CHS Pics | Seattle Acoustic Festival at All Pilgrims

Newly expanded to three days — “We wanted it to stay small and focused but we’ve decided to let it grow a little bit” — the Seattle Acoustic Festival’s 2016 edition started off Friday with small crowds and a non-amped-up night of music inside Broadway’s All Pilgrim. The festival continues through Sunday night. Continue reading

Construction begins on The Danforth, home to Whole Foods and 265 ‘luxury apartments’ on First Hill

Danforth Rendering 2

Danforth Rendering 1The 16-story tower where Whole Foods plans to open by 2018 will be filled with “luxury apartments” and will be known as The Danforth, the project’s developers said Thursday in an announcement marking the start of construction at Broadway and Madison.

“We expect The Danforth to be a destination for residents and workers of not just First Hill and Capitol Hill but also surrounding neighborhoods including downtown Seattle, Madison Park, Madison Valley and the Central District,” Todd Seneker, portfolio manager for Columbia Pacific Advisors, said in the “alternative investment” firm’s announcement. Continue reading

Jury finds Broadway Grill hacker guilty in massive credit card theft case

Screen-Shot-2014-07-07-at-11.21.24-AMThe son of a Russian lawmaker was found guilty Thursday of an international computer hacking and identity theft scheme that included stealing credit card numbers in 2010 from the now-shuttered Broadway Grill on Capitol Hill.

A federal jury in Seattle found Roman Seleznev guilty on 38 of 40 counts, including computer hacking, wire fraud, and identity theft. He faces up to 34 years in prison when he’s sentenced in December.

According to a 2011 indictment, Seleznev’s hack of the Broadway Grill point of sale system resulted in at least $1.7 million in losses to banks and credit card companies. The DOJ also alleged Seleznev operated a global “carder” system to aid hacking and the sale of credit and bank card data. Investigators said Seleznev was linked to data breaches at Mad Pizza locations in the area, and a breach at Grand Central Baking.

In total, prosecutors said Seleznev pilfered $170 million through his international hacking operation. Continue reading

Agreement on $17M+ land lease will put Capitol Hill Station development on track for fall 2019 opening — UPDATE

In spring 2018, developer Gerding Edlen will finally break ground on the 100,000-square-foot Capitol Hill Station commercial, housing, and community space project. To do it, the developer needs to sign a land lease for the Sound Transit-owned property.

On Thursday, the Sound Transit board will vote on three 99-year lease agreements to hand over control of Sites A, B-South, and C — the paved over, fenced off parcels along Broadway between E Denny Way and E John. If approved, it would put Gerding on track to finish the project in fall 2019.

UPDATE (3:20 PM): The Sound Transit board unanimously approved the lease agreements Thursday afternoon, paving they way for Gerding Edlen to dive into the design phase of the project. “Today is a really exciting day,” said Sarah Lovell, a member of Sound Transit’s “transit orientated development” staff.

In addition to some 400 apartments, the project will include a retail “bazaar” anchored by a grocery store. Portland-based New Seasons Market and Capitol Hill’s Central Co-op are currently vying to take over the space. The project is also slated to include a daycare, community space, and permanent home for the Broadway Farmers Market.

Board members said the project would be an example for all future TOD projects along the expanding light rail system. Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff praised his staff following the vote, saying many had lived and breathed the deal for the past six months. “It’s easily the most ambitious TOD action the agency has ever taken,” he said.

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Police arrest two, seize handgun after Broadway robberies, pistol whipping

SPD says it captured two robbery suspects armed “with a handgun and a backpack full of narcotics” early Tuesday morning after two robberies along Broadway near Cal Anderson Park:

vgveOfficers Jamison Maehler and Christopher Couet were walking a foot patrol near Broadway and East Howell Street just before 5 AM when they heard a man shouting for police. Officers raced to the man’s aid, and learned two suspects had offered him drugs and then tried to rob him at gunpoint.

The victim pointed out the two suspects, who were walking south on Broadway.

Officers Maehler and Couet chased after the suspects, who split up and took off in different directions. Police were able to chase down and arrest both men, who are 20 and 22 years old.

Police discovered the 20-year-old was carrying a pistol, along with a backpack containing 8 grams cocaine, 7 grams heroin, 8 grams of heroin and a variety of pills, marijuana and a small scale. He is also convicted felon unable to legally possess firearms.

As officers were investigating at the scene, police received another report that the same two suspects had robbed another man in the same area a short time earlier.

Police booked both suspects into the King County Jail for investigation of robbery.

Seattle Fire also responded to the 400 block of Broadway E to treat one robbery victim who was pistol whipped in the head, according to radio dispatches.

Starbucks Capitol Hill Station planned for Broadway and Denny

Almost the original Starbucks logo...

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.02.59 PMWe look ahead in Capitol Hill food+drink from time to time but it’s pretty unusual for CHS to find a new project in motion when there is little more than a construction pit. Coffee giant Starbucks does things differently — CHS has learned the company is planning a new cafe across the street from the Capitol Hill Station light rail and development site.

Plans are in motion for a Broadway-facing cafe in the six-story apartment building just beginning construction at Broadway and Denny. The corner was the longtime home of the US Post Office before the feds moved their snail mail operation up the street. Demolition revealed the corner’s auto row past. It now has a caffeinated future. Continue reading

As it seeks bigger presence on Capitol Hill, Central Co-op faces scrutiny over Tacoma closure

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Co-op members gather in Tacoma Sunday to watch a live tweeting of a “community conversation.” (Image: Friends of the Co-op)

As Central Co-op continues its effort to open a second Seattle grocery store above the Capitol Hill light rail station, some members from the cooperative’s recently closed Tacoma branch want to know when they will get their store back.

The Tacoma Central Co-op closed in July when the board of trustees said it could not come to terms with the property owner on a new lease. CEO Dan Arnett said financial issues were also at play and the grocery store would have closed in the first quarter of 2016 had the merger with Central not taken place.

Some Tacoma members say they were blindsided by the closure and have been left in the dark about the future of their co-op. A group of Tacoma members have since started holding weekly meetings to demand more transparency from the board. On Sunday, Friends of the Co-op founder Monique Smith said Tacoma members drew up a list of questions for the board, including questions about the co-op’s finances. They also want the board to commit to opening a store in Tacoma within two years.

“The Tacoma community was devastated because they had worked so hard to get the co-op in that location, to serve the 6th Ave community, and to get to the point of growth in profits,” Smith said. “Without involving the Tacoma community, without asking for fundraising help to keep the co-op alive, a board of 11 members, two of which represented Tacoma, decided to close the Tacoma location.” Continue reading

Seattle Acoustic Festival quietly grows to three days at Broadway’s All Pilgrims

The Seattle Acoustic Festival returns to Capitol Hill this week with pay what you can pricing, a gloriously underrated musical venue in Broadway’s All Pilgrims, and an expanded three days of performances.

“We wanted it to stay small and focused but we’ve decided to let it grow a little bit,” organizer and musician Elijah Dhawan tells CHS.

The 2016 festival starts Friday and runs through the weekend across three stages at All Pilgrims, 500 Broadway E. This is the third year Dhawan and co-organizer Paul Mauer have held the festival. The two also organize an annual acoustic festival in Olympia. Continue reading

Harvard Market will work with SPD to keep parking lot free of troublesome weekend crowds

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The entrance to Harvard Market’s troublesome parking lot (Image: CHS)

The owners of a Capitol Hill parking lot at the center of a string of recent shootings have agreed to restrict access to the property and work with police to keep the Harvard Market shopping center clear of late night weekend crowds, the neighborhood’s chamber of commerce announced Monday.

According to the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce announcement, Harvard Market ownership will be “enforcing a parking lot closure” on Friday and Saturday nights:

Working in close partnership, the property owners and Seattle Police Department will be enforcing a parking lot closure on Friday and Saturday nights between the hours of 10:30 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. to any person without a valid residential permit. In addition, no trespassing rules and towing regulations will be enforced between these times.

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$$$$ Restaurant Marron exits the Loveless Building

There has been another summer food and drink closure on Capitol Hill but this one may not be the end for the restaurant involved.

Restaurant Marron has closed its doors in Capitol Hill’s Loveless Building just a little more than two years after bringing its $$$$ tasting menu format with 16-course, small-bite creations to E Roy. Continue reading

Yes, a Broadway fro-yo shop has also closed

(Image: Refresh)

(Image: Refresh)

Let’s just get all of this Capitol Hill food+drink bad news out of the way. One of the quiet summer passings we’ve yet to note is Broadway indie fro-yo shop Refresh Desserts.

Here’s the sweet goodbye letter from “Bobby, Judith, Ricky & Mary” announcing the closure to end July:

Dear Family, Friends, and Community,

We regret to inform you that Refresh Frozen Desserts & Espresso will be closing. Our last day open to serve you is Sunday, July 31st.

We want to send our sincerest gratitude to all of you for your encouragement, support, and love. Throughout this past year, we were able to build a welcoming community space creating new relationships and partnerships, and rekindling old ones.

Refresh Frozen Desserts and Espresso opened in the Hunters Capital-owned Broadway Building next to Blick Art last summer replacing a departed big chain frozen yogurt biz. Refresh was an unusual non-franchise player in the frozen yogurt biz which Broadway’s Menchies owners explained is mostly locked up with few distribution and product options. Continue reading

Police say man charged in E John shooting was angry over backpack theft

The 29-year-old charged for shooting a man in the shoulder on E John last Thursday morning said he was angered over a stolen backpack, according to court documents and the police report on the incident.

Randy Parker, who prosecutors say is homeless and had been out of jail for only two months after a residential burglary conviction, has been charged with first degree assault in the shooting which left the victim with a collapsed lung and broken arm. Parker also faces a weapons charge because his felony conviction prohibits him from being in possession of a firearm. Continue reading