Cayton Corner’s path from empty lot to Seattle park a long and winding road

The path to building a park in the City of Seattle takes years and years and thousands and thousands of dollars. So, CHS got a little excited when we saw work underway at the corner of 19th Ave and Madison. The excitement was a little premature. Cayton Corner will be a nicer open space this summer with a safer, less trip-y sidewalk but the money needed to complete the full vision for the park is still an open question.

Things are moving forward slowly in the meantime. “The new sidewalk is part of the park construction,” a Friends of Cayton Corner representative tells CHS: Continue reading

Westman’s Bagels and Coffee bringing ‘morning culture’ to E Madison

Highly anticipated Westman’s Bagels and Coffee is nearly ready to serve up its first boiled and baked masterpieces with just the right amount of schmear — maybe even opening in time to enjoy a few of the final days of Chanukah. Sometimes big expectations get packed into small spaces on Capitol Hill.

“People are passionate about their bagels,” Monica Dimas tells CHS. “Their expectations can be based on a perfect bagel they had in New York 12 years ago.”

Dimas, a big player in making small spaces work, and baker Molly Westman hope to meet some of those expectations and bring a little NYC to E Madison when they hope to finally debut the new streetside cafe and bagel counter next week after months of anticipation. 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

Have your say on Seattle U 12th and Madison development plans including 10-story dorm

"View West on Madison"

“View West on Madison”

As a “major institution,” Seattle University has to go about building things a little differently. Monday night brings what could be the last chance for the public to weigh in on the school’s plans for a new 10-story dorm and office building on E Madison and a transformation of the ground floor of the storage facility at 12th and Madison into the new home of the Seattle U campus book store.

Not subject to the design reviews typical of big development around Seattle, the school is, however, subject to an advisory committee’s approval of its plans. The Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council is encouraging people interested in the Seattle U project to attend Monday, June 20th’s meeting of the Seattle University Standing Advisory Committee:

Monday, June 20th, 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Seattle University, 901 12th Ave, Stuart T Rolfe Room, Ground Floor to the left of the Main Entry

UPDATE: New Location —  1000 E James Way – Student Center conference room 210 **The Student Center is located on the Seattle University campus, where 11th Ave and E James Way would intersect**

This group advises the City of Seattle and Seattle University on issues related to the design and construction of new buildings and other projects proposed under the City-adopted Seattle University Master Plan.

“SU is proposing a major redevelopment of the site they own at the southwest corner of 12th and Madison,” the PPUNC announcement reads. “Scope includes the Public Storage Urban Self Storage Building as well as the parking lot immediately to its west. This type of project will not go through Design Review, so this is your chance to opine.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | A Hill homecoming for Manu’s Bodegita

With the amount of talent at work across the kitchens of Capitol Hill food and drink, we’re bound to have more and more homecomings featuring recent neighborhood graduates.

“I always thought it would be nice to get back on Capitol Hill with all those fans who appreciated the flavors of that little pop-up way back when in front of Montana,” Manu Alfau tells CHS.

Now, three years and a lot of Manu’s Bodega success later, Alfau is ready to return to Capitol Hill with Manu’s Bodegita. Continue reading

Bus Stop | What Capitol Hill bus service could look like in 2025 and beyond

The Madison bus rapid transit is slated to open by 2019.

The Madison bus rapid transit line is slated to open in 2019.

With its big U-Link bus restructure in place, King County Metro has quietly begun laying the ground work to adapt to the next phase of expansion of Sound Transit’s light rail system. Within days of Seattle getting its first look at how Seattle’s light rail network will look in 2040 — with service to Ballard and West Seattle, in addition to Everett and Tacoma on the extremities of the system — Metro released a map showing its first attempt to serve our region in conjunction with that system. CHS dug into the Long Range Plan map to find how those changes would affect Capitol Hill.

As we have seen in the past, these plans can change dramatically, even more so with the timelines in decades instead of years. But the map provides an insight into how transit planners at Metro are attempting to serve Capitol Hill riders. Metro is breaking these changes into two conceptual phases: 2025 service and 2040 service.


The biggest change that will be in place by 2025 is Madison BRT. This project will consolidate service on Madison Street in dedicated lanes between downtown and Madison Valley, freeing up some service hours to be used elsewhere to complement.

As a result, Metro is eyeing moving route 2 off Seneca St. on First Hill and onto Pine Street in Capitol Hill.

This change, in turn, will pave the way for Metro to create a new crosstown workhorse between the Rainier Valley, Beacon Hill, and Capitol Hill from the current route 49. This route will serve 12th Ave, which perplexingly does not have any Metro service today despite being the eastern edge of one of Seattle’s largest private universities. This will also be the most frequent transfer between Madison BRT and light rail service at Capitol Hill Station. Continue reading

Design review: holding the corners at 19th and Mercer and the Piecora’s building

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 5.31.50 PM

View of the planned project on the northwest corner of 19th and Mercer building from Talulah’s patio. (Image: Public47 Architects)

It is out with the old and in with the new at the site of two planned Capitol Hill developments entering their final phase of design review Wednesday night. The original Piecora’s building at 14th and Madison was demolished last year and a big, old cedar tree at 19th and Mercer is on deck to come down in order to make way for two new mixed-used projects that will add a total of 172 market-rate units to the neighborhood.

The projects going before the East Design Review Board will also be adding highly visible commercial spaces on bustling corners, though there are no clues yet as to who might be moving in.

1830 E Mercer St. 

Land Use Application to allow a 5-story structure containing 32 apartment units and 2,260 sq. ft. of retail at street level. Parking for 10 vehicles to be provided below grade and surface parking for 2 at the alley. Existing structure is to remain.
View Design Proposal  (26 MB)
Review Meeting: April 13, 2016 6:30 PM, Seattle University, 901 12th Ave, STCN Student Center 130
Review Phase: REC–Recommendation  See All Reviews
Project Number: 3020860  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice
Planner: Beth Hartwick

First up will be the five-story apartment building with 32 market rate units planned for the northwest corner of 19th and Mercer. The Public47 Architects design calls for a 2,350-square-foot corner commercial storefront and 12 below-grade parking spaces.

Neighbors have been weighing in on the project since CHS first reported on the development plans from property owners Glenn MacDonald and Amanda Twiss last year. While, ahem, creative differences with architects typically top the list of concerns during design review, plans to remove a potentially “exceptional” red cedar tree on the property have drawn strong objections from neighbors.Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 7.10.16 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 7.09.18 PM

Others said they would be sad to see the tree go, but are pleased to have more commercial space added to 19th and Mercer.Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 5.58.08 PM

Unfortunately, the red cedar will in all likelihood be coming down as part of the plans supported by the design review board in a previous meeting. However, construction will not require the demolition of any existing structures, sparing Monsoon from the cedar’s fate. Continue reading

What the Piecora’s building will look like

ViEW TOWARDS SOUTHEASTAfter cruising through the first review of the project’s basic bulk and scale last summer, development giant Equity Residential has unveiled the architectural vision for the mixed-used apartment building that will fill in the empty lot where Piecora’s Pizza once stood at 14th and Madison. It’s been two years since CHS broke the news on the $10.3 million deal.

VIEW TOWARDS corner of 14th & madisonHere is how Equity and architects Ankrom Moisan describe the six-story project with 137 market-rate units averaging 606 square feet, 3,8000 square feet of commercial space, and underground parking for 81 vehicles:

To allow for the strongest, most viable retail, we propose a highly transparent commercial street front along 14th and Madison. The proposed retail entry/entries will mainly be along 14th or at the building corner due to the grade change along Madison. The proposed residential entry is along E Pike, allowing for some visual and physical separation from vehicle-oriented Madison. The residential entry will be setback from the property line to help with the slight grade change (+/- 4’) along E. Pike. As the grade steps up along Madison (+/- 10’), a landscape buffer is proposed to help with the transition from retail to residential uses.

Continue reading

On Capitol Hill corner ripe for development, cash-strapped assisted living home will close


(Image: Travis Peterson, courtesy of Ewing and Clark)

A dementia care home on Capitol Hill is preparing to close after the facility’s nonprofit owner announced Wednesday it was selling the 17th and E Madison property likely to be coveted by developers despite its possible landmark status.

Since it was opened by Full Life Care in 2004, the Gaffney House has served hundreds of Alzheimer and dementia clients in a rare, small-scale assisted living setting. Full Life executive director Nora Gibson told CHS the organization was forced to put the 1605 17th Ave house up for sale when it lost its loan on the property. Continue reading

23rd Ave small business owners say corridor overhaul is putting them on the ropes

701 coffee trying to make the best out of a difficult situation with deals for road workers. (Image: 701 Coffee)

701 coffee tries to make the best out of a difficult situation with deals for road workers. (Image: 701 Coffee)

The massive overhaul of 23rd Ave, and all the near-term traffic headaches therein, are coming to the E Madison intersection this weekend. The intersection will close and the 11 and 48 busses will be rerouted along with car traffic as crews will work around the clock until Monday morning.

23rd Ave is a workhorse of a road, running along the backside of Capitol Hill and through the Central District connecting neighborhoods and commercial areas. The $46 million overhaul of 23rd between S Jackson and E John will transform the artery into a much more efficient, much safer route for cars, transit, pedestrians, and — thanks to an adjacent greenway — bicyclists. But like so many massive transportation construction projects, while the long road may bring promise, the first few miles of the process are pure pain for local merchants. The city’s Department of Transportation and Office of Economic Development have pitched in with extra signage and communicating work plans, but some owners are saying it’s not enough. Continue reading