Community groups pushing for public benefits package have $80M agreement with Convention Center — UPDATE

With reporting by Kelsey Hamlin

The Community Package Coalition has reached an agreement on an $80 million slate of public infrastructure investments surrounding the planned expansion of the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

Details of the agreement were set to be unveiled in a Monday afternoon press conference:

On Monday, October 16th at 1:30 PM, the Community Package Coalition, an alliance of community organizations adjacent to the planned the three-block, $1.6B Washington State Convention Center Addition (WSCCA), will announce results of their months-long negotiations with the developers of the WSCCA to secure a fair public benefits package for the people of Seattle.

The coalition represents community groups and nonprofits including the First Hill Improvement Association, Lid I-5, Capitol Hill Housing, Cascade Bicycle Club, Central Seattle Greenways, Housing Development Consortium, Freeway Park Association, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.

UPDATE: Here is the announced roster of projects that made the benefits package cut:

Summary of WSCC Addition Public Benefits and Investments
Item$ MM
Community Package Projects
Freeway Park Improvements$10.0
Lid I-5 Study$1.5
Pike-Pine Bicycle Improvements$10.0
Olive Way Pedestrian Improvements$0.5
8th Ave Bicycle Improvements$6.0
Terry Ave Promenade$4.0
Affordable Housing$29.0
Subtotal$61.0
Other Public Benefits (current estimate)
Pike-Pine Renaissance Pedestrian Improvements$10.0
9th Avenue Pedestrian Improvements$0.6
Public Art$1.9
Historic Building Lighting$1.0
On-Site Features$8.1
Improvements to Olive Way$0.2
Subtotal                                                                             $82.8

The coalition has been pushing Convention Center and public officials to create a broader — and more expensive — package of public benefits package required to justify the vacation of three alleys for the $1.6 billion downtown project. Continue reading

Blotter | Cal Anderson robberies, 7-11 beer beating, First Hill dildo assault

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Cal Anderson arrest: Police had their hands full after taking suspects into custody for a reported robbery in Cal Anderson Park last Saturday afternoon. According to the SPD report on the incident, the victim said she was pushed to the ground and her backpack was stolen by a group of known males. But as police detained the males in the park, the victim refused to identify the suspect. One of the group was taken into custody for “false reporting” — that’s when things got a little crazy
    The suspect was booked for investigation of harassment and malicious mischief, hate crime statutes.
  • I-5 OD: Seattle Police were called to the area of homeless and drug camps below I-5 near Pine and Minor Tuesday afternoon after a report that a male was undergoing CPR at the scene. According to radio dispatches, the male recovered after the CPR and the administration of overdose antidote naloxone by Seattle Fire.
  • Felony warrant suspect chase: Police in cars and on bikes fanned out across Capitol Hill last Wednesday, October 4th, after a reportedly armed felony warrant suspect was spotted and fled from a car ditched at Summit and Pine. The search spread across several blocks and police recovered a bag from a rooftop along the Crawford Place alley but there were no arrests.


Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Compass Housing Alliance Receives Funding from City of Seattle for an Enhanced 24/7 Homeless Shelter on First Hill

unnamed (3)From the City of Seattle

SEATTLE— April 12, 2017— The City of Seattle has awarded funding to Compass Housing Alliance to create an enhanced 24/7 homeless shelter with a grant of $1.3 million opening in summer 2017. The funding acknowledges Compass Housing Alliance’s proven and innovative, person-centric approach to providing shelter and support to Seattle’s homeless population. Compass Housing Alliance will combine safe shelter, complete wrap-around services and intensive case management to bring 100 new, much-needed shelter beds to King County. This model aligns directly with the City’s Pathways Home plan announced last fall. The new shelter initiative was made possible in collaboration with Seattle First Presbyterian Church, which is providing an optimal space for the shelter’s unique purpose and will be located at the property at 1013 8th Ave, in Seattle.

“The 24/7 enhanced shelter model offers individuals the opportunity to stay in one place while searching for a permanent solution, rather than returning to the streets each day and hoping for a bed somewhere that night,” said Janet Pope, who is executive director ofCompass Housing Alliance. She added that by offering a safe place alongside nutritious meals, this model allows the time needed for a full assessment of each individual’s needs, to build trust and work toward addressing the barriers to stable housing.

“We follow a faith tradition that champions the concerns of the last and the least in society,” said Reverend Heidi Husted Armstrong, who is currently pastor of Seattle First Presbyterian Church. “We are so thankful to partner with Compass Housing Alliance and in helping people, our lives will also be changed.”

“With this enhanced shelter support, individuals can readily secure the appropriate resources to navigate the system toward a successful housing placement,” Pope explained. “The new shelter follows the successful model that Compass Housing Alliance has implemented across our other shelter and housing programs. We can have greater impact in developing a 24/7 facility of this capacity.”

“The City is very excited for this shelter to open,” said Catherine L. Lester, Director of the City’s Human Services Department. “This shelter is an example of our commitment to making investments that are person-centered. As we continue to implement the principles in Pathways Home, we will continue to invest in services, like this shelter model, that are meeting people where they are and providing individualized services and supports.”
The enhanced shelter approach is a direct response to the real needs of people who need both immediate and longer-term support to successfully transition out of homelessness. It also provides space for people to bring their possessions, and to come inside with their pets or companions. Accommodating these issues can reduce the challenges people living outside face in seeking access to shelters.

The shelter will have an on-site manager to interact with the community, provide oversight and ensure that the church grounds are well maintained.

“Compass Housing Alliance has nearly 100 years of experience serving a vulnerable population and have advocated for this system-changing, 24/7 model within the four shelters that we operate.  We are pleased to continue our partnership with the city in implementing this evidenced best practice in our community, Pope explained.

There will be a community meeting to discuss the shelter at on May 22 at 6:30 pm at Seattle’s First Presbyterian Church.

Despite stormy economic seas, Whole Foods still set to anchor 17-story Broadway tower

The Danforth, still rising, its anchor Whole Foods, still coming to Broadway and Madison

The Danforth, still rising, its anchor Whole Foods, still coming to Broadway and Madison

As news broke this week that Whole Foods is pulling out of its plan for a new West Seattle store as part of nationwide cutbacks, CHS asked what about the company’s plans for The Danforth, the 16-story mixed-use building rising at Madison and Broadway.

A company spokesperson says plans have not changed for the Broadway store. “We are still on schedule to open our Capitol Hill store at the corner of Broadway and Madison in late 2018,” she tells CHS. Continue reading

Final…ly APRIL will be held in April as Capitol Hill-born small press festival closes book on seven years

By Tim Kukes for CHS

The APRIL Festival and Book Expo is breaking with tradition.  For the first time — and the last time — the uniquely Capitol Hill literary festival will be confining its celebration to one day only — April 1st.

The Authors, Publishers, and Readers of Independent Literature festival, traditionally held in the later part of March to honor National Small Press Month, is coming to the end of its tale after a six-year journey of bringing eclectic reading events and diverse small press publishers to the people of Capitol Hill and Seattle.

APRIL Festival & Book Expo

“We feel like this is a good time to end the festival,” Frances Chiem, acting director, said. “We’ve done a lot with it and the small press community is a lot more vibrant than when we first started.  We feel there are other community voices that will step in and fill the void.”

The story of the festival starts with Pilot Books, once located on Broadway, and Willie Fitzgerald and Tara Atkinson.  The small press bookstore had a reputation as a vibrant community space and hosted a Small Press Festival in 2011 — essentially the first APRIL event and renamed after Pilot Books closed in the summer of 2011. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Last meals at the First Hill McDonald’s

IMG_8968CHS stopped by Tuesday morning for the final breakfast — ever? — at the First Hill McDonald’s. Of course, in 2017, McDonald’s will serve you “All Day Breakfast,” just part of the many strategies and optimizations the global burger chain has made to stay a part of 21st century dining habits and continue its run of “Billions and Billions Served.”

CHS reported in February on the coming demolition for the proletariat dining room and the corner of Madison and Minor’s future as host to a 700-Big Mac-tall apartment tower. You can attend a public pre-construction meeting on the project Thursday.

We never did hear back from franchise owner David Santillanes about the closure. Continue reading

Finishing one story from the Capitol Hill pizza boom — plus A Pizza Mart tale on First Hill

Meltdown tossed it in after less than a year of business at Pine and Minor

Meltdown tossed it in after less than a year of business at Pine and Minor

It’s true, Reddit, we did leave a storyline incomplete from the great Capitol Hill pizza boom of 2016. Let’s finish the story and, yes, start a new one with yet more pizza coming to a VERY TALL building on First Hill.

“If it would have taken off it would have been great,” Josh Carrigan tells CHS about the rise and fall of his Meltdown Pizza which was born and died in the Minor and Pine building during the 2016 boom in pie joints. “I just said, ah fuck it, I’m not happy anymore.”

Carrigan wasn’t new to Capitol Hill food and drink. For seven years, he has been part of building the no frills Still Liquor into a popular place to drink like a grownup beneath Melrose Market. Carrigan said it quickly turned out “the pizza market was saturated” so he pulled the plug early on the project and hit the slopes for a winter of snowboarding. He still holds the lease and says a new project is lined up for the space. More about that soon. It won’t be a pizza joint.

A Pizza Mart pie, coming to First Hill (Image: A Pizza Mart)

A Pizza Mart pie, coming to First Hill (Image: A Pizza Mart)

The next new pizza investment in the area will instead come at the base of a 31-story apartment tower on First Hill.

A fifth location of the A Pizza Mart pizza bar family has been building out its space in the Cielo Apartments at 800 Seneca and is close to opening. The 27-year-old pizza player is known for its liquor and pie combination. As Carrigan notes, it joins a saturated market but, with 30 stories of apartments above it, A Pizza Mart First Hill might come with a built-in customer base.

 

Long-term fix for First Hill Streetcar likely to take months, bill to be determined

IMG_0702The First Hill Streetcar went back into operation at 5 AM on Monday after a sliding incident on March 1 took it out of service. Short-term fixes and precautions have been put in place until a long-term solution is ready, which could take months. And, while a bill for the 20-day outage and repairs is still being tabulated, officials told a City Council committee Tuesday afternoon that Seattle shouldn’t be on the hook for the costs.

“If we go the direction that we’ve kind of talked about, some of those components have to be specifically ordered and manufactured, and that’s a two month period just to get the components made in Germany,” Michael James, with the Seattle Department of Transportation said. “So we’re probably talking months not weeks.”

SDOT did not provide an estimated cost due to the service failure, but James said it appears to be manufacturer Inekon’s or its insurance company’s responsibility to cover costs from the service closure, which could include work to get the streetcar operating again and bus service provided during peak travel times on the route by King County Metro. Continue reading

First Hill Streetcar fleet ready to return to Broadway after repairs

IMG_0029-600x400 (1)The Seattle Department of Transportation announced late Sunday night that a fix was identified and executed and the First Hill Streetcar will be back in action Monday morning starting at 5 AM — albeit at a speed-restricted 7 MPH through the stretch where the March 1st sliding incident occurred:

Prior to returning to service, the entire fleet of vehicles had a modification installed, tested, and documented individually. The modifications and operating orders have been reviewed and approved by the required safety officials. With these modifications, operating orders, and safety approvals in place, the vehicles are safe and operational for return to service. Continue reading

Capitol Hill parks notes | Summit Slope legal fight, I-5 Columns design, Montlake lid

Summit Slope Park (Image: CHS)

Summit Slope Park (Image: CHS)

With the most excellent news of Volunteer Park’s new bandshell and amphitheater rounding into shape, here are a few more bits of news and notes from the Capitol Hill area’s parkland and open spaces.

  • Summit Slope Park: Here is some unhappy news from the Unpaving Paradise group that shaped the vision for the small — but growing — Capitol Hill park just off E Olive Way:
    Some Parks employees are starting the process of removing the table, benches, and BBQ from the upper area of the park this morning. They are taking the BBQ today. Their work order was to remove the boards of the table, leaving the metal frame. They had a call in to someone to see if they were also supposed to remove the boards from the benches. Then a Parks supervisor of some sort came by and she said they should remove the benches and table completely, since leaving the metal frames would be a safety hazard. They plan on moving them out in the next few days. But it all seemed to be a moving decision process, subject to change at any moment Continue reading