‘Impound Notice’ — City targets Capitol Hill neighborhood bench

Image of the bench in use courtesy tipster Ariel

First they came for the rogue illegal “PHOTO ENFORCED” stop sign. Now, just blocks away, the Seattle Department of Transportation is set to crack down on a rogue community bench.

There has been a bench for decades, neighbors say, near the strange but kind of wonderful cluster of trees and bushes where E Mercer dead ends before beginning again on the other side of 17th Ave E. Last week, neighborhood tipster Ariel alerts, SDOT slapped an impound notice on the bench which sits on the sidewalk within the City of Seattle’s right of way.

“SDOT has received multiple complaints expressing concerns regarding this bench and has been unable to identify an owner responsible,” the notice reads. Continue reading

‘That neighborhood feel’ — Capitol Hill developer adds to 15th Ave E holdings with Hilltop Service Station deal

Jim’s Hilltop Service Station should have a few more years along 15th Ave E (Image: CHS)

A multimillion, just before Christmas real estate deal will put the 15th Ave E land home to Hilltop Service Station in the hands of a Capitol Hill developer.

Hunters Capital, the real estate development and management company known for preservation friendly investments in commercial, retail, and housing developments across the neighborhood, is purchasing the property with long-term plans for development.

“We’re big fans of 15th,” Hunters Capital’s Mike Oaksmith tells CHS about the deal. “We love that neighborhood feel.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill gunpoint robbery suspects reportedly use bike share as getaway ride

A couple of Capitol Hill armed robbery suspects put Seattle’s robust bike share system to use for their getaway in at least one of two early morning gunpoint hold-ups reported over the weekend.

According to East Precinct radio broadcasts, a man was held up by a suspect brandishing a black handgun just after 5:30 AM Saturday morning near the QFC at Pike and Broadway. The suspect described as a white male in his 20s, around 5’7″, with a thin build, and wearing a black hat, black coat, and ripped blue jeans reportedly left the scene along with an accomplice riding Lime bikes.

The male and female duo were last seen headed west on Pike on the bikes. They were not wearing helmets. Continue reading

Facing move, nonprofit axes longtime Capitol Hill Christmas tree lot

Bah humbug. A week after CHS wrote about the loss of a space for its annual tee lot, Seattle Area Support Groups announced Monday that is will bring an end to the holiday tradition and fundraiser.

Calling the search for a new Capitol Hill location to host the annual sale “fruitless,” SASG executive director Joshua Wallace announced the decision in a letter to supporters. “SASG is very sad to share with you that this tradition appears to have come to an end,” he writes. Continue reading

Dear Santa, SASG needs a new home for its annual Capitol Hill holiday tree lot

It’s a Seattle holiday tradition that dates back nearly 30 years but change in the neighborhood around 15th Ave E has the annual SASG Christmas tree lot searching for a new home on Capitol Hill.

“Community engagement and support for our local neighbors is integral to our mission at Kaiser Permanente and we’re proud to support organizations working to improve health on Capitol Hill and throughout Washington,” a statement from a company representative sent to CHS reads — but here’s the bad news: Continue reading

With brakes momentarily tapped on 15th Ave E development, Hilltop Service Station rolls on under new owner

Closure of Capitol Hill’s Hilltop Service Station seemed inevitable this year after CHS first reported that after 48 years, the family-owned 15th Ave E property was officially promised to developer Cadence Capital for sale in July. Two months later, Hilltop is still a busy garage and there is a new but familiar owner.

“It’s the same great service that everybody is used to, just a little bit scaled down,” said Jim Peters, master mechanical technician who took over the service station this month.

Peters says even after 20 years at the station, people ask if he’s new to the garage. Usually the one under the hood, now he’s the only one left and doing it all himself with the occasional hand from the well known station crew who have gone on to seek their own fresh start when the sale was first announced. Continue reading

Process begins to guide Kaiser Permanente’s $400M Capitol Hill campus renovation

Capitol Hill’s first hospital has come a long way since 1945, when an idealistic group of doctors founded the Group Health Cooperative based on the idea that healthcare should be provided affordably and at hospitals owned and staffed by physicians. They acquired St. Luke’s on 15th at John, and together the hospital and neighborhood grew together for more than seven decades. Group Health became one of the country’s largest consumer-directed healthcare organizations, but in 2015 2017 it was acquired by Kaiser Permanente, one of the biggest not-for-profit health plans in the United States.

As part of an effort to remodel its Capitol Hill campus by 2022, Kaiser announced a $400 million project last year to improve access to primary and specialty care and provide community spaces for public use. The process to shape that project has begun.

The remodeled campus won’t be any bigger than it is now, according to Kaiser Permanente’s Julie Popper, but it will provide better specialty and out-patient care so that members can get the treatment they need and get on with their day.

“We’re not building any higher. We’re not expanding any further. Patients want to get help and go home at the end of the day,” she said. “We really want to bring the building to the cutting edge in healthcare today.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s last independent service station’s days numbered as developer has deal for 15th Ave E corner

After more than half a century of business on Capitol Hill, the Hilltop Service Station on 15th Ave E is slated to be no more. Customers have been told the station’s last day of service is coming — possibly this week.

Cadence Capital, a Colorado-based real estate and development firm, finalized an agreement to purchase the property last month, according to King County records, making the deal official and paving the way for the property to be acquired and redeveloped. Financial details and terms of the memorandum of agreement are not yet publicly available.  Continue reading

Police investigate reported gunpoint hold-up at Malden and Mercer — UPDATE

Seattle Police investigated an armed robbery involving four masked suspects overnight on Capitol Hill.

Police were called to the area near E Mercer and Malden just after 4 AM to a report of a gunpoint robbery. The suspects were described only as four black males, each wearing a black hoodie and bandanas over their faces. The suspects fled in a BMW SUV last seen northbound on Malden. According to East Precinct radio dispatches, the victims reported the group was armed with what appeared to be a silver .38 revolver.

UPDATE: According to the report on the incident, one of the victim’s was also punched in the face as the thieves took cash and destroyed a phone: Continue reading

Scary 911 call at 17th and Olive turns out to be false report

A scary looking 911 callout from overnight

Seattle Police and Seattle Fire were dispatched to a terrible situation overnight on Capitol Hill but fortunately the incident turned out to be a false report.

Just before 4 AM Thursday, a caller to 911 reported that he had shot and killed multiple people and was ready to kill himself. The caller would not provide his location but police were able to track the call to the area around 17th and E Olive St. Continue reading