How you can help Hugo House return to Capitol Hill

Hugo House, these days, operates in exile on First Hill as construction continues on the six-story, mixed-use apartment building on the corner the writing center is slated to return to when the project opens in 2018. But state money lined up to help Hugo House return to Capitol Hill and pay for its new home is still a question mark, is an unfinished story er, might go to some other worthy project… here, let’s let somebody better with words handle this. Here is a call for support from Hugo House director Tree Swenson:

Please help Hugo House realize a long-held dream to have a permanent facility of our own! We have been recommended for a grant from Washington State through the Building for the Arts program. This funding is critical. However, the State has many funding needs this year, and this grant is far from assured. As a friend to Hugo House, we know you understand that the arts matter. You can make a big difference by contacting your State legislators to let them know why you think it’s important to have public support for a new and permanent home for Hugo House. Below is an example of a note to legislators with a brief statement about why Hugo House matters. Your own words are even more important, but any contact helps. Please take a minute right now to call or email. Time is short; the budget is in progress. You can find your State legislators and their contact information here.

For those of you in the 43rd, you’ll want to fire up your email machine for jamie.pedersen@leg.wa.gov, frank.chopp@leg.wa.gov, and nicole.macri@leg.wa.gov.

Here is somebody else good with them words at the Seattle Review of Books to help inspire you:

You can find a sample email and a link to a site that will tell you who represents you in the state legislator right here. If you’ve bemoaned the loss of important institutions during the Seattle real estate boom, this is your chance to speak out, to ensure that one piece of Seattle that’s been around for decades continues to have a new life in the decades to come. Go make yourself heard.

In 2018, Hugo House is slated to return to Capitol Hill in a new 10,000 square-foot writing center on the ground floor of the six-story apartment building under construction at the site of its longtime home at 11th and E Olive St. The new new center will include six classrooms, offices, two performance spaces, and space for writers to, um, write.

The interim Hugo House is located at 1021 Columbia. You can learn more at hugohouse.org.

Madison BRT, now RapidRide G, rounding out pedestrian, bike elements with aim for 2019 start of service

Seattle is ready to put the final design touches on a powerful new east-west public transit corridor set to be carved out of Madison from downtown through First Hill and Capitol Hill to MLK. The Madison Bus Rapid Transit project will be known as the RapidRide G Line when it begins serving riders along its 11-stop route in late 2019. In addition to more reliable bus service, transportation planners say the line will bring needed improvements to sidewalks and crossings along the route — and add a new protected bike lane, likely on E Union.

In March, you will have an opportunity to add your feedback to help planners shape final elements of the project including those pedestrian and bike improvements along the corridor:

We’re holding in-person and online open houses this March to share the updated project design.

IN PERSON

Thursday, March 9
11 AM – 1 PM
Town Hall, Downstairs
1119 8th Ave

Wednesday, March 15
5:30 – 7:30 PM
First African Methodist Episcopal Church
1522 14th Ave

ONLINE
MARCH 8-22
Give feedback online!
MadisonStreetBRT.participate.online
(Link will go live March 8)

Stretching from 1st Ave to Madison Valley, the future Madison BRT will travel in a dedicated center lane with island stops from 9th Ave to 14th Ave while the rest of the route will run curbside with right-turning traffic or in mixed traffic.

Under the “locally preferred alternative” design adopted by City Council last year, transit travel time from 23rd to 1st Ave is expected to improve by 40% from 16 minutes to 10 minutes while single occupancy vehicle travel time will increase by 4 minutes. Sorry, cars.

Once the project opens in 2019, people riding the bus are expected to travel the corridor 5.2 and 7.3 minutes faster (eastbound and westbound, respectively) than they would if the project were not built. People driving are expected to travel the corridor 5.6 and 2.9 minutes slower (eastbound and westbound, respectively).

The project’s traffic analysis will be available later this year but the draft of the study found “some traffic will divert to other streets,” while identifying “several key intersections SDOT could improve through various treatments.”

Some of the biggest questions about the coming RapidRide G Line are already off the table: Continue reading

McDemolition: First Hill fast food franchise set to make way for 700-Big Mac-tall apartment tower

It’s been a long time coming, but the slow path to the development set to replace First Hill’s most well-known fast food restaurant will reach a sad milestone for Big Mac fans in coming weeks.

The City of Seattle has approved the demolition permit for 1122 Madison — the Madison McDonald’s. The plan is for the nearest Capitol Hill-elevation location for the global fast food franchise to be razed in April. “Assuming acquisition of the appropriate permits in a timely manner,” the construction report filed for the address reads, “demolition of the existing structure is expected to begin April, 2017 and continue through April, 2017, at which point shoring wall and excavation will begin.” Continue reading

206 Burger Company plans March opening on First Hill

We can tell you what is coming next at the corner of Madison and Terry but we can’t tell you much about what happened to the old Corner Cafe.

Suren Shrestha and his family are opening 206 Burger Company at 1000 Madison likely sometime mid-March.

“I’m excited to serve quality burgers to the neighborhood,” he told CHS.

Shrestha opened his 206 Burger Company takeout location downtown on 3rd Ave between Marion and Columbia in 2014 but he has been cooking burgers for more than a decade.

“I’m very passionate about cooking a good burger,” he said. Continue reading

Two assisted living developments — 24 stories on First Hill, 6 in Eastlake — face design review

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-7-12-47-pmTwo new assisted living projects planned for Capitol Hill’s neighboring neighborhoods will go in front of the design review board Wednesday night.

Both are part of a development trend addressing the market demand for more senior housing in Seattle. CHS previously wrote about how senior citizens, many of whom have lived in the area for a long time, are choosing to stay around Capitol Hill and Central Seattle, either in their homes, or in some of the new and established facilities which cater to older folks. The U.S. Census estimates that 21% of residents in the 98112 ZIP code are 60 or older.

Last spring, CHS wrote about one of the projects — a new neighbor planned for the Frye Art Museum weighing it at 23 stories on Terry Ave and developed by Columbia Pacific Advisors on property owned by the Archdiocese of Seattle. The other is a development just underway in Eastlake from Aegis Living. The company opened a seven-story, 104-unit facility complete with a “Memory Care Deck” designed to help residents feel at home with a “façade of an old-fashioned neighborhood” at 22nd and E Madison in 2014.

Design review: 1920 Eastlake Ave E

Design review: 620 Terry Ave

 

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

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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