Death of a Capitol Hill waffle shop

(Image: @ktomcreative)

The Capitol Hill food and drink midway is down a sideshow and now lacks in the bright yellow neon and waffle department.

The Hill expansion of Sweet Iron has shuttered leaving a small retail hole in the commercial space of one of the largest preservation incentive-boosted developments in Pike/Pine.

We haven’t heard back from ownership about the shutdown but the original downtown Sweet Iron from the Jeffrey family remains open. Continue reading

Lawsuit settlement won’t end effort to save the Showbox

(Image: The Showbox)

Seattle is conceding on an important legal battle in the campaign to save the city’s Showbox music venue championed by Mayor Jenny Durkan, campaigned for by District 3 rep Kshama Sawant, and fought for by groups like Historic Seattle.

In the deal announced this week by the Seattle City Attorney, the city will pay the Showbox property’s owner Roger Forbes $915,000 to cover attorney fees and both sides agreed to move forward with a King County Superior Court Judge issuing his final ruling after quashing the city council’s temporary expansion of the Pike Place Historic District to protect the building and stop a planned sale.  Continue reading

Developer says return of City Market in the plans for seven-story E Olive Way development

Developers working on the project to create a new seven-story, mixed-use building at the site of Capitol Hill’s City Market say the popular corner store is part of the plan.

“I am happy to report that City Market will be coming back into the new building,” Charlie Bauman of developer Barrientos Ryan tells CHS. “We are excited to be working with them to integrate their new store into the development.” Continue reading

‘Very early’ but City Market property being lined up for new E Olive Way mixed-use project — UPDATE

City Market (Image: CHS)
(Image: @officialcitymarket)

They had better include a giant wall for the City Market poster sign maker to continue their impressive body of work.

Early filings with the City of Seattle show plans are in motion for a “Olive + Bellevue” project, a planned seven-story “multi-family building with ground floor commercial space” to rise along E Olive Way above the property currently home to City Market and its laundromat sibling.

Developer Barrientos Ryan and architect Caron have begun the process of planning the new project. Charlie Bauman of Barrientos Ryan tells CHS his firm is “very early in this process.” Continue reading

‘It’s rooted in the 1970s-era conception of environmentalism’ — Seattle looks to rein in state policy used to push back on big projects and developments

(Image: CHS)

To rise above Capitol Hill, the Bullitt Center, the world’s first super-green “living” office building, faced a nearly unbelievable fight. Owners of a neighboring building used the State’s Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) to fight against the structure’s vital solar array and, even more audaciously, tried to force the net zero waste building to provide more parking. They lost — but not before lengthy, costly delays.

There is another story.

Redeveloping Magnolia’s Fort Lawton was first floated in 2005 and the possibility remained a tension point in the community for over a decade as the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to move forward on a major affordable housing project at the old Army Reserve Center site earlier this year.

Slowed by lawsuits and the Great Recession more than a decade ago, the project was met with opposition from some saying that green space needed to be preserved over housing and others talking about the effects of bringing low-income housing to the affluent neighborhood.

Magnolia activist Elizabeth Campbell and others were first able to halt the project in 2009 with a legal challenge against the City of Seattle claiming there were several technical violations of the law in the plan. Both the King County Superior Court and the state Court of Appeals took Campbell’s side.

When the city came back with a similar plan two years ago, Campbell and the Discovery Park Community Alliance were back to sue once again.

“This is the way to tackle the City. You need a lawyer and a litigation plan – you need to go guerrilla,” Campbell told the Magnolia Voice in 2017. “To me it’s like a war. You use the tools you have available. This city knows they can ignore the people because no one will come after them legally. I’m for taking a hard stand with the city.”

While the Fort Lawton redevelopment is finally moving forward, its saga is one of many examples cited by advocates of a new measure moving through the Seattle City Council to reform the use of SEPA in Seattle that aims to minimize these sorts of long and winding appeals that delay what they see as much-needed development.

UPDATE 4:55 PM: The council has approved the legislation 8-0.

“When our collective house is on fire, having a reasonable timeline for when someone contests our right to build affordable and climate-friendly housing is really a problem,” said Alice Lockhart of 350 Seattle, a climate-justice organization. Continue reading

16,000-square-foot H Mart grocery will be at center of Capitol Hill Station mixed-use development

Inside the U District H Mart (Image: CHS)

CHS reported in March on negotiations for Korean grocery chain H Mart to lease the centerpiece retail space in the development under construction atop Broadway’s Capitol Hill Station.

While the company and lead developer Gerding Edlen still won’t talk about the deal, permit activity confirms the plans are a go as the mixed-use affordable and market rate housing, retail, and community development moves toward a 2020 opening.

As CHS reported previously, the plans filed in August show H Mart’s project will take the prime Broadway street frontage near the north entry to the busy light rail station. Plans show a layout with more than 11,000 square feet of store space on the ground level plus a 5,000+ square foot mezzanine. Continue reading

Landmark Knights of Columbus building set for ‘adaptive reuse’ future in middle of new apartment buildings

The future of the historic Knights of Columbus building lined up to be at the center of development along Union just above Pike won’t be more housing, the developer behind the project says.

The second of two new apartment buildings planned to wrap around the 106-year-old masonry clubhouse passed through the early phase of design review last month as planners were finally able to work out solutions to provide a better relationship between the planned development and neighboring E Pike buildings. Continue reading

To cut down on greenhouse gases and fracking, Seattle considers natural gas ban

The Seattle City Council will begin the process Friday for firing up a possible ban on natural gas in new construction — but don’t worry, chef, your gas ranges will probably be safe for now.

The legislation would prohibit natural gas hookups in new homes and apartment buildings starting in 2020. Council member Mike O’Brien will take up the proposal Friday afternoon in his sustainability committee session. Continue reading

How you can help shape the future of Broadway by helping shape the future of Seattle Central’s buildings

The view from SCC (Image: Seattle Central College)

The City of Seattle is looking for Capitol Hill community members to serve on a Citizen Advisory Committee to help develop a new Master Plan for Broadway’s Seattle Central to guide the school’s future development.

“Volunteers would serve on a Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) which is made up of neighborhood residents with experience in neighborhood organizations and issues, land use and zoning, architecture, landscaping, economic development, building development or educational services who will work with the City and SCC,” the city announcement reads. Continue reading

As redevelopment plan creeps forward, you still have time to enjoy Annapurna — and help it find a new Capitol Hill home

The future of 1833 Broadway

Thanks to the neighborhood’s deep love for the restaurant — and the dedicated ongoing documentation of “changing” Seattle by Vanishing Seattle — CHS’s inbox lit up this week with concern.

Did you know Annapurna’s building is going to be torn down?

We did.

CHS reported on the impending doom for the 1905-built Capitol Crest building back in 2016. The project to create a new development with a mix of 50 apartment units above 3,500 square feet of space for a store or a restaurant on the property even started the design review process back in 2017 but has been on pause since. With a bustling light rail facility across the street, the trade of 14 apartments and business space for a denser development is probably a good one. Continue reading