First stretch of reconfigured 23rd Ave opens to two-way traffic

Joel Connelly can hop into his jalopy for a pleasant drive — a long kinked-off segment of 23rd Ave reopens to “two-way traffic” with its newly reconfigured lanes today:

Two-Way Traffic Resumes on 23rd Avenue Today from East Cherry Street to East Union Street

SEATTLE – The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) advises travelers that beginning today, July 27, two-way traffic on 23rd Avenue will reopen from East Cherry Street to East Union Street, allowing better access to businesses, homes, and community organizations in the area. This work is part of the 23rd Avenue Corridor Improvements Project. Continue reading

Wise Orchid Tai Chi opens on E Union with an alternative to yoga — UPDATE: New home for Apex Aerial Arts

Wise Orchid led a Seattle celebration of World Tai Chi Qigong Day 2016 in May

Wise Orchid led a Seattle celebration of World Tai Chi Qigong Day 2016 in May


The army of local yoga studios are getting some competition. Paralegal-turned-Tai Chi teacher Viola Brumbaugh has opened her own Tai Chi studio in the Central District, in the space recently vacated by children’s toy and clothing store Magpie.

Wise Orchid Tai Chi opened for business at 2002 E Union with a series of free classes on the Fourth of July and has been up and running since then. While Central Seattle has no shortage of yoga studios, Wise Orchid is one of just a few Tai Chi centers in the area. Continue reading

DUI arrest after car plunges into Central District construction site

The scene at MLK and Union Saturday morning. Thanks to Leslie for the photos and tip!

The scene at MLK and Union Saturday morning. Thanks to Leslie for the photos and tip!

IMG_9909A driver was arrested for investigation of DUI after a car carrying the 39-year-old, another adult, and two children plunged around 20 feet after crashing off the roadway, through a fence, and into a construction pit Friday night at MLK and Union.

Seattle Fire rushed to the scene of the 11:21 PM crash to find the car sitting upright on the under-construction foundation of the four-story development underway at the corner. We do not know specifics of any injuries but no additional medical units were called to the scene after the initial response. The car’s four occupants were able to get out of the vehicle on their own, according to Seattle Fire radio reports. Continue reading

Tigerly Ox opens on edge of Capitol Hill and Central District

Wallingford-born Vietnamese eatery Tigerly Ox has opened up a restaurant on the border between Capitol Hill and the Central District, at 22nd and E Madison. Owners John Tran and his wife Jodie chose a location on the edge of Capitol Hill because they believe there is already an overabundance of restaurants in the center of the neighborhood. The E Madison location may be just the first wave of expansion for the eatery.

Tran said his aim with the E Madison Tigerly Ox is to serve people for whom getting to the Pike/Pine corridor of restaurants might be a hassle. “We feel as though we can better serve those on the outskirts,” said Tran. Tran said he was attracted to a location in between Capitol Hill and the Central District because he felt the area could use more restaurants and he feels there is an “oversaturation of restaurants” in the central Pike/Pine business district of Capitol Hill. Continue reading

Lennar planning 405 units — and lots of commercial space — at 23rd and Union

New filings from Lennar Multifamily Communities indicate the developer is continuing to move forward with its plans to develop the Midtown Center, a block at 23rd and Union that many see as one of the last major development opportunities in Central Seattle. They also provide the first look at the exact scale of development being planned for the block —  a 405-unit, mixed-use project with nearly 500 parking spots:

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The new documents are part of a process to bring the project into Seattle’s design review process. No review has yet been scheduled.

In June, CHS broke the news on Lennar’s involvement with the 106,000-square-foot property once home to the U.S. Post Office and still busy with tenants including a liquor store and Earl’s Cuts. Company officials have not responded to requests for comment on the project. A representative from Encore Architects, the firm working with Lennar on the project told CHS the early site work was a preliminary study.

There is still no record of a sale for Midtown Center. A $23.5 million deal with another California-based developer, Legacy Partners, fell through earlier this year.

Prior to its 23rd and Union acquisition, Lennar had its sight set on another neighborhood-defining project when it submitted a proposal to develop the Capitol Hill Station “transit oriented development” sites on Broadway. Lennar is in the early stages of developing a mixed-use project at 22nd and E Madison. Meanwhile, the developer is building a 389-unit West Seattle project, The Whittaker, which will include a Whole Foods on the ground floor.

SPD ‘micro community’ policing survey shows ‘strong level of trust’

On Capitol Hill, the main issues are mental illness, car prowls, and graffiti. The biggest crime issue people had to complain about on First Hill is littering and illegal dumping. Meanwhile in the Central District, people are worried about getting shot, car prowls… and, well, getting shot. This from the results of a Seattle University-run survey on behalf of the Seattle Police Department as part of its ongoing “micro community” policing plan.

Limited results from the survey and a new micro community policing site were announced Thursday:

MCPP are the result of grassroots efforts, with direct collaboration from residents, business leaders, stakeholders, and police officers on the beat. Under the MCPP, community residents work in partnership with their local precinct captain and Community Policing Team to identify problems, analyze existing quality of life and crime data, and design individualized plans to reduce and prevent crime.

Continue reading

Police look for convertible, gunman in 26/Alder shootout

Police were looking for a gunman and occupants of a dark convertible who exchanged gunfire Thursday afternoon near 26th and Alder. There were no immediate reports of injuries but multiple witnesses reported seeing the male shooter open fire on the speeding car.

Police found shell casings at the scene and were interviewing witnesses to the 5:30 PM shooting. The involved vehicle was described as a dark green or black Firebird or Camaro-type car.

The gun battle took place just blocks from Powell Barnett Park where the East Precinct is holding its community picnic Saturday in an effort to continue efforts to activate the park.


East Precinct picnic comes to Central District park

After years of hosting the event within walking distance of the precinct’s 12th and Pine headquarters, the Seattle Police Foundation will bring its annual East Precinct picnic to a park in the Central District this weekend that is an example of both ongoing community investment in the area and struggles with drugs and violence.

Some organizers working to make Powell Barnett Park a safer place are happy to bring the event to MLK Jr. Way. John Barber, a member of the Seattle Parks board, posted this invite via Facebook:

You are invited to a community picnic with the Seattle Police and the neighborhood surrounding Powell Barnett Park next Saturday, July 16, 1pm to 4pm, at Powell Barnett Park, MLK JR Way, between E Yesler and E Cherry. This is a community policing/fun activity — music, hot dogs and ice cream, entertainment and door prizes. The area has been beset by driveby shootings and gang activities for years and our strategy has been repopulating the park to create a more positive environment.

Continue reading

Police search for information after wave of Central District anti-black attack reports

Seattle Police are asking for help gathering information after multiple reports of hate crimes around the Central District spread Wednesday.

UPDATE 7/14/16 4:10 PM: SPD says it has made contact with the victim and a hate crime investigation has been opened. The Stranger has the basic details of the report:

A black woman was physically attacked by a group of white men at the intersection of 31st Street and Jackson Street along Frink Park around 5 p.m. on Tuesday. She had just gotten off a bus with her six-year-old son.

“Social media made it seem like there was a roving group of people who had committed multiple crimes. As far as we know, this is the only report,” an SPD spokesperson told the paper. CHS confirmed with SPD Thursday afternoon that police are now in contact with the victim.

Original report: In the reports, a group of white males is said to have attacked black people at different locations around the Central District. SPD turned to Twitter to ask people to come forward with any information that could assist investigations:

This account was sent to us Wednesday morning. We have been working to find out more about it through the day.

This account was sent to us Wednesday morning. We have been working to find out more about it through the day.

In one account sent to us, a woman said her friend and another person were attacked and beaten Tuesday around 6 PM near E Yesler and that the incident was reported to police.

SPD public information representatives said they can’t find any details of an attack at that time and location and publicly available dispatch records don’t show anything similar in the neighborhood.

In addition, our review of radio traffic in the East Precinct around the hours the attack was reported don’t include any assaults nearby.

The reports come at a time of heightened tensions over policing and the black community following more deadly shootings of black men by police and the deadly attack on police officers in Dallas. Seattle, meanwhile, is in the midst of ongoing attempts to reform its police force as a new labor contract with the department’s Seattle Police Office Guild’s 1,250 members is being finalized. Continue reading

Truck’s lift strikes lines in Central District, knocks out power to thousands

A boom on a roofing supply truck struck utility lines at 18th and Spring setting off a noontime power outage Tuesday across parts of the Central District, First Hill, and Beacon Hill.

City Light reports that nobody was injured in the incident when the boom was being operated remotely and contacted wires, setting the truck ablaze. Seattle Fire was at the scene investigating the incident. Power was out for thousands but restored for most residences and businesses before the 3 PM estimate.

Transit systems including the First Hill Streetcar and Metro trolley bus lines experienced service disruptions during the outage. The First Hill Streetcar remained out of operation without power as of 2:30 PM.

Seattle 4th of July weekend gun violence includes CD drive-by, Cal Anderson shots fired

It was nothing like Chicago where more than 30 people were reportedly shot in gunfire incidents over the 4th of July holiday, but Seattle experienced its own wave of gun violence over the weekend including a serious shooting near a homeless camping area in the ID and a bout of gunplay in Cal Anderson Park.

In the most serious incident, gun violence near a homeless camping area on Airport Way S sent a woman to the hospital with life threatening injuries Sunday night.

Seattle Police also said it took two firearms into possession over the weekend in shooting incidents around the city including a reported Saturday night drive-by near the Central District’s Judkins Park:


Witnesses called 911 at 8:45 PM Saturday night when they saw a man displaying a handgun in Judkins Park. Officers arriving in the area reported hearing multiple gunshots and seeing a white Lexus with no plates speeding away. Officers pursued the vehicle until it crashed into a fence at 14 Ave S. and S. State St. The driver attempted to flee the scene on foot, but was quickly caught by a K-9 unit. Officers searched the suspect and found a handgun. Officers booked the suspect into King County Jail.

East Precinct increased patrols across the Central District following a pair of weekend shootings in May.

Some of those booms on Capitol Hill over the weekend, meanwhile, were not fireworks. Police swarmed into Cal Anderson Park early Saturday morning around 2:30 AM after an officer reported hearing gunfire in the area. Multiple 911 callers also reported hearing around 10 shots near the park. Witnesses told police that two men were seen running and getting into a black Mercedes before driving away on 11th Ave following the shots. Police were not able to immediately locate the car.

The weekend gun violence comes in the wake of a Seattle Pride marred by a mass shooting in Orlando and stepped-up security around the city. Seattle is also considering longer-term solutions to attempt to curb gun violence. In June, Mayor Ed Murray announced a proposal for a test of gunshot detection technology in the city in “neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence, including the Central District and Rainier Valley.” A federal grant will pay for the project. The technology is unlikely to be deployed around Capitol Hill. Following last November’s drive-by shooting at Broadway and Pike, officials said that the detection technology wasn’t effective in noisy city environments.

Rainbows in Pike/Pine, RBG in the CD, Seattle’s ‘community crosswalk’ roll-out continues

20th and Yesler (Images: CHS)

20th and Yesler (Images: CHS)

In the same way Pike/Pine’s rainbow crosswalks let you know you’re walking someplace special, the Central District’s new Pan-African Red, Black, Green crosswalks tell a story about the area’s history and culture.

CHS toured a few of the intersections where the new “community crosswalks” have been installed Thursday to see what the new and improved design looks like on the street. Continue reading