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

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“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

Design review: Passive in Pike/Pine, towering on First Hill

Passive in Pike/Pine

Passive in Pike/Pine

Towering on First Hill

Towering on First Hill

You can get a quick handle on the latest building trends in your neighborhood in one evening of design review.Two projects fully emblematic of the respective waves of development moving across First Hill and Capitol Hill will come before the review board Wednesday night. On Capitol Hill at 1300 E Pike, six stories of what could be Seattle’s first Passive House-certified, net-zero energy, most-hyphenated ever, mixed-use development will be up for review. On First Hill, meanwhile, the story at 707 Terry is not one but a set of matchy matchy, artfully leaning, skybridge-connected 33-story towers just elegant enough to call the Frye Museum a neighbor.

Look. Plans for a mural.

Look. Plans for a mural.

1300 E Pike
On Capitol Hill, the buildings may only reach six or seven stories but they’re starting to get complicated. Destined to rise above the corner at 13th and Pike currently home to the former Fran’s Chocolates, this uber-green development cruised through its first review this spring. CHS reported then on the first of its kind “sustainable apartment building” that will include “a passive house design that reduces energy needs to as close to zero as possible.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill poised for a condo comeback amid rising prices

Amid all the residential development on Capitol Hill in recent years, practically none of it has been geared towards condos. That could be turning around.

The first condo building to be built on First Hill since 1982 is holding its grand opening this month. Soaring 24 stories high, Luma brings 168 high-end condos to the neighborhood. Meanwhile, just across I-5 from Capitol Hill at Howell and Minor, the massive 374 unit Nexus condo building is already 80% reserved and developers have not even broke ground. Luma Condominiums is a CHS advertiser.

Another sign condos may be making a comeback is a slight uptick in condo conversions. Conversions of rental apartments to condos practically came to a halt around Capitol Hill in 2008, but earlier this year a small building near Prospect and Broadway E converted five units to condos, according to city data. Continue reading

Woman jumps from window in First Hill home invasion robbery

A woman reportedly jumped from a second floor window and fell 20 feet in an early morning home invasion robbery attempt at an apartment building near Alder and Broadway.

Seattle Police and Seattle Fire responded to the chaotic scene on First Hill early Wednesday morning just after 3 AM. The woman reported to be in her 40s and suffering from a leg fracture and possible broken nose according to Seattle Fire radio, was rushed to Harborview only blocks from the scene after police said she fell from a second story window when a group of four males armed with handguns and a knife entered the apartment building and attempted to rob a family member by busting into her unit inside the Alder St. apartment building: Continue reading

Construction begins on The Danforth, home to Whole Foods and 265 ‘luxury apartments’ on First Hill

Danforth Rendering 2

Danforth Rendering 1The 16-story tower where Whole Foods plans to open by 2018 will be filled with “luxury apartments” and will be known as The Danforth, the project’s developers said Thursday in an announcement marking the start of construction at Broadway and Madison.

“We expect The Danforth to be a destination for residents and workers of not just First Hill and Capitol Hill but also surrounding neighborhoods including downtown Seattle, Madison Park, Madison Valley and the Central District,” Todd Seneker, portfolio manager for Columbia Pacific Advisors, said in the “alternative investment” firm’s announcement. Continue reading

Town Hall hopes to become First Hill gateway as two 32-story towers set to join block

(Image: Michael Hanscom via Town Hall Seattle)

(Image: Michael Hanscom via Town Hall Seattle)

(Image: Town Hall Seattle)

(Image: Town Hall Seattle)

This August, the amazing old church that grew up to be First Hill’s Town Hall Seattle isn’t doing much but getting older as it reaches the 100th anniversary of its construction. Next August, the landmark building — and its block at 8th and Seneca — will begin a massive process of overhaul and change that will rebuild the old Town Hall and functionally rotate the structure’s presence to create what the nonprofit hopes is a new presence for the structure as a connector between downtown and a rapidly growing First Hill neighborhood. Along with the new orientation, more than 500 new neighbors are also coming to the block in a set of apartment towers planned to join the 100-year-old building.

Capital campaign director for Kevin Malgesini said that the corner of Town Hall closest to the I-5 lid Freeway Park is a focal point of the renovation project. “We’re looking at the way this corner links the two neighborhoods,” he said. “What it is is really visually connecting Freeway Park and First Hill, rather than First Hill turning its back on the city.”

Malgesini said the nondescript and closed-off nature of the building’s current west facade makes it unapproachable from downtown Seattle. “I think there are many people who see the building and don’t know what it is.” Continue reading