112-year-old Capitol Hill building home to Club Z hits market for $2.15M

(Image: NWMLS)

A building that embodies some of the histories of Capitol Hill — including its never ceasing appetite for tearing down and building back up — is up for sale.

Here is the realtor’s description for the $2.15 million listing for 1117 Pike:

Built in 1906 this three story commercial building is for sale for the first time in almost 40 years. The Pike Building is located just above downtown Seattle in an A+ Capitol Hill location. This offers a Buyer the rare opportunity to purchase a pride-of-ownership property located only 3 blocks from downtown Seattle.

“The property offers endless potential for an investor to redevelop the property or maintain the existing use,” the marketing copy concludes. Continue reading

What’s next for Capitol Hill’s Harvard Exit: a new home for the Seattle Consulate of Mexico

What we found Monday inside the Harvard Exit: A crew hard at work building a new consulate

The People’s Republic of Capitol Hill will be host to a new headquarters for Mexico’s diplomats in Seattle. The Seattle Consulate of Mexico is slated to move into the overhauled, restored, and transformed Harvard Exit theater building on E Roy just off Broadway, CHS has learned.

The developer on the project declined to comment and a representative from the consulate said he could not provide additional information on the plans for the new facility at this time. UPDATE 2:30 PM: The consulate has confirmed the planned move but said it will announce more details including timing at a later date.

CHS has confirmed the construction underway in the old theater is part of continued work to strengthen the building’s security as a base for Mexico’s diplomatic efforts in the city. Continue reading

Spring groundbreaking planned for Capitol Hill Station development

Development on the four, seven-story mixed-use buildings surrounding Capitol Hill’s light rail station is proceeding toward a groundbreaking this spring, possibly in late April, according to Jill Sherman. Sherman is head the project for Gerding Edlin, the Portland-based developers leading the project.

The date has some community members ready to celebrate. Brie Gyncild of the Capitol Hill Champion group said her organization is hoping to host some festivities to coincide with the start of construction.

“We’re just excited we’re going to have a groundbreaking,” Gyncild said.

Sherman expects the construction to take about 21 months, assuming there are no significant delays, putting the opening in early 2020, as has long been planned. Continue reading

If Seattle is going to build its way out of affordability crisis, why aren’t there more Capitol Hill design reviews?

If Seattle is to “build its way of out” its affordability crisis, the market seems to be indicating that Capitol Hill, for now at least, has done enough. Design review, the most public component in Seattle’s development process, has slowed to a trickle in the East District covering Capitol Hill and parts of the Central District. There is only a single project on the East review board’s calendar this month; last year there were six. After a small pulse of activity in January, looking ahead, the calendar doesn’t appear much more robust. In 2017, there were more than 30 reviews scheduled for major projects in the area.

The simplest explanation could be that we’re simply built out. Liz Dunn, the Capitol Hill-based developer behind Chophouse Row, said she wasn’t sure what might be behind a slowdown, except that all the sites just might finally be built.

There are other indicators that also point to a construction slowdown. The number of active cranes dropped over the past six months. We still have more than any other city in the US, but this is the first time the number has gone down in years.

Seattle has built more than 300 new apartment buildings since 2010, many of them in this area. Recently, some analysis suggests rents have stabilized, and even dropped in parts of the city, a possible indicator that supply has finally caught up with demand.

And the supply is going to keep going up in the neighborhood in the near term. The development at Capitol Hill Station, the Bonney-Watson project, a building on what used to be Piecora’s, new development at 23rd and Union and more at 23rd and Jackson, mean there will be hundreds of new units available in the next couple years.

Only time will tell if this is a blip or the start of a trend, but people who study development issues across the city and on Capitol Hill point to a number of possible reasons. Continue reading

Seattle begins Mandatory Housing Affordability open house sessions

A slide from a recent MHA presentation to the City Council. The full set from the presentation is below.

Tuesday night, neighbors in northeast Seattle’s District 4 attended the first in a series of Mandatory Housing Affordability open houses planned across the city — our joint District 3 and District 7 session is lined up for the end of March:

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods will be hosting open houses throughout the city to provide everyone the opportunity to look at the revised Mandatory Housing Affordability maps and learn more about livability in Seattle.

These open houses are a great chance to talk with City staff from various departments, connect with your neighbors, and share information. All ages are welcome, so feel free to bring the kids. We will have complimentary food and beverages. Continue reading

Midtown Center redevelopment moves forward in design review process

A rendering of the planned, mostly public plaza (Image: Weinstein A+U)

The East Design Review Board Wednesday night gave its blessing to the early plans for redevelopment of the Midtown Center at 23rd and Union. The decision moves the project forward to the next phase in the process with hopes for better connections to the Africatown Plaza project that will neighbor it and a better approach to connecting the development’s massive internal plaza to the area’s surrounding community.

In a packed meeting room at Seattle University, community members who spoke during the public comments portion of the night’s proceedings expressed general support for the project but many said they hoped to see more thought given to design that highlighted the corner’s place in African American culture in the city.

The future view from Cal Anderson… will need more work

Broadway Bonney-Watson development kicked forward… barely
Meanwhile on Broadway… Public comments and the board were mostly in agreement Wednesday night — the Modera Broadway project won’t need a third pass in the early phase of the design review process but it will need a lot more work before the project gets by the board. Avoiding a relatively rare third “early design guidance” review, the board required an extra hour of deliberation as it asked developer Mill Creek Residential and Weber Thompson to do even more to activate the street level design along Nagle and connect the project to Cal Anderson, ultimately deciding three votes to two that the plans were close enough at this point to advance… like we said, barely. You can check out more on the “live/work unit”-heavy design proposal signed-off on Wednesday night here.

“Street life is the most important identifying characteristic,” one public speaker said about the corner, saying she was worried the design by Weinstein A+U architects is “taking all the life and energy to the internal courtyard.” “It’s not going to be a space that generates energy itself,” she said. Another described the early massing for the project as “Eurocentric” and “very linear.” Continue reading

Broadway Bonney-Watson developers back with new plan to better connect project to Cal Anderson

A second attempt at a design for the development which will rise from Broadway’s Bonney-Watson funeral home seemed to impress members of the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council last week. The design review board will consider the new plan this week.

Project architects from the firm Weber Thompson presented a plan at PPUNC’s January meeting last Tuesday night and showed off a different take on the market-rate apartment buildings set to rise where the funeral home and its parking lot stand today. The architects had come before the council in October 2017, and then before the East Design Review Board in November but the board wasn’t entirely happy with what they saw and sent it back for more work on the project’s connections to nearby Cal Anderson Park.

Design Review: 1812 Broadway

Continue reading

Here’s why Capitol Hill’s Galbraith House is being demolished

(Image courtesy John Fox)

Officials at Sound Mental Health tell CHS the decision to demolish a landmarked Capitol Hill mansion comes in the midst of planning about how the property owner can best serve the more than 20,000 people it helps each year struggling with addiction and mental health.

“The number of folks who need support help in our community has increased exponentially,” Sound spokesperson Steve McLean tells CHS.

“Our challenges are myriad — one of our challenges is space.”

CHS posted Tuesday about salvage underway on the 1904-built Galbraith House at 17th and Howell. An application to fully demolish the building that has been used as a Sound — formerly Sound Mental Health — facility and its neighboring carriage house has been approved by the city.

McLean tells CHS that Sound has been evaluating its options for the property for the past several years even before it became unusable in 2017 due to safety and structural issues. “At this stage of this process, we are assessing what we are going to do with that property,” he said. Continue reading

With hope for 2018 construction start, time to finalize design tweaks on $1.6B convention center expansion

After three years of design review, the final touches on plans for the $1.6 billion expansion of the Washington State Convention Center are down to the nitty gritty. The refined massing, the updated glazing pattern, the landmark lighting plan — each will be broken down as the project takes what could be its final bow in front of the review board Tuesday night at City Hall. Continue reading

First look at new plan for redevelopment of 23rd and Union’s Midtown Center

Monday’s MLK Day 2018 marchers will pass by the site of the next major change for the neighborhood around 23rd and Union. Here are the first designs for the new mixed market-rate and “inclusive development” project planned for the Midtown Center block.

The newly released plans from architects Weinstein A+U and the Berger Partnership include room for somewhere around 429 units in 273,000 square-feet of residential space, new restaurant and commercial space surrounding a large “public plaza,” and room for nearly 300 vehicles to park below ground. Continue reading