City seeks feedback on plan for EV charging station in the Central District

After Seattle City Light’s previous efforts to install an electric vehicle charging station on Broadway were curbed, the organization is proposing to build a similar EV charging station in the Central District.

The charging station would be implemented on East Olive St between 21st and 22nd Ave as part of the City of Seattle’s pilot program to add EV charging stations throughout the city. The pilot program is part of the Drive Clean Seattle Initiative, which hopes to provide more EV charging stations as an incentive for people to drive EVs, aiding the city in meeting its carbon neutral goals. 

If the chargers are built, two fast chargers will be located along the curb while two existing street parking spots will be converted to “EV charging only” spaces.

The average EV charging session lasts between fifteen and thirty minutes, so drivers would be limited to an hour of parking at these spaces.  Continue reading

LoJack: Why police and the Sheriff’s helicopter were searching for a parked Lexus in the Central District Saturday night

Saturday night, Seattle Police were searching through the streets just south of E Madison as the King County Sheriff’s helicopter roared above. The search went on for 30 minutes as officers combed the area, street by street. They must have been looking for somebody — or something — very important.

They were. They got a LoJack hit.

“We want to find stolen cars,” an SPD spokesperson tells CHS.

Details of how exactly the system works are a bit of a secret — “We don’t want people working around it,” the SPD representative says — but here are the basics. Continue reading

City collecting final feedback on proposed Broadway electric vehicle charging station

(Image: City of Seattle)

City of Seattle officials continue to collect community feedback on a plan to install an electric vehicle charging facility on Broadway near Capitol Hill Station.

CHS reported on the plan and official insistence that the installation would not pit Tesla owners vs. bicyclists by sabotaging future extension of the Broadway bikeway prior to a Seattle City Light-hosted open house last week.

The city says it continues to collect feedback on “the proposed EV charging location” through this Thursday, March 14th. You can add your thoughts via email at

Continue reading

To boost the Seattle dream of an electric car in every affordable garage, public charging stations being added across city, including one on Capitol Hill


Elon Musk wouldn’t be pleased with the delivery timeline but Capitol Hill is lined up to host one of the city’s 20 planned public electric car chargers hoped to, um, jumpstart the adoption of electric vehicles in Seattle and make the automobiles more accessible.

Seattle City Light is making plans to install 18 more of the DC Fast Chargers for electric vehicles at 10 to 15 curbside and off-street locations across the city one of which will be located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

“We feel that as a public utility we have a responsibility to our ratepayers to invest in and implement solutions that support sustainability,” Jenny Levesque, community outreach manager for Seattle City Light, said at Monday’s Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council meeting. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s only full service gas station up for grabs

Mike Burke (Images: Alex Garland)

The Hilltop Service Station on 15th Ave E — one of Seattle’s last full service gas stations — could be at the end of the road of more than 50 years of business on Capitol Hill. The station stopped selling gas this month though the busy garage continues to serve drivers from Capitol Hill and beyond. The land is up for sale.

Station owner Mike Burke has mixed feelings about the situation.

“I’m sad it’s a part of the community soon to change dramatically,” he said, “but at some point one has to accept the reality and move forward.”


Gary Bergamini, who passed away last November, owned the property since the 1960s. His assets moved into a trust operating on behalf of his heirs.

Burke came along in the late ‘70s, moving up from a gas pumper to a business partner. He will not make any new business decisions, however, until he talks with the property’s buyers. They could negotiate for the station to stay a while longer. But a developer is actively pursuing the property, according to Burke.

“So what do you think is gonna happen in Seattle,” he said. Continue reading

A true Pike/Pine throwback, Rancho Bravo drive-thru now open

Rancho Bravo Tacos

We’re not sure how busy it will be on a November Friday night but we expect by summer it will be quite the scene — even if nobody you know has a car anymore. Earlier this week after months of preparation, Rancho Bravo’s drive-thru at E Pine and 10th became operational.

CHS got word of the drive-thru’s opening earlier Friday when we talked to owner Freddy Rivas about his new venture around the corner on E Pike, Buddha’s Kitchen.

Rivas first told CHS about his hopes for reviving the last permitted restaurant drive-thru on Capitol Hill when he first took over the old Tricon Global-Kentucky Fried Chicken building years ago but it wasn’t until this spring that plans went into high gear.

Rivas, who manages his Seattle restaurants with a strong respect for efficient operations, said he waited to open the drive-thru until he was sure the ordering system was working smoothly and Rancho Bravo was ready to handle the extra load. He is also hoping signage and markings help keep the area safe for pedestrians, bikers, and drivers.

You might not remember when Pike/Pine was Seattle’s auto row but anybody old enough to remember the old Jack in the Box drive-in scene on Broadway on a Friday night knows what could be ahead for Rancho Bravo by the time summer rolls around. Expect some good times. Hours for the drive-thru are the same as the restaurant meaning there could be some late night, 2 AM taco cruises in your future. If only TNT was still around for some coffee.

Charmingly named 15th Ave Garage won’t return to Harvard and Pine after all


The Cue’s garage door could still be put to good use even without 15th Ave Garage. (Image: CHS)

The geolocation-twisted 15th Ave Garage won’t be returning to E Pine after all, and probably won’t be going back to its original location on 15th Ave either.

While the longtime Capitol Hill auto repair shop had plans to return to a renovated space inside the nearly complete Harvard and E Pine development known as The Cue, owners Alice and Jay Demise say the space turned out to be unsuitable for auto repair.

During construction, developers didn’t leave enough room for three car lifts or the ability for cars to adequately maneuver, according to the owner’s architect Anjali Grant.

“The architects who did the shell and core probably weren’t paid to look at tenant improvement,” Grant said.

Alice Demise isn’t bitter about the situation, though she said she is sad to leave Capitol Hill. “The whole building is a great, positive thing for the neighborhood. Everyone tried, the intentions were really good,” she said. Continue reading

Rancho Bravo ready to shift Pike/Pine’s only drive-thru into action


(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

As a plan to create a pedestrian only area in Pike/Pine’s nightlife zone moves forward, an equally audacious machination in an entirely different gear is also being readied for the two-block radius.

Rancho Bravo’s drive-thru is a “go.”

“I want to make sure the pedestrians and people in the cars are safe,” Rancho’s Freddy Rivas tells CHS.

Sometime likely in June, the not-so-new feature at the six-year-old Mexican joint will swing back into action. The signs are being painted, the menu boards and ordering intercom box have been in place all along.

The drive-thru is likely to instantly become a nightlife magnet on scale with the ultimately doomed Broadway Jack in the Box…

The drive-thru is likely to instantly become a nightlife magnet on scale with the ultimately doomed Broadway Jack in the Box which sometimes required SPD traffic control at the height of its weekend business hours. If Mix were rapping in the early 2000s, he might have made a different choice. Meanwhile, Capitol Hill, like any good American neighborhood, has a good history of food and cars intertwined.

Now, Rancho will suddenly become the only operating drive-thru restaurant in Seattle’s core. The Pike/Pine scene already attracts plenty of cruisers despite a slow go on clogged Friday and Saturday night roads. Expect a scene.

“First, we have to have enough people,” Rivas said of the logistics of opening what he believes will be a new feature that will significantly increase sales volumes at the restaurant. “We are ramping up.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | As Seattle’s parking ‘vanishes,’ a small solution on E Pike

One thing that gets overlooked in much of the talk about bro culture “taking over” Pike/Pine: These kids are young. But maybe not quite this young.

This excellent E Pike parking job in front of the Cha Cha was reported Saturday night by the observant folks at The Wildrose. Given Seattle’s ongoing optimization of its streets, you may want to consider a similar ride. At least they didn’t have to Zirx it. Continue reading

Capitol Hill dealership named top place to buy your next Ferrari… in the world


The last dealership on Capitol Hill is award winning (Image: Ferrari of Seattle)

Capitol Hill’s auto row has been transformed into a food and drink entertainment district but one holdout from the vroom vroom past has just been recognized as a leader in luxury automobile retailing.

12th and Union’s Ferrari of Seattle dealership has been named “Ferrari Top Dealer- World Champion 2013.” According to the announcement, the award is “based on a combination of factors including sales volumes, market penetration, client satisfaction and local marketing initiatives.”

Last March, CHS reported that the Ferrari and Maserati dealer was planning to stay and invest in an upgrade at the Capitol Hill location it has called home since 1999 even as other dealerships up and down Pike/Pine moved off the Hill. In October, we learned the dealership’s owners had purchased the former Callahan’s Auto Shop near 14th and Madison for $2.25 million. Ferrari general manager Tino Perrina told CHS he was still exploring options for the space, which could include a new showroom or a service area. He also said a major redevelopment project — like the ones underway throughout Pike/Pine including across the street from the 12th Ave Ferrari showroom – was probably not in the cards. No building permits are currently on file for the E Madison location.

In 2009, CHS talked to Perrina about the likelihood of the dealership remaining on the Hill. Though he admitted to challenges the dealership was facing because of the economic downturn, Perrina said the family business had no plans to cash in the valuable property and move the dealership. “It’s business as usual,” says Perrina. “We’re doing well and have no plans to move.”

Today, the dealership and garage at 12th and Union continues to supply a parade of fancy cars rolling through the neighborhood even as new developments like the Viva Capitol Hill building across the street fill in.

As part of the award, the Capitol Hill dealership will receive a congratulatory visit from one of Ferrari’s “famed Formula 1 racing cars in early 2014,” which will be on display for public viewing.