walkers greater visibility — and traffic lights with left turn signals, which reduces conflicts between left-turning cars and pedestrians (or trucks) heading straight through an intersection. By adding leading pedestrian signals at 40 intersections citywide, Kubly said, the city expected to reduce crashes by 50 percent at those intersections.

After SDOT analysis, the re-timed signaling will be deployed at the busy Broadway/John/E Olive Way intersection to give pedestrians an advance walk signal before drivers get a green light. SDOT is also planning to add left turn lanes on John and E Olive Way to help better control vehicular traffic flow.

Dongho Chang, city traffic engineer, said pedestrian collision reports including near misses contributed to the decision. “Pedestrian-wise we hear about a lot of close misses,” Chang said.

The department found the majority of collisions were left-turn related from east and westbound drivers on Olive and John. Drivers heading north or south on Broadway didn’t experience many left turn collisions but did have a few rear-ending incidents.

SDOT is planning to implement the changes before summer.

Serious crash tangles John near Capitol Hill Station

(Image: Matt Mitgang via Twitter)

(Image: Matt Mitgang via Twitter)

One person had to be cut from a crashed vehicle and police were investigating after a two-vehicle collision at John and 10th tied up rush hour traffic and added to street safety concerns on the increasingly busy streets around Capitol Hill Station. There was also a report of a pedestrian possibly injured in the crash.

UPDATE: ‪SFD says patient removed from the crashed car was a female in her 30s. Her injuries were reported as not life threatening. The report of a pedestrian injured in the crash was apparently a mistake in the early confusion at the crash scene.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene around 5:20 PM to a report of the collision. One victim was removed from a car involved in the crash by a fire crew that sliced through the vehicle’s roof.

Police were at the scene to close off John to traffic and begin the investigation of the collision. UPDATE 3/23/2017 9:00 AM: A department spokesperson tells CHS the initial response to the scene was quickly downgraded after the situation as sorted out and a full traffic collision investigation was not necessary due in part to the lack of any serious injuries. There did not appear to be any citations issued to drivers of either of the two vehicles involved in the crash.

The intersection is part of an area identified for pedestrian and street safety improvements. SDOT began gathering feedback on proposed improvements including curb bulbs and plastic posts for the John Thomas corridor this week. Meanwhile, CHS reported that the city has also decided to add left turn lanes on John and E Olive Way at Broadway as well as add an all-way crosswalk at Broadway and Denny after a car struck a pedestrian and other near misses were reported near the busy transit station.

Long-term fix for First Hill Streetcar likely to take months, bill to be determined

IMG_0702The First Hill Streetcar went back into operation at 5 AM on Monday after a sliding incident on March 1 took it out of service. Short-term fixes and precautions have been put in place until a long-term solution is ready, which could take months. And, while a bill for the 20-day outage and repairs is still being tabulated, officials told a City Council committee Tuesday afternoon that Seattle shouldn’t be on the hook for the costs.

“If we go the direction that we’ve kind of talked about, some of those components have to be specifically ordered and manufactured, and that’s a two month period just to get the components made in Germany,” Michael James, with the Seattle Department of Transportation said. “So we’re probably talking months not weeks.”

SDOT did not provide an estimated cost due to the service failure, but James said it appears to be manufacturer Inekon’s or its insurance company’s responsibility to cover costs from the service closure, which could include work to get the streetcar operating again and bus service provided during peak travel times on the route by King County Metro. Continue reading