More than five years after the demolitions that kicked off the massive project, the Capitol Hill Sound Transit light rail station is entering its final months of construction. As the station rises between John and Denny on Broadway, the various murals and art installations that have decorated the exterior of the surrounding plywood “Red Wall” are slowly coming down piece by piece.
As 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?”
King County Executive Dow Constantine will be at the University of Washington light rail station construction site Wednesday afternoon to announce the “initial results” of planning “to integrate services provided by the region’s two largest transit agencies” — King County’s Metro and Sound Transit.
“It is essential for transit agencies with overlapping jurisdictions to fully integrate their services, and provide them to the public as efficiently as possible,” Constantine said in a statement on the planning earlier this summer following his executive order forcing the process. “Long term, our transportation future requires both adequate revenue and continuous innovation to expand service. This initiative advances the innovation half of that equation.”
UPDATE: The release plan includes possible proposals to revise Metro Route 8 and create or revise Capitol Hill routes to better connect the Broadway light rail station to South Lake Union and First Hill. More details below. Continue reading
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?” Continue reading
The “long-term holders” who purchased the building home to Capitol Hill’s post office in 2012 are lining up plans to build a five-story apartment building on the Broadway site.
Mark Craig, of
Bartell’s real estate investment subsidiary Henbart which bought the property in 2012 for $3 million, confirmed the start of the public development process for the corner building home to the U.S. Post Office Broadway branch.
“We’re real excited about the location and the proximity to transit,” Craig said. UPDATE: Henbart is owned by the Bartell’s family but is not a subsidiary of the drugstore chain. Sorry for the mistake.
A part of the neighborhood skyline for nearly 1,300 days is slated to wave its 250-foot arm goodbye to Capitol Hill this month. The giant crane purchased by Sound Transit contractors that has helped build Capitol Hill Station and the U-Link light rail tunnels beneath Capitol Hill will be taken down, disassembled, and transported north to help build a new station in Roosevelt.
Sound Transit says it will require approximately 20 trucks to cart the giant crane. More information about the crane’s August removal will be announced soon. The Krøll 1800 (Capitol Hill’s is the metric model) was set up with its enormous 250-foot jib about 100 feet off the ground. The model can be as tall as 200 feet. It can lift more than 30,000 pounds at full extension and more than 130,000 when operating at a shorter radius, according to the manufacturer. Continue reading
The return of fighter jets above the skies of Seattle has CHS thinking about the fighter jets destined to fly together underneath Capitol Hill.
For the Blue Angels, here’s when to make sure your babies, pets, and skittish friends are in a safe place over the next few days:
2014 – I-90 Seafair and Blue Angels Closures
The annual Seafair festival begins when the pirates land the first week of July and ends with the Blue Angels flying over Lake Washington in a spectacular display of aeronautics. The Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) role is to make sure drivers and pilots are safe during the annual event.
The Federal Aviation Administration requires WSDOT to close Interstate 90 while the Blue Angels perform for the safety of both drivers and pilots.
Which roads and ramps will be closed?
Interstate 90 will be closed to all vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, eastbound and westbound, mainline and express lanes, between Interstate 5 in Seattle to Island Crest Way on Mercer Island:
- Thursday, July 31: 9:45 a.m. – noon; 1:15 – 2:40 p.m. (Practice)
- Friday, Aug. 1: 12:15 p.m. – 2:40 p.m., (Practice)
- Saturday, Aug. 2: 12:15 p.m. – 2:40 p.m., (Full show)
- Sunday, Aug. 3: 12:15 p.m. – 2:40 p.m., (Full show)
Below ground and slated to hang above the boarding platform with the opening of Capitol Hill Station in 2016, Jet Kiss by artist Mike Ross features two A14 fighter jets deconstructed and re-assembled in a kind of frozen mid-air embrace. “This monumental sculpture is created from two decommissioned A-4 Skyhawk fighter jets,” Ross wrote of his creation.
The best news: It will take you less time to ride from the University of Washington to Broadway when light rail’s U-Link opens in early 2016 than it will to watch this hastily edited video of CHS’s walk Friday afternoon from Montlake to the future Capitol Hill Station with the winners of a Sound Transit contest.
Four winners of a contest designed to buck up a local restaurant’s prospects during construction made the 3.1 mile trek under Capitol Hill from the construction site at UW’s Husky Stadium to the edge of the downtown transit tunnel beneath the Paramount. They were escorted by a gaggle of Sound Transit representatives and a small pack of media for the Friday afternoon hike.
More than 1,000 entries were received in the Annapurna Cafe contest, officials say. One winner declined to make the journey. Commence your “Hey, I would have taken your place!” complaints. Continue reading
It was a speed dating session of sorts as potential developers of the future retail and housing sites to surround the Capitol Hill light rail station met with the public for the first time to tout their experience and qualifications and hear about the public’s wide ranging priorities.
Some 200 people gathered in the Broadway Performance Hall Monday evening to demand space for a Broadway farmer’s market, ample affordable housing, and to urge the eight shortlisted firms to adhere to the community priorities for the Broadway properties, which were hammered out over several years in an effort led by the group Capitol Hill Champion.
“We’re asking you to be bold, think historically. We’re here to help you succeed,” said Michael Wells, co-chair of the Champion group and director of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce. “There’s no need to move in darkness in this project.”
The participating developers have until September to submit bids to develop four housing and retail properties that will surround the future Capitol Hill light rail station. Sound Transit stands to net millions from the sale. Continue reading
The candidates to develop some of Capitol Hill’s most prominent and prized projects have added their names to the list and they include a mix of neighborhood, local, and national developers. Fourteen companies and nonprofits officially responded to Sound Transit’s February request for qualifications to develop 100,000 square feet of “transit oriented development” that will surround the future Capitol Hill light rail station. The project will include housing, retail, and community space on five sites stretching along Broadway from John to Denny.
A couple of familiar Capitol Hill names have thrown their names into the hat, including Capitol Hill Housing and a partnership that includes local developer Maria Barrientos. Sound Transit spokesperson Bruce Gray said the agency recieved more responses than it expected.
“It’s obviously a hugly desireable site,” Gray said. “It’s a fantstic opportunity for great development, and people want to be in the middle of Capitol Hill.” Continue reading
The Capitol Hill Champion group has a big job ahead making sure developers understand and adopt the community priorities established for the development planned to surround the future Capitol Hill Station light rail facility on Broadway. You’ll want to plan ahead, too. The Champion group has set June 2nd for its community meeting with prospective developers bidding to be part of the project:
Save the date! Meet the Developers June 2nd
Let developers know that you support community priorities at the Capitol Hill Station TOD sites. Attend a Community Meeting with short-listed bidders on June 2nd from 5:30pm to 8:30pm at the SCC Broadway Performance Hall (corner of Pine and Broadway). Bring your questions! Refreshments will be provided by the Broadway Farmer’s Market. Keep Capitol Hill’s voice strong!
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Beacon Hill’s Othello Station is represented by the noble stag.
Sound Transit is running a survey through mid-April to help determine what imagery should represent Capitol Hill Station, Broadway’s under-construction light rail stop:
Sound Transit is developing pictograms for future Link light rail stations. A pictogram is an icon that conveys meaning through its pictorial resemblance of a physical object. Pictograms are used on Sound Transit’s Link light rail station signage and way-finding materials. Paired with station names, they help identify stations and the surrounding neighborhood. Pictograms serve as station identification symbols for non-English customers, primarily those that use a non-Roman based alphabet.
Sound Transit would like to begin the process by getting input from you.
You can take the questionnaire here. It includes interesting queries like this as planners seek to build community descriptions of the areas where upcoming stations are planned:
A Sound Transit rep says the feedback will be just part of a community process to arrive at the final symbol for Capitol Hill’s Broadway stop, UW and beyond. To be effective, the final symbol must achieve three goals:
Pictograms are intended to be station identification symbols for non-English audiences, primarily those that use a non-Roman based alphabet. To be effective, Sound Transit’s Link light rail station pictograms must meet these requirements:
Simple in form, and are an easily recognizable symbol
Readable at many scales; including signage, print material, online and mobile devices
Are individually distinguishable and read as a family
Capitol Hill Station is currently described as at around 30% complete as construction crews continue to work at building the station’s platforms and light rail facilities. Meanwhile, a separate process to determine developers for housing, retail and community space on Sound Transit-owned land around the station is underway. Capitol Hill Station and the 3.1 mile U-Link extension connecting the downtown transit tunnel through the Hill to Montlake is expected to open in early 2016. No word, yet, on who the lucky winners are who will get to take a walk in one of the completed twin-tunnels as part of a Sound Transit promotion.
Sound Transit has come up with a unique way to aid a Capitol Hill business in a bit of a pinch due to construction on Capitol Hill Station. Eat at Broadway’s Annapurna Cafe between now and March and you’ll have a chance to win a one-of-a-kind, three-mile walk *under* Capitol Hill from downtown to Montlake. Here are the details from Sound Transit:
When you eat at Annapurna Café, 1833 Broadway, you can enter to win a Sound Transit walking tour of the U-Link tunnel-from Capitol Hill to the University of Washington.
To be eligible, you must spend at least $10 at the Annapurna Café and fill out an entry form at the restaurant. You can enter every time you visit. You must be at least 18 and able to walk the entire 3-mile concrete-lined tunnel.
A drawing in early March will determine the winners. No entry form information will be sold to an outside party.
By 2016 only U-Link trains will be running in the tunnel, no pedestrians allowed.
Earlier, CHS reported on the impact from construction work slated to last through summer to create a pedestrian concourse beneath Broadway to provide a passage for some of the thousands of riders expected to use the light rail station when it begins service in early 2016. Now 11 years old, Annapurna is soldiering through the remaining two years of construction and continuing to offer its delights of India, Nepal and Tibet on Broadway. Neighbor King’s Teriyaki shuttered last summer and Peet’s Coffee pulled up stakes long before that. “Our focus has been on promoting and marketing Broadway through a $610K agreement with the Chamber to keep shoppers, diners and drinkers in the neighborhood,” a Sound Transit spokesperson told CHS via email about the agency’s efforts to support area businesses through the years of construction to create the Capitol Hill portion of the U-Link extension.
Sound Transit is an occasional CHS advertiser and advertises its mitigation efforts on CHS.
The three-mile walk will likely take the eventual winner a few hours to complete as the course through one of the line’s twin tunnels winds its way from the downtown transit tunnel beneath the Paramount up through Capitol Hill and then down through Montlake and under the Cut to Husky Stadium. Riders will soon travel the same route in under 10 minutes. The tunnel boring on the $1.9 billion project was completed in spring 2012 and was achieved by a team of two 21-foot-tall boring machines that completed their mission with almost no hiccups along the way barring an occasional burst of muck at the surface and some strange vibrations around the Hill and in Montlake.
The twin tunnels between downtown and Montlake pass beneath dozens of apartment buildings, about 250 homes and several municipal structures at depths between 15 feet (beneath the Montlake cut) and 300 feet (beneath Volunteer Park) below the surface. The deepest digging between Broadway and downtown bottoms out at a still impressive 150 feet below the pavement. The journey from downtown to Capitol Hill includes some of the most technically challenging work of the project. Navigating a continuous curve that at one point brought the process within 21 feet of I-5 at the surface, the tunnel boring machine operated by a team of around 17 people operating five days a week, 24 hours per day for weeks at a time, traveled from Broadway to the edge of downtown’s transit tunnel. At its fastest rate, the machine was able to churn through 105 feet of soil in a day. On the other end of things, the lucky winner will descend a steep slope down the northside of the Hill into Montlake and under the waters of the Montlake Cut. It was an incredible feat of engineering — geek out here in this document (PDF) from the project team if you want to lear more — and all the more amazing given the continued troubles faced by the efforts to bore the waterfront tunnel.
The Annapurna contest has no limit on entries — you can add your name on each visit to the restaurant, according to Sound Transit. Just make sure you can still walk, come March.