Chamber pulls back on plan to expand ‘Business Improvement Area’ and property assessments across Hill

The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce is pulling back on a years-long plan to expand a Business Improvement Area (BIA) property assessment that would provide hundreds of thousands of dollars for providing street clean-up and merchant support across the neighborhood.

In the announcement from the chamber’s executive committee, the group said it is “re-assessing how the BIA is organized at a larger level based on the changing political situation right now in Seattle.”

“[I]t is apparent that while the intent of the proposed BIA is for a stronger and better Capitol Hill, a shifting political reality in Seattle has made communities less trustful of how money is being spent,” the chamber announcement reads. “Seattle and Capitol Hill are very different places from when this proposal was crafted.” Continue reading

Starch? Sure. Redevelopment? Not yet — All Seasons owners say they’ll hold onto E Olive Way property

All Seasons Cleaners

The Kims want you to know All Seasons Cleaners, the E Olive Way drive-thru dry cleaners and home to on the Hill’s busiest little weekend flea markets, won’t be going away — not for a few more years, at least.

A manager from the dry cleaning shop tells CHS that the couple has opted not to sell their property and make way for new development. Continue reading

Coalition of small Capitol Hill property owners wants to halt chamber’s ‘Business Improvement Area’ expansion

Center of the opposition: This isn’t the first time Groberman has stood up against a BIA. In creating the existing Broadway BIA, planners “gerrymandered” his Harvard Market shopping center out of the assessment zone

Seattle’s “tax revolt” spring of 2018 includes a skirmish along Broadway, Pike, and Pine. Instead of a battle over “No Tax on Jobs,”  this fight pits the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce vs. a coalition of the neighborhood’s few remaining smaller and family commercial property owners and its relatively few co-op and condominium property residents. Together, the group could prove a major barrier for the chamber.

“We have huge traction to fight the proposed Business Improvement Area,” prolific Capitol Hill real estate investor Morris Groberman tells CHS.

Groberman, who owns or is partner in a collection of Capitol Hill properties including the Harvard Market shopping center at Broadway and Pike, is at the head of an effort to organize opposition to the chamber’s proposed expansion of a Business Improvement Area across most of Capitol Hill. Continue reading

Starbucks stores including Roastery close for racial bias training across Capitol Hill, CD

(Image: Kate Clark via Flickr)

Starbucks cafes across First Hill, Capitol Hill, and the Central District including its specialty Roy Street Cafe and Melrose Reserve Roastery will close early Tuesday afternoon as part of a nationwide day of training.

“For several hours this afternoon, we will close stores and offices to discuss how to make Starbucks a place where all people feel welcome,” the company said in a Tweet earlier in the day. “Thank you for your patience and support as we renew our promise to make Starbucks an inclusive gathering place for all.”

Around 180,000 employees at Starbucks stores and at its Seattle headquarters will receive training that will “focus on understanding prejudice and the history of public accommodations in the United States.” Continue reading

Taco service restored at E Olive Way’s The Saint — Plus, Anejo set to open on Broadway

No, Quentin Ertel is not an evil taco genius.

“As much as I’d like to say this was all part of a grand plan it really came down to two things,” Ertel tells CHS about the happy restoration of taco service at his E Olive Way establishment, The Saint. “The first is that I missed the tacos something fierce. And the second is that our regulars really missed our kitchen. Once we found the right chef it was an easy decision — we decided to give the people what they want!” Continue reading

District 3 community street improvements — including new Olive Way I-5 offramp crossing beacons — on the schedule for 2018

(Images: SDOT)

Last month, we took you inside the community-driven — and sometimes intensely personal — process by which citizens are helping shape a program to allocate small grants to improve neighborhood streets and parks around Capitol Hill and the Central District. The 2018 “Your Voice, Your Choice” process is underway to finalize a roster of future projects.

The 2017, batch, meanwhile, is ready to be built and some, like a new crosswalk on E Yesler Way at 17th Ave S near the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute are already in place. The city has created a new page to help track the projects. Here’s a look at the four improvements coming to District 3 this year. Continue reading

The Reef wins state approval for pot shop on Capitol Hill’s E Olive Way

The Reef ready to, um, bake something new on Capitol Hill (Image: The Reef)

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board has approved the permit for Bremerton’s The Reef retail marijuana shop to move its operations to Capitol Hill’s E Olive Way.

The decision was posted this week after the multi-month application review process. The Reef ownership has not responded to our multiple attempts to talk with them about their plans on Capitol Hill. Continue reading

Rethinking the Capitol Hill Pac-Man pavement park

Kim’s picture of the Pac-man pocket park from the Capitol Hill Seattle Facebook Group

The latest discussion in the Capitol Hill Seattle Facebook Group brings together many themes familiar to readers of CHS — public space, parks and p-patches, homelessness… and dogs.

Kim posted this image of the E Olive Way at Summit at Denny Pac-Man pocket park and raises a valid issue — what use is a pocket park if nobody uses it? “I pass this sad scene every day and have never seen anything suggestive of added value going on there,” she writes. “Would make a great pea patch or dog park with a little investment.” Continue reading

BREAKING: ‘Amante is gone and they took their flashing sign with them’

Here is a twist we did not see coming. Earlier this month, CHS reported on the exit of Amante Pizza from E Olive Way and Denny to make way for a new retail marijuana venture from Bremerton-born The Reef. We knew the fancy pants architects Olson Kundig were involved in the design for the new store. But we had no idea the infamous flashing gateway, welcome-to-Capitol Hill landmark would be disappearing from the corner. It’s possible that David is high — but he also provided photographic proof. But Sunday is also April Fool’s. Let us know what you’re seeing on E Olive Way.

Fire in E Howell apartment and restaurant building investigated — UPDATE: Arson

Thanks @flyguy84 for the pictures from the scene

The Seattle Fire Marshal was investigating Monday night after firefighters quickly extinguished a blaze inside a 1925-built E Howell apartment building home to 40 apartment units and the Kedai Makan restaurant.

Smoke and fire were first reported in the 400-block E Howell Burlingame Apartments building off E Olive Way around 7:35 PM. Seattle Fire units quickly brought the blaze on the mezzanine level in the building’s residential entrance under control. One early report indicated the fire may have involved a couch.

The building was evacuated during the response and SFD was checking smoke levels inside to make sure it was safe for residents and customers. Kedai Makan is not open for business on Monday nights.

The Fire Marshal was called to the scene to determine what caused the blaze.

Seattle Fire reports there were no injuries.

A person familiar with the situation, tells CHS that a bartender at Montana, on the other side of the block from the blaze, may have helped save the building when he noticed smoke coming through an emergency exit door, grabbed an extinguisher, and jumped into action. Continue reading