Capitol Hill in Transition… the movie

Here, through the lenses The Advanced Digital Media Class for Teens at 12th Ave’s Photo Center NW, is another look at a changing Capitol Hill. Nice work, kids.

Capitol Hill in Transition from Advanced Digital Media for Teens on Vimeo.

Photographic Center Northwest located in Seattle, Washington offers teen workshops that help youth advance their creative skills in photography and digital media. The Advanced Digital Media Workshop offers teens the chance to create a multimedia piece where they use their photographic skills to tell a story.

In this particular class, our multimedia project explored the changes happening on Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington. Capitol Hill has long been considered the heart of Seattle’s alternative culture and lifestyles, but with a mass population increase and influx of new business the landscape is rapidly transforming.

Through the use of photography, video, and audio skills gained in the workshop; the students created the multimedia piece, Capitol Hill in Transition, which looks at the changing cultural demographics and economics sweeping the area.

Instructor: Bethanie Mitchell
Videographer: Peter Kubiniec
Photographers: Jack Sarlls, Phoebe Metzger, and Johanna Mergener
Audio: Phoebe Metzger

What the Broadway ‘post office’ building will look like — Plus, first look at plans for 95 Slide development

Believe it or not, this is not the plan (Images: )

Believe it or not, this is not the plan at Harvard and Pike (Images: Skidmore Janette )

There aren’t any plans — exactly — to preserve old Capitol Hill buildings as part of two projects slated to share the City of Seattle design review stage this week. We’ll get our most complete look yet at the six-story project that will replace Broadway’s old post office. And, at Harvard and Pike, we’ll get our first look at the plans — and the preservation scheme — behind the seven-story building set to replace 95 Slide.Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 8.09.50 AM

722 E Pike St

722 E. Pike St – Design Review Early Design Guidance for a 7 story structure containing 90 residential units with 4,000 sq. ft. of retail at street level. No parking is proposed. Existing structure to be demolished. View Design Proposal      

Review Meeting
August 26, 2015 6:30 pm, Seattle University, 824 12th Ave, Admissions & Alumni Community Building
Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance  

Project Number: 3020112  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice

Planner: Magda Hogness

CHS first reported this spring on the plan to develop the old pre-1940 building at the corner of Harvard and Pike currently home to sports bar 95 Slide. Owner Marcus Lalario later told CHS he was bummed by the choice to go the redevelopment route and not allow him to buy the club. “Capitol Hill is what it is, now,” Lalario said.

On this particular block, at least, Capitol Hill is set to stand about seven stories tall and be packed with apartment units. The property, by the way, was purchased in June from its longtime owners for $2.9 million. The new owner knows a little bit about Capitol Hill these days — Kevin Pantzar is chief financial officer at W.G. Clark Construction.

Wednesday night, developers Johnson Carr and the architects at Skidmore Janette will bring a design to the review board that will easily fit into the block now dominated by the seven-story Pike Motorworks project. It is being planned for around 26,000 square feet of residential space. At 90 units or so, the average living space will be a tidy 288 square feet.

But the design of the project is less interesting than the means by which developers Tyler Carr and Kelten Johnson propose to build an extra story in the six-story-approved zone: Continue reading

Summit Block Party matures along with the building that helped inspire it

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

IMG_22122015 could be the start of a new era for the Summit Block Party. In his second year as lead organizer, Adam Way is taking a more professional approach to the fourth annual day of free music, food, and beer happening this Saturday.

Special events permits have been acquired, t-shirts and other merchandise produced, and liability insurance purchased. Way even got the city to close street parking on the Summit Ave block between Howell and Olive for the party and secured a $1,000 Department of Neighborhoods grant to help offset costs.

“On the whole, there is a (push) for quality,” Way said. “I don’t want people to feel like the free admission wasn’t worth it.”

“I don’t want people to feel like the free admission wasn’t worth it.”

At the same time, the building on the block that had been the street party’s creative source is undergoing a similar transformation. The DIY madhouse days of the Summit Inn came to an abrupt end last year after it was bought out by developer Brad Padden who plans to renovate the entire building next year.

The Summit Inn and its resident community were key in getting the block party off the ground, but when Padden increased rents by $100 with promises of further increases, many tenants moved out. The original Summit Block Party organizers also decided to step away from the event this year. That doesn’t appear to be dampening the party. Way has made peace with the City and the new Summit Inn owners, who have agreed to provide electricity for the day-long event. “We’re just trying to do our part,” Padden said. Continue reading

Smaller pieces of HALA puzzle, with or without upzone, in motion across Capitol Hill

The mayor may have backed away from the most NIMBY-bashingly radical recommendations from his Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda committee but that doesn’t mean the HALA plan isn’t in motion in Seattle.

North of Capitol Hill, Pete Faraday enjoys living in his house on Portage Bay, but he wanted to find a way to make it more multi-generational. His solution: Build a backyard cottage so that other members of the family — or even renters — have a place to live. Meanwhile in Miller Park, the City of Seattle is making plans to sell a surplus property and put the proceeds toward developing low-income rental housing, a key recommendation from the HALA process.

DADU in Portage Bay
Easing the way for backyard cottages, formally known as Detached Affordable Dwelling Units or DADUs, has been one of the less controversial recommendations made by the mayor’s affordable housing task force. Although the mayor backed away from a proposed change that would have allowed any single-family house in the city to become a duplex, ideas to encourage more backyard cottages remain in play.

The units can be up to 800 square feet (or 1,000 square feet if attached to the house), and typically have a kitchen, bathroom and one or two bedrooms — basically a standalone apartment sitting in someone’s yard. The affordable housing task force pointed to the cottages as a way to increase the housing supply in a relatively cost-effective manner. Continue reading

The Feed Bag pet store is closing to go mobile after 21 years on Capitol Hill

The rapid pace of development surrounding Angela Pfeil’s longtime Capitol Hill pet store left her with two options: Get swallowed up in the change or make it work for her. After 21 years of serving Capitol Hill’s pet needs, The Feed Bag Pet Provisions will be closing at E Pike and Belmont in order to transition into a new mobile operation.

“We’re not going anywhere, we’re going everywhere,” Pfeil said. “I’m changing the business to fit the needs of the community.”

11885374_10153060051306824_1177700330871153691_nWith a commercial van ready to go, Pfeil is planning to close her brick-and–mortar shop in September when her new mobile store will take over.

Think of it like a food truck for pet supplies. The Feed Bag will initially focus on serving some of the very Capitol Hill apartment buildings that were partially responsible for the end of her shop, Pfeil said. As a die-hard Seahawks fan, Pfeil is also planning to tailgate with her van-full of Seahawks pet supplies and stake out other community events.

The Feedbagmobile will also make stops by appointment for a $5 fee or a $50 minimum purchase. Capitol Hill will remain home base, Pfeil said, but she’s looking forward to expanding into other neighborhoods. Unfortunately, Pfeil’s “bad boy” van won’t have enough room to stock the store’s current bird, fish, and reptile products. Customers shopping inside the walk-in van will also get to tap Pfeil’s decades worth of pet knowledge — something Pfeil hopes will make her business standout among delivery services like Amazon. Continue reading

Design review: First Central Station’s out-of-the-blue six-story block, Capitol Hill Lofts on Boylston

First Central Station's future central courtyard (Image: First Central Station)

First Central Station’s future central courtyard (Image: First Central Station)

Two projects emblematic of the current waves of development in the neighborhoods where each is planned come before the East Design Review Board Wednesday night: adjacent Yesler Terrace, a plan for not one but three six-story apartment buildings — on Capitol Hill just off E Denny Way, an eight-story apartment building replacing the old two-story building that has run its course after being home to Boylston Ave tenants for 95 years.Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 9.44.08 AM

1203 E Spruce St
Design Review Early Design Guidance application proposing three, 6-story buildings containing 400 residential units, 16,000 sq. ft. of commercial space at ground level and parking for 270 vehicles to be provided below grade. Existing structures to be demolished. Project includes contract rezone / View Design Proposal  (22 MB)    

Review Meeting: August 12, 2015 8:00 pm, Seattle University, 824 12th Ave, Admissions & Alumni Community Building
Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance
Project Number: 3018576  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice
Planner: Holly Godard

The developers behind First Central Station are planning to create a six-story block of mixed-use apartments out of the blue on the edge of the wave of redevelopment cresting over the Yesler Terrace neighborhood. Continue reading

Mayor backs off affordability recommendation for Seattle single-family zones

Backing down from slow growth opposition and in a nod to a wave of bungalow nostalgia, Mayor Ed Murray announced Wednesday afternoon he will not support one of the most controversial — and possibly widely impactful — elements of the 60+ recommendations from his Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda Committee.

Murray said Wednesday he will not support the recommendation that could have opened 94% of single-family zones in Seattle to more multi-family style development to help offset soaring rents.

In the announcement, the mayor blamed “sensationalized reporting by a few media outlets” for helping to create the backlash. “The Council and I created the HALA process because our city is facing a housing affordability crisis,” Murray is quoted as saying. “In the weeks since the HALA recommendations were released, sensationalized reporting by a few media outlets has created a significant distraction and derailed the conversation that we need to have on affordability and equity.”

UPDATE: Council president — and candidate for citywide Position 8 — Tim Burgess foreshadowed the announcement with an updated posted Tuesday about HALA’s recommendations:

While the list of recommendations from HALA is long, one specific policy has received the most attention and criticism from neighborhoods across Seattle. It’s the recommendation that single-family zoning be relaxed in all areas of the city to allow for new duplexes, triplexes and stacked flats, a policy some believe will lead to speculators buying up homes, tearing them down, and replacing them with more expensive multi-family structures. We should take a step back from any policy that leads to that kind of speculation, disruption, and the widespread loss of existing, more affordable housing.

Meanwhile, support for an alternative affordability plan galvanized Wednesday as a coalition of City Council candidates has pledged to pursue the plan from HALA member and Position 8 candidate Jon Grant. Grant’s plan calls for an expanded linkage fee program that includes residential development in order to fund construction of 9,000 units of affordable housing for households at 0-30% of area median income — 4,000 more units than recommended by the HALA committee. Grant would also dedicate 5,000 of those units towards homeless housing.

The full announcement from the mayor’s office is below. Continue reading

Review board says try, try again on Convention Center expansion design

BOREN-AVENUE-BEACONIt’s hard to say if the Boren Beacon concept, above, will survive. The development team working on the $1.4 billion expansion of the Washington State Convention Center have been told they need to come back with a new plan that better melds with the surrounding streetscape following the project’s second design review last week.

CHS reported here on the latest designs for the project and criticism for the proposal.

The design review board decision to require an unusual third review at the early design guidance step of the process follows calls from a Capitol Hill development and design advocacy community group the Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council that the massive project needed to do more to connect downtown to Capitol Hill along Pine and across I-5. “Aside from a series of vainglorious gestures along 9th Avenue, this is a large box with perfunctory spaces scattered along its perimeter that fall far short in fostering the kind of active civic life essential for this development; its current form, massing, and programmatic arrangement will make it challenging for this building to be the civic icon it should be,” the group wrote.

Previous to its review last week, the Convention Center project first faced the board in May. The project is slated to return for its third pass at the process in early October.

The (relatively) giant retailer coming to E Pike will be a… grocery store

As much as the return of the Capitol Hill Block Party has some remembering the “good old” days of Pike/Pine circa 1997, the changes underway on E Pike may eventually leave you pining for the CHBP days of yore — or, at least, remembering a day when there weren’t all those pesky large grocery stores on every block.

CHS reported this spring about the mysterious, relatively huge, 10,000 square-foot retailer making plans to join a new mixed-use development under construction on E Pike:

According to permits, the project’s plans for multiple retail units along the street have been pushed aside in favor of one combined “retail store” in the project. At just over 10,000 square feet, the store would be about half the size of Elliott Bay Book Company, for example, but twice the size of the still-empty OfficeMax that shuttered on Broadway earlier this year.

The developer wasn’t talking.

But CHS has learned that the project is being lined up as a grocery store involving an unknown company with plans to join what will be a wave of new market offerings joining the area in coming years. By 2017, a Whole Foods Market is destined to rise at Broadway and Madison as part of a 16-story apartment development. And developers say a “Portland-based grocer” is in talks to become the anchor retail tenant in the development surrounding Capitol Hill Station.

We’re not sure what that leaves as far as grocer possibilities to join E Pike where hundreds of new apartments will soon join the market in the blocks between Broadway and Summit. Maybe Samuel Pitts is getting back into the business.

UPDATE 7/24/2015 10:00 AM: Uh oh. In a letter dated July 20th, DPD says the plan for the mystery project to combine what was planned as multiple storefronts on E Pike doesn’t jibe with zoning. The developers have the opportunity to reply to the correction notice.Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 10.10.44 AM Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 10.10.55 AM

Design review: seven-story Crosby Capitol Hill on Bellevue, six (more) stories at 22/Madison

The future Crosby Capitol Hill (Images: B+H Architects)

The future Crosby Capitol Hill (Images: B+H Architects)

The recipe at Crosby Capitol Hill (Image: B+H Architects)

The recipe at Crosby Capitol Hill (Image: B+H Architects)

Now that we’ve solved downtown’s design issues, Capitol Hill can get back to making sure the buildings in its next waves of development are full of “community,” “connection,” and, as the developers of the Crosby Capitol Hill project on Bellevue Ave put it, “lifestyle.”

The Crosby and a six-story project planned for the *other* corner of 22nd and Madison will go in front of the East Design Review Board Wednesday night.

1517 Bellevue Ave
Land Use Application to allow a 7-story structure containing 45 residential units, 5 live/work units and 700 sq. ft. of retail space. Existing 2-story building is to be demolished. — View Design Proposal      

Review Meeting: July 22, 2015 8:00pm — Seattle University, 824 12th Ave, Admissions & Alumni Community Building
Review Phase: REC–Recommendation  See All Reviews
Project Number: 3018252  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice
Planner: Beth Hartwick

The first item on the agenda for what should be the final review for the project at 1517 Bellevue Ave is a discussion of the project’s branding:Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 3.43.38 PMJust kidding. There’s nothing you can do about it other than accept and embrace.Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 4.11.35 PM

But you can weigh in on whether the form and finish of the seven-story, 50 market-rate unit project live up to this: Continue reading