KHUH, Central District radio, hits the air

With a track featuring “broken keyboard playing random notes w/ frogs in the woods,” a project three years in the making has crackled to life over the airwaves of the Central District. Tuesday, KHUH, 104.9 FM, officially began broadcasting as a “low power” radio station.

E Union’s Community-run Hollow Earth Radio powers the station with a schedule of eclectic and local music as well as neighborhood current affairs and issues. You can also continue to listen to HER online at hollowearthradio.org.

CHS first covered the plans for a micro-wave of micro-broadcasters to join the Seattle airwaves and secure low power FM broadcast permission from the FCC while deploying new broadcasting towers and equipment back in September 2014. A quest to raise $25,000 to launch the station was completed successfully last year.

Though the Hollow Earth community broadcasts have been available online for a decade, those involved with the station said the FM signal was import to reach neighbors without access to computers and that the low power station’s launch would also be a symbolic victory for alternative radio broadcasting.

KHUH will share the Central District and nearby radio dial with Seattle University which launched its own low power FM station in February 2016 on KXSU, 102.1 FM.

With the right twiddling of knobs and careful antenna alignment, you might be able to pick up either station around Capitol Hill — though some will experience an interesting mash-up, of sorts, as Tacoma hip-hop station KUBE also bleeds through at 104.9 FM.

Hollow Earth is volunteer-run and community-backed. You can learn more at hollowearthradio.org.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Youth, Artists Rally for Equity from Vulcan, Paul Allen

From the Artist Coalition for Equitable Development

Youth, Artists Re-envision Paul Allen’s Plans for the Central District at Rally, Showcase Tuesday, Sept. 19th 

SEATTLE, WA (Sept. 19th, 2017)- On Tuesday afternoon from 4-7pm, the Artist Coalition for Equitable Development (ACED) is announcing its launch with “Degentrify & Inspire” – a youth-lead pop-up press conference, rally, and showcase outside of Vulcan headquarters at Chinatown/ID Station. The coalition of over 70 urban arts entities will be delivering five community commitments to Vulcan Real Estate, the Paul Allen-owned company set to redevelop significant portions of the historically-redlined Central District along the Yesler-Jackson corridor in upcoming years.  Continue reading

Grocer New Seasons coming to the Central District at 23rd and Union

Another domino has finally clicked into place in the massive grocery cart shuffle game playing out in major developments across Capitol Hill and the Central District. As expected, Portland-based New Seasons has announced it will, indeed, be anchoring the Lake Union Partners-backed project on the northwest corner of 23rd and Union.

“The Central District is such a wonderful neighborhood, rich in history and culture. We are honored to join and serve this community,” New Seasons CEO Wendy Collie said in an announcement on the project Friday morning. “As a neighborhood grocer, we pride ourselves on creating gathering places that honor and reflect the culture of their communities, where everyone feels welcome to share delicious food, enjoy conversation and connect with one another.”

New Seasons is also interested in holding down the anchor grocer slot in the development projects set to arise around Capitol Hill Station. The grocer planned to open its first Seattle location in Ballard this year. Labor groups have opposed the company’s expansion to Seattle citing “an anti-union climate” at the company. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Your Voice, Your Choice Results — Four District 3 Projects

From SDOT

We’ve counted each vote and checked it twice! And, now is the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the announcement of vote results for Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks and Streets!

DISTRICT 3  

  • Capitol Hill: Crossing Improvements at I-5 Exit on to Olive Way (Cost: $75,000, Total Votes: 240)
  • Central District: Traffic Calming on 17th Ave S between E Yesler Way & S Jackson St (Cost: $15,000, Total Votes: 200)
  • Judkins Park: Improved Connections to Judkins Park from S. Dearborn St (Cost: $90,000, Total Votes: 173)
  • Capitol Hill: Crossing Improvements at 19th Ave E & E Denny Way (Cost: $83,000, Total Votes:  171) 

As a bonus, while Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reviewed ideas submitted by Your Voice, Your Choice participants, it ran the projects through its program priorities and was able to fund additional traffic calming and pedestrian improvement projects in underserved neighborhoods throughout the City. SDOT will work with communities to announce, design, and implement these projects in the upcoming year.

To provide some context to the results above, with $2 million to spend on park and street improvements, we allotted a maximum of $285,000 per City Council District. After the top projects in each district were selected by voters, there was $233,019 remaining in the budget. These dollars were used to fund one additional project in the three districts with the highest voter participation (Districts 1, 2, and 5).

You will also note that the number of funded projects varies per district. This is because the fund allotment is based strictly on overall cost and not the number of projects. The funding for these projects will be included as part of the Mayor’s 2018 Proposed Budget, and the work will begin in 2018.

This is the second year we have asked residents to weigh in on how to spend a portion of the City’s budget. Last year the focus was on youth, and this year anyone over the age of 11 could participate.  We are blown away by the response with 7,737 community members voting for projects in their neighborhoods! We are so grateful to everyone who participated:

  • The community members who kicked things off in February by submitting 900 ideas for projects.
  • The community members who participated on the Project Development Teams.
  • The Vote Champions who mobilized their communities.
  • The educators in Seattle Public Schools who made sure students’ voices were heard.
  • Our Community Liaisons who were out in force with translated ballots in Arabic, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
  • The amazing City staff at libraries and community centers who facilitated in-person voting.
  • And, of course, you the voters!

19th and Madison’s Mount Zion to be considered for Seattle landmark protections

With more than 125 years of history in Seattle, one of the largest black churches in Seattle will soon find out if its 1962-built home qualifies for landmark protection. The Mount Zion buildings at 19th and Madison will be considered by the Landmarks Preservation Board in September:

Landmarks Preservation Board to consider nomination of Mount Zion Baptist Church for landmark status

SEATTLE (August 4, 2017) – Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider nomination of the Mount Zion Baptist Church (1634 19th Avenue) located in Central Area on Wednesday, September 6 at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue, Floor L2) in the Boards & Commissions Room L2-80.

The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments regarding the nomination. Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board at the following mailing address by 3:00 p.m. onSeptember 5:

Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

You can also submit comments via email.

According to our Re:Take history of the church, Mount Zion was founded in the 1890s, and for its first decade rented a few different spaces downtown. Church members date Mount Zion to 1890 when “a small group of African Americans held prayer services in their homes.” The church eventually bought its own property and moved to 11th and Union joining another African American — First African Methodist Episcopal (First A.M.E.) at 14th and Pine. 24 years later, Mount Zion moved to its present day home.

As development on East Madison has risen around it, Mount Zion has also been making longterm plans for redevelopment. The church has also recently sold off nearby property. In 2015, CHS was there as Mount Zion celebrated its 125th anniversary.

The full nomination document is below. Continue reading

Police search unsuccessful after woman robbed on 24th Ave

Police are investigating a reported armed robbery after a woman was mugged and thrown to the pavement on the backside of the Midtown Center commercial block at 23rd and Union Tuesday night.

According to East Precinct radio dispatches, the suspect grabbed the victim and claimed to have a gun pressed against her as he shoved the woman down and stole her wallet on 24th Ave just after 10:30 PM Tuesday.

Police spread out across the area and a K9 unit searched for the suspect described as a black male around 5’6″ and heavyset, wearing a white tank top, and dark jean shorts, last seen fleeing the area on foot to the east.

The search was not successful and there were no arrests. No serious injuries were reported.

CHS Crime Dashboard — Reported robberies by month — East Precinct (Source: SPD)

With a rise in gun incidents and shootings across the city, robberies are down so far this summer in the East Precinct and the area around the Midtown Center has seen fewer incidents of gun violence after a spike earlier this year.

In May, developers announced a $23.25 million deal to acquire the Midtown block for long-planned redevelopment.

Finally, a $23.25M deal — and plans for inclusive development — at 23rd and Union

It is a riskier bet than most $23.25 million land deals in Seattle. But new neighbors and longtime community members are probably happy to see real progress. Africatown, again in partnership with sustainability nonprofit turned in-city housing developer Forterra, will still be part of inclusive development component in the deal. And the buyers seem to know what they are doing.

Lake Union Partners announced Tuesday that it is surging ahead with a plan to redevelop 23rd and Union’s Midtown Center block and has already closed on a purchase of the land — a riskier approach than national shopping center developer Regency Centers and its partner Lennar were apparently willing to take in their failed deal to acquire the property and build a grocery-focused project.

“Given our other investments at 23rd and Union, we’ve worked hard to connect well with the neighborhood and as always, we simply try to do good work with our design, be respectful of the community, and create projects with neighborhood retail that residents of the area need and want,” Patrick Foley of Lake Union Partners said in the announcement. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Community agreement on 23rd Ave properties opens door to development, Mandatory Housing Affordability implementation

From the City of Seattle

Mayor Ed Murray will send legislation to City Council to implement a community vision for 23rd Avenue and Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) requirements at key intersections with Union, Cherry and Jackson streets in the Central District.

“Generations of families and people have called the Central District home, making enormous contributions to Seattle’s heritage and identity,” said Mayor Murray. “Our goal is to ensure we maintain the cultural character of the Central District while keeping it affordable during a time of unprecedented investment and growth. These affordability requirements will help us accomplish these goals with a shared vision for this unique community.”

The 23rd Avenue Action Community Team has been working in the Central Area to support the neighborhood’s unique identity and community character by encouraging pedestrian friendly mixed-use development that promotes new housing options, including affordable housing, while supporting existing and new small businesses to serve the diverse community.

“The 23rd Avenue ACT supports the zoning recommendations for the Union-Cherry-Jackson nodes,” said Lois Martin, chair of the group. “As community stakeholders, we have been working in the Central Area for close to six years to develop and implement comprehensive work plans to support and enhance smart growth along the 23rd Avenue business corridor.”

The 23rd Avenue Action Plan is the product of nearly 100 meetings, over 30 community-based organizations and hundreds of area residents who engaged in hands-on and interactive workshops, focus group meetings, individual workshops, in-person interviews, business canvassing, and online surveys. In addition to the proposed rezone, the City has worked with the community on several additional local investments, including support for small businesses, transportation improvements, a cultural district, and increased affordable housing – and the City will continue to look for new partnerships with the community.

The agreement would allow taller buildings in exchange for contributions to affordable housing. It is estimated that the MHA requirements implemented along 23rd Avenue will produce 50 new affordable homes over the years. The remainder of the Central District will be included in the citywide MHA rezone legislation expected later this year, and will help contribute to over 3,700 rent- and income-restricted homes in the next 10 years. The cost of a rent-restricted two-bedroom apartment for a family of three earning $52,000 would be $1,296.

Seattle’s MHA program requires multi-family residential and commercial development to either include rent-restricted homes for low-income families or make a payment to the Office of Housing to support affordable housing. For these sites, the requirements would be 7 to 10 percent of homes or $20.75 to $29.75 per square foot for residential buildings and between 5 and 8 percent of floor area or $8 and $20.75 per square foot for commercial buildings.  The proposal includes some of the City’s highest MHA requirements in recognition of the Central District’s unique history, as shown in Seattle 2035 Equity and Growth Analysis.

The increase in development capacity needed to implement these MHA requirements is an additional one to three stories.

New MHA requirements have already been implemented in Downtown, South Lake Union and the University District. The Council is currently considering how to implement MHA in the Chinatown-International District.

Street Treats counter and its custom ice cream sandwiches ready in the Central District

“Here’s Andi! Our first customer. Very soft opening now until 8!” (Image: Street Treats)

The Street Treats truck has a place to park. After moving its production kitchen to E Union, the mobile dessert and custom ice cream sandwich provider, is now ready to debut its walk-up counter offering “street treats” to its new Central District neighbors.

The official opening is planned for Saturday, April 22nd but stop by for a soft opening snack if you get the mood.

Street Treats adding ice cream sandwiches, sweets to busy scene around 23rd and Union

Homestead Seattle grows into new space in Pike/Pine, sprouts new plant shop on E Olive St

The folks behind vintage furniture and design brand Homestead Seattle have been growing all sorts of things. Their design shop is about to grow into a larger, much more prominent space. And, Sunday, the new Homestead Seattle Plant Shop will blossom on E Olive St near 23rd Ave.

“We’ve definitely seen more apartment gardening,” Ryan Tansey tells CHS about some of the trends at play behind the new shop at 2202 E Olive St. “People who are moving to the hill are less likely to have a yard to work with,” Tansey said. “And I’ve also heard from some people that because many people are having kids later, having plants around is another way to have something to nurture and grow.” Continue reading