First Hill Streetcar 2015: New plan would move more rider revenue to Seattle


For a briefing to the City Council Tuesday morning, transportation planners have unveiled a proposal to change the agreement between Seattle and Sound Transit so that City Hall will be in position to see increased revenue if the First Hill Streetcar ridership numbers are strong.

Planners also revealed that CHS’s November forecast for the start of operations of the First Hill line between Pioneer Square and Broadway is likely too ambitious.

“Construction of the Project is nearing completion,” the planners write. “Although the start date of passenger service is uncertain due to delay in delivery of the streetcars, service could begin as early as the first quarter of 2015.” Continue reading

Extending power of the super green Bullitt Center, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict plans community-backed solar project to help light up E John affordable apartments

E John's Holiday Apartments had a sun clock installed as part of its 2010 grand re-opening (Image: CHS)

E John’s Holiday Apartments had a sun clock installed as part of its 2010 grand re-opening (Image: CHS)

Holiday Apartments community solar rendering

Rendering of the solar panels on the Holiday Apartments (Image: Bonneville Environmental Foundation)

In the coming weeks, Capitol Hill residents could have a unique opportunity to directly fund a large-scale, rooftop solar panel project going up right in the neighborhood. And if saving the planet isn’t enough of an incentive, you’ll also get a rebate on your Seattle City Light bill to sweeten the deal.

Capitol Hill Housing recently solidified plans to install community funded solar panels at its Holiday Apartments property at 10th and E John by the end of October. The solar panels are the result of nonprofit’s efforts to create more tangible projects under the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, which CHH launched last April.

The solar panel project, which is benefiting from the state’s Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program, should be up and running by the beginning of November. At that time, SCL ratepayers who invest in the project will begin to receive credits on their electric bills. Around 1,200 solar panel units will be available to invest in at around $150 each.

“We hope most (participants) will be based on Capitol Hill. This is about engaging people in the ecodistict in solar energy,” said Joel Sisolak, who spearheads the ecodistrict at CHH. Continue reading

CHS Community Post | Capitol Hill business owners to Sound Transit site developers: Make it unique

Panel Members Left to Right: Karen True (Pioneer Square Alliance), Moderator Michael Wells (Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce), Binko Chiong-Bisbee (Kobo), Tracy Taylor (Elliott Bay Book Company), Michael Oaksmith (Hunters Capital), Linda Derschang (The Derschang Group), Chip Ragen (Ragen Associates), Tim Farrell (Tarragon).

Panel Members Left to Right: Karen True (Pioneer Square Alliance), Moderator Michael Wells (Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce), Binko Chiong-Bisbee (Kobo), Tracy Taylor (Elliott Bay Book Company), Michael Oaksmith (Hunters Capital), Linda Derschang (The Derschang Group), Chip Ragen (Ragen Associates), Tim Farrell (Tarragon).

2014_9 Broadway Retail Panel 2As a reminder, anybody can post to CHS. You can find our latest contributions in the CHS Community section. Posts of high quality and interest may be shared on the CHS homepage. Thanks to all community contributors for being part of CHS! CHS reported on the “transit oriented development” process at Capitol Hill Station here: Developers vying to build Capitol Hill Station housing+retail say properties are overvalued

By Michelle Hippler, Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, the Capitol Hill Champions hosted a Broadway Retail Panel Luncheon at the Capitol Hill Library where neighborhood business owners spoke candidly to the developers who will bid on the prime real estate above the Link light rail station on Broadway. The resounding message was that developers have to get it right, and that means thinking more creatively about the retail spaces.

The bottom line, as Linda Derschang (Linda’s, Oddfellows, Smith, et. al.) put it: what really created the thriving Pike/Pine corridor business district was the high rent on Broadway. Pike/Pine happened because “nobody small and new could afford Broadway anymore.” Fast-forward to 2014 and even she is nervous about signing a long-term lease for Linda’s Tavern on Pine where the rent is expected to triple within a few years and the landlord refuses to make any improvements. “Will the renters filling up all these new apartments come to Linda’s? Will all the indie rockers move away?”

Continue reading

In legal battle over stripped ‘Bettie Page’ branding, fashion chain shutters Broadway boutique — UPDATE: ‘It was the traffic’

Back in the Bettie days on Broadway (Image: CHS)

Back in the Bettie days on Broadway (Image: CHS)

(Image: Tatyana Boutique)

(Image: Tatyana Boutique)

Broadway’s old state liquor store location will again be empty. Tatyana Boutique, the Las Vegas-based women’s fashion chain stripped of its right to use the Bettie Page name this summer, has suddenly closed its Capitol Hill store.

A sign posted at 400 Broadway E inelegantly shared the news over the weekend. We have not yet heard back from company officials about the abrupt closure. Thanks to tipster Tim for bringing it to our attention.

UPDATE: The company’s co-founder Jan Glaser tells CHS that the closure is not part of a wider pullback by the company. “We just opened in Toronto,” Glaser said. Instead, Glaser said a lack of Broadway foot traffic was to blame. “From the beginning, traffic was an issue there. Even before the name change,” Glaser said. The entrepreneur said he may be looking for a new place in Seattle for a Tatyana store. CHS suggested E Pike below Broadway. Let us know if you have any ideas for Glaser. Continue reading

After $15 minimum wage fight, Broadway cheesecake shop The Confectional pares back

Seattle sweet shop The Confectional has closed retail operations at its Broadway store citing a “restructuring.”

A sign in the window at 618 Broadway E spelled it out:

Thanks to Jackson for the picture

Thanks to Jackson for the picture

The move comes after the mini-cheesecake mini-chain caused a stir in the minimum wage debate earlier this year when its ownership said an immediate $15 an hour wage increase would force the Broadway dessert shop to close and the company would need to lay off of half of its staff.

In March, as CHS readers brainstormed ways to help The Confectional stay in business on Broadway, owner Destiny Sund said the company employed 11 people at its three locations with six employees working at the Broadway shop and kitchen. Sund said her Broadway location had been “struggling” and foot traffic had been less than expected when The Confectional brought its mini-cheesecake concept to Capitol Hill in 2011.

In June, Mayor Ed Murray came to Capitol Hill to sign Seattle’s new minimum wage into law. The long march to $15 per hour begins in 2015.

While the closure leaves the business still operating its kitchen in the neighborhood, the loss of the retail component on high-rent Broadway seems a significant blow to The Confectional’s Capitol Hill presence. We’ll see if we can learn more about the company’s long-term plans for the space.

UPDATE: Co-owner Sund declined to comment on the situation citing ongoing lease negotiations.

Sound Transit issues clarifications for Capitol Hill Station development proposals as cost concerns mount

Lots of concrete got pumped in to help complete Capitol Hill Station this spring and summer. Lots of money will need to be pumped in to complete the "transit oriented development" around the station (Image: Sound Transit)

Lots of concrete got pumped in to help complete Capitol Hill Station this spring and summer. Lots of money will need to be pumped in to complete the “transit oriented development” around the station (Image: Sound Transit)

As the projected start date for construction of the apartment complexes and businesses that will populate the area surrounding the Capitol Hill light rail station approaches in coming years, Sound Transit has released clarifications of many of the rules governing how the short-list of potential developers will outline project proposals for the developments. According to Cathy Hillenbrand of the Capitol Hill Champion community group, Sound Transit has provided new information about how the proposals will be graded and selected as well as aspects of the design process.

“What I’ve been hearing is that the developers will be having to spend a couple hundred thousand dollars if not more just to complete these proposals just because of the level of design-detail Sound Transit wants,” said Hillenbrand. “So if you’re one of the six teams competing for Site A, that’s not a great percentage of chance for winning, so are you going to lay out hundreds of thousands of dollars for that?”CHStation-TOD-area-600x467-1 Continue reading

Courts: Yancy Noll and First Hill murder trials, Monfort death penalty jury selection

As the wheels of justice slowly turn, a trio of major criminal trials involving Capitol Hill and First Hill are moving forward.

  • Road rage murder trial: The trial of the man accused in the alleged at 15th Ave NE and 75th road rage murder of Broadway QFC wine steward Yancy Noll is slated to begin later this month. According to court records, the case against Thomasdinh Bowman will begin being heard on September 22nd. Bowman has pleaded not guilty to the first degree murder charges in what prosecutors have called a “thrill kill” case. If convicted, prosecutors say Bowman will face up to 31 years in prison.
  • Monfort trial Jury selection: The trial of the accused cop killer who faces the death penalty after he allegedly opened fire on two East Precinct officers on Halloween night 2009 and killed veteran officer Timothy Brenton is scheduled to move forward with jury selection in October. According to court records, jurors will begin to be notified early in the month before a planned selection process that is expected to begin on October 27th and could last into December. The trial for accused killer Christopher Monfort is slated to begin in January. In 2013, a judge ruled Monfort could not face the death penalty because county prosecutor Dan Satterberg’s office had “failed to exercise the discretion it is statuatorily and constitutionally obliged to exercise.” That decision was later reversed. Early in 2014, Governor Jay Inslee instituted a moratorium on all executions in the state. Satterberg office continues to pursue a capital case against the defendant.
  • First Hill murder: The trial of Dr. Louis Chen — accused of stabbing his family to death inside a First Hill condo in August 2011 — has been pushed back and isn’t currently slated to begin until spring 2015, according to court records. In 2012, CHS reported that Chen had been “restored” to competency with mental health treatment and found fit to stand trial for murdering his partner and toddler son.

Capitol Hill and Madison Park-shot short Julia’s Farm ‘a dark crime drama with two women in charge’

(Image: Julia's Farm)

(Image: Julia’s Farm)

Shooting a movie on Capitol Hill is not the simplest endeavor, especially when the first day of shooting is May Day. Sudeshna Sen began to shoot her crime drama short on May 1st inside Capitol Hill’s Bonney Watson funeral home.

“We were doing dark, weighty scenes, and there was the parade and helicopters going around,” says Sen, “at one point I just thought maybe we should reschedule.“

The cast and crew were filming inside the funeral home and decided to go outside only to find a S.W.A.T team in the parking lot. The day’s events were unexpected but director and screenplay writer Sen was able to keep her capture the scene’s she needed.

Julia’s Farm was filmed in three day with 90% of the footage either in Bonney Watson or in an apartment in Madison Park.  Continue reading

Broadway bikeway — now serving 600+ trips a day — will help shape a safer 2nd Ave

Friday evening, a memorial ride and walk is planned to honor Sher Kung, the 31-year-old woman who died last week after being hit by a truck as she biked on the dangerous 2nd Ave in downtown Seattle. According to a city bike planner, learnings from Capitol Hill’s Broadway bikeway — currently serving more than 600 trips a day — will help make 2nd Ave a safer street for everybody.

Seattle Bike Blog has details of the planned 2nd Ave cycle track:

As we have been reporting for months (and urging for years), the city is in the midst of a safe streets project on 2nd Ave that will significantly upgrade the existing decade-old, paint-only bike lane squeezed between parked cars and moving traffic. The 2nd Ave bike lane is full of hazards, and cars and trucks often make left turns directly in front of people riding in the bike lane.

Currently scheduled to open Monday, the new bike lane will be protected from moving traffic by either a row of parked cars or a line of reflective plastic posts. At intersections where left turns are allowed, people biking and people making left turns in their cars will have separate signal cycles. So when someone on a bike has a green light, left turns have a red arrow and vice versa. So long as nobody runs a red light, the majority of turning conflicts should be eliminated.

City planner Sam Woods tells CHS that Seattle Department of Transportation observations and reports from riders of dangerous motor vehicle parking and loading in the bikeway have been one of the main Capitol Hill learnings planners attempted to address in the 2nd Ave design. On 2nd Ave, SDOT will increase the signage and add additional paint to “reinforce” where vehicles should not be parking and loading, Woods said. Continue reading

A century of use for Capitol Hill’s Gilda’s Club building

Seattle writer and historian Dotty DeCoster has been nice enough to share many of her essays and reports with CHS over the years. She first published this piece in 2009 — we’ve updated it and are happy to share it with readers again as Gilda’s Club prepares for its first ever Red Door campaign.

By Dotty DeCoster
This story is about the building at 1400 Broadway (corner of Union) that is home to Gilda’s Club of Seattle. It is the only Greek Revival edifice in the immediate neighborhood, and the front doors are bright red. The outside of the building is much as it was when it was built in 1912 and Johnson & Hamilton moved up from First Avenue. Until 1965, the building was the Johnson & Hamilton funeral parlor.

Charles F. Johnson and his wife Sophia, and Frank Hamilton and his wife Crissie Rankin Hamilton came to Seattle from Fargo, North Dakota, and set up the third mortuary in Seattle at 2127 First Avenue in 1902. Apparently, the families had met in Fargo – the Hamiltons were originally from Ontario and the Johnsons from Minneapolis. It is likely that by 1911 the confusion and mess generated by the regrades downtown impelled Johnson & Hamilton to look for a new site for their business. 1400 Broadway was a vacant lot right on a streetcar line with a livery stable behind it (east) and automobile garages to the north and northeast. Architect Daniel Riggs Huntington designed the building and it appears likely that the builder was William W. Noyes.

Daniel R. Huntington, A.I.A., (1871-1962) had a long and distinguished architectural career in Seattle, including serving as City Architect for a time. He was also a distinguished painter. On Capitol Hill, in addition to the Johnson-Hamilton building, he designed Fire Station #7 at 402 15th Avenue E., the Rainier Chapter House of the Daughters of the American Revolution at 800 E. Roy, the Norcliffe Apartments at 1119 Boren, and his own residence at 1800 E. Shelby.

First known as undertakers, then as funeral parlors, finally as a funeral home, the Johnson & Hamilton business continued until the mid-1920s. Continue reading