Trading 14 for 50, six stories planned on Broadway to add to Capitol Hill Station wave

On Broadway, across from busy Capitol Hill Station, nobody sensible is going to complain about a six-story building with 50 new apartment units replacing a three-story building with only 14. Until rents slow down or, even, dip, the market needs the inventory. Some will say build it higher. Tell the HALA folks about that.

But progress on Broadway will mean change for the people living above the street in the old apartment building and a much-loved Capitol Hill favorite, below. When the old 1905-built Capitol Crest apartment building is demolished, Annapurna and her neighbors will need to find new homes. We say, in the meantime, eat at (CHS advertiser!) Annapurna often. And head around the corner to Ace Barbershop for a haircut. Perhaps Wednesday night before you take your full belly and new hairdo to the first design review for the six-story, 50-unit mixed-use building set to rise on Broadway next to Capitol Hill Station’s west entrance.

Design review: 1833 Broadway

The Roger Newell-designed project is being envisioned as a mix of 50 apartment units including 400-square-foot studios up to 936-square-foot two-bedroom models above 3,500 square feet of space for a store… or a restaurant. Continue reading

Driver taken into custody by SWAT after car-ramming rampage in First Hill parking garage

A driver on a peculiar rampage was taken into custody by a Seattle Police SWAT unit early Monday morning but not before smashing into cars and engaging in a three hour standoff with police inside a Swedish First Hill parking garage.

According to East Precinct radio dispatches, a large white truck was reported driving erratically around 12:30 AM near Boren and Cherry before smashing its way into the garage near Marion and Boren on First Hill. Inside, the driver in the reported stolen vehicle smashed into parked cars and traveled levels of the parking structure for nearly an hour before striking a SPD spike strip and bringing the vehicle to a stop still inside the garage. Continue reading

New parking rates coming to Capitol Hill in 2017 — but no late night paid parking… yet


In 2017, Capitol Hill and First Hill streets will join the busy avenues of downtown, and Pioneer Square as the first areas in Seattle where nighttime on-street paid parking will hit $4.50 an hour. Nighttime visitors — and neighbors who play the increasingly challenging shell game of keeping their parked automobiles one step ahead of the Parking Enforcement Officer — will be happy to hear that there is no specific plan for rolling out paid parking beyond 8 PM… yet.

The Seattle Department of Transportation announced the planned increases last week as part of its ongoing “data-driven” optimization across its 12,000 on-street paid parking spaces as demand for some Capitol Hill-area parking continues to hover well beyond 100% during peak hours — seemingly no matter how high rates climb. Continue reading

First Hill’s Sugar Bakery marks 10 years with a goodbye and a new baker

Stephanie Crocker chose the CHS Calendar to announce her retirement — and a First Hill celebration of ten years of Sugar Bakery:

When we opened Sugar Bakery & Cafe 10 years ago, we scrapped together a bunch of credit cards to finance it because the bank wouldn’t give us any money since my husband had had cancer the previous year. It was a huge risk and we had no idea we would make it this long. What is funny is that Sugar Bakery was originally intended as a place to explore our passion for pastry, but instead, it has unexpectedly become this amazing living community of customers and employees who just want to eat good food and laugh a little. Being surrounded by 3 major hospitals we have seen people come in going through some serious life issues only to fall in love with us because we somehow make them feel better.
Continue reading

How Seattle Police dealt with officer who slammed mentally ill woman to ground on First Hill

Mike O’Dell and Sara Goff contributed to this report

On the morning of December 28, 2014, at about 4 AM, Seattle police officer Daniel Erickson responded to a call from Swedish hospital on First Hill. It was still dark outside, the air, chilly.

Mental health patient Wendlyn Phillips, 57 years old at the time, was reported to have kicked at the medical staff and was now lying in the driveway.

Erickson would need to draw on his 40 hours of federally-mandated crisis intervention training — training specially designed to help him handle erratic individuals who might be suffering from addiction or mental illness without hurting them.

But Phillips was hurt in the encounter, her face bruised and bloodied. She was accused of assaulting the officer and charged.

Documents obtained through public records requests show how the investigation of what happened two years ago on First Hill was handled using new SPD systems. They offer a window into Department of Justice-driven reforms: The use of the Force Investigation Team (FIT) and Force Review Board (FRB) — two teams of officers and commanders who operate behind closed doors — to review controversial incidents like this one and hold officers accountable.

Erickson arrived on the scene in his patrol SUV. The video comes from his dashcam and the hospital’s surveillance camera. It contains disturbing scenes. Continue reading

CHS Re:Take | In a message home to E Union, Seattle and Japan’s war with Russia

Geisha going out, 1906

To H. S. Gullixson, Esq in Seattle from “R. F.” in Yokohama, Japan. 1906.

It’s just a simple postcard.

708 E Union today is part of the parking lot next to the Knights of Columbus on Union at Boylston. The card was postmarked 1906 in Seattle and Yokohama, Japan.

There are just enough traces to glimpse the world that created it. Let’s follow them back.

Home and Harry
The house is gone. It was a large, seven-room house built in about 1901. It shared its parcel with two other rentals, probably all copies of each other. The house was only newsworthy in later years when its residents were arrested for drunk driving or were killed by cars when crossing the street. Continue reading

Design board looks at First Hill Apartments, Central District Community House project

The First Hill Apartments project set to rise above Union

The First Hill Apartments project set to rise above Union

The East Design Review Board Wednesday night will take up one project set to create new First Hill neighbors for the city’s first pavement park. Meanwhile, an important social services organization is set to begin the design process to create an important new facility in the Central District — and with it, 52 affordable places to live for its clients.

First Hill Apartments — 1320 University
It’s hard to believe the project name First Hill Apartments wasn’t already snatched up. But there you go. Once this University St, just off Broadway development is complete, the name will be off the board.

The planned seven-story, 36-unit building with around 5,000 square feet of commercial space is envisioned as having a “transparent and porous” street-level retail component that features “an integrated design between the building, sidewalk, and park, blurring the public and private areas,” following the design board’s guidance in the sessions first go round in March. Continue reading

Developer completes 12th Ave affordable housing trifecta

Reverb apartments as seen from the rooftop of its sister building, Decibel.

Reverb apartments as seen from the rooftop of its sister building, Decibel.

In 2014, CHS wondered whether Capitol Hill’s affordable housing might not be built on Capitol Hill but in the neighborhoods to the south along 12th Ave. Today, a trio of Capitol Hill-adjacent affordable housing developments from Spectrum Development Solutions has been completed.

Reverb Apartments, the final of three developments in the 12th and Alder area of the Central District, threw an open house party on Thursday featuring music and a community event to show off the newly opened building.

“It’s been a long journey, and we’re really excited to be a part of the community and to play hopefully an important role in bringing workforce housing to this area. It’s much needed,” Spectrum’s Jake McKinstry told CHS.

Across the three buildings, 56 units qualify as affordable with the other projects priced as “workforce” housing designed to appeal to young, working professionals willing to sacrifice space and perks like parking in exchange for proximity to employment centers and public transit. Spectrum is focusing on “the missing middle” — teachers, nurses and other young professionals, who are trying to live near their jobs and don’t qualify for affordable housing, McKinstry said. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Chelsea Clinton gets out the vote on First Hill


“I don’t think there can be a compromise for bigotry.” Chelsea Clinton championed her cause to help her mother Hillary Clinton to defeat surprisingly popular bigot Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election with a stop in Seattle at First Hill’s Town Hall Saturday.

The forum’s Great Hall which holds more than 800 appeared filled to capacity with many children in the crowd of the free event positioned as a “get out the vote” rally for Democrats looking to both build a landslide victory for Hillary Clinton and a tailwind rally for the party’s candidates in state races across the country. Continue reading

Chelsea Clinton, Dems at Town Hall Seattle for Saturday GOTV rally

I’m with her. And her. And her. And her. Girl power will be on full display Saturday at First Hill’s Town Hall as Chelsea Clinton jets in for a get out the vote rally with a few of her mother’s closest Washington friends:

GOTV Rally with Chelsea Clinton, Patty Murray, and Tina Podlodowski
Join other supporters this Saturday afternoon at our GOTV Rally and Town Hall with Chelsea Clinton!

Ballots are arriving in mailboxes, so now is the time to vote!

Special guests:
+ Chelsea Clinton
+ U.S. Senator Patty Murray
+ Tina Podlodowski, Candidate for Washington Secretary of State
+ The Northwest Girlchoir

Doors open at 1: 30 p.m.

The free rally is slated to begin at 2 PM but you’ll want to arrive much earlier to make sure you get in. Town Hall’s Great Hall holds more than 800 people.

Hillary Clinton herself was in our city last Friday for a jam-packed fundraiser featuring Macklemore at the Paramount Theater.

What the proposed Town Hall towers will look like

What the proposed Town Hall apartment towers will look like

With Town Hall ready to undergo a major renovation of its own, the plan to transform its block of First Hill will move forward Wednesday night with a double-header design review for a set of twin 32-story apartment towers.

“The project proposes a notable amount of open space and landscaped area throughout site and along the right of way to enhance the urban fabric of the surrounding context,” Perkins+Will architects and developer Lennar write.

“The plaza will create a strong pedestrian connection to the adjacent entrance to Freeway Park. The design team and client have met and collaborated with Town Hall stakeholders to create a cohesive design that accommodates planned improvements for the historic Town Hall building.” Continue reading

Times: Seattle’s homeless and drug problems ‘intersected at the corner of Madison and Boren’

Inside Italian Family Pizza

Inside Italian Family Pizza

A Seattle Times column has some harsh words for the City of Seattle and Therapeutic Health Services, the operator of a busy methadone clinic on First Hill.

“We have a homeless problem, and we have a drug problem. And they have both intersected at the corner of Madison and Boren,” writes Nicole Brodeur about the challenges the owners of Italian Family Pizza tell her they’ve had in their first three months of business after moving to First Hill.

Included in the column are two incidents involving the Calozzi family straight from the CHS blotter. Continue reading