Downtown Dog Lounge leaving Capitol Hill

Just as the plans for Capitol Hill’s first cat cafe are finally taking shape, one of its longest running canine-focused businesses is getting ready to move out.

The Downtown Dog Lounge has been getting its furry clients ready for the big change on E Denny Way for a while now but officially announced its planned departure this week after 10 years on Capitol Hill: Continue reading

Dino’s Tomato Pie baking plan for new music venue below E Olive Way

Dino’s Tomato Pie is kind of like a Denny at E Olive Way time machine. Its next stop is a small start in reversing the neighborhood’s trend of restaurant concepts and developments pushing out the last vestiges of the Capitol Hill music scene.

“One, I like the idea of anti-gentrification, where small music venues are closing, we can actually add something,” Brandon Pettit tells CHS about a project he hopes will eventually create a new music and events venue at Dino’s.

Two, Pettit has a Dino’s-sized underground level to work with below the bustling pizza joint. Continue reading

Here’s how much the City of Seattle spent to license Pac-Man for its Capitol Hill pavement park

$0. Turns out, a municipality can (probably) use all sorts of characters in its civic investments.

Along with our questions about the logistics of the pavement park program, CHS asked the Seattle Department of Transportation about any licensing arrangement required for Summit at Howell at E Olive Way’s Pac-Man Park. It’s all about fair use, a spokesperson tells CHS:

SDOT worked closely with attorneys on evaluating this installation under the Fair Use Act provisions. SDOT believes that the use of the Pac Man inspired mural falls into the non-profit educational clause of the Act- particularly because this interpretation on a street is transformative and new; it captures the original use and design for an entirely different, educational, and not-for-profit purpose. Because we are not using the image for proprietary purposes, the city’s attorneys considered this installation to be defensible.

Forgive us for being paranoid. Capitol Hill just happens to have a history of litigation related to some of its more popular examples of street art.

Meanwhile, this might be now be the closest point to the park at which to play its namesake game:

CHS Pics | Ready! Capitol Hill’s Pac-Man pavement park takes shape

Pavement to Parks, Summit & Denny

A stretch of relatively dry winter days means any ghosts wandering around E Olive Way had better be on the lookout. A Seattle Department of Transportation crew has been at work installing the area’s latest pavement park, a now Pac-Man-themed stretch of street on a small section of Summit Ave E between E Denny Way and E Olive Way. Continue reading

Clever Dunne’s, Capitol Hill’s ‘Irish House,’ to close at end of month

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

2017 is shaping up to be a sad year for the neighborhood bars of E Howell. Wednesday night, the staff and management of Clever Dunne’s are telling regulars the bad news. At the end of January, the Capitol Hill Irish pub will close.

“It came quick,” Dunne’s manager Jared Thomson tells CHS. “We knew things were happening but not like this.”

Thomson said Clever Dunne’s had another two years on its lease but the pub’s deal has been bought out and the drinking spot needs to be shut down and moved out by January 31st. Continue reading

Board and developers agree, Midtown Center project needs further review

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-3-58-13-pmIt’s not often that the backers behind a big time project in Seattle ask to be slowed by another review. But the project to redevelop Midtown Center and a city fully city block at 23rd and Union is complicated.

The East Design Review Board agreed Wednesday night that the project planned for 2301 E Union should, indeed, return for a second Early Design Guidance meeting.

Brad Reisinger with Lennar Multifamily Communities, one of the site developers along with Regency Centers, requested a second EDG because the project is complicated due to the block-sized site and the pending agreement with the Africatown nonprofit.

An agreement between developers to sell Africatown about 20% of the 2.4-acre property at 23rd and Union to give the nonprofit an ownership stake is still being finalized. Regency is currently under contract to purchase the block.

CHS looked at the history of the block, its importance in the Black community, and the long road to redevelopment for Midtown here. Capitol Hill Housing, meanwhile, is developing the Liberty Bank Building across the street from Midtown Center under a community agreement with partners including Africatown that will be fully affordable and  is hoped to become a template for inclusive development in Seattle.

Plans from Encore Architects for the Midtown Center project propose two seven-story buildings with 355 units in one and 120 in the other. In the larger building, 10% of the units and a to be determined portion of the units in the second would be affordable. Plans also include a large local grocery store, pharmacy, smaller retail spaces and 482 parking spaces. CHS looked at the design here earlier this week.

“The overall mass and scale seem kind of grotesque in my mind,” one neighbor on 24th Ave said. Many commenters raised similar concerns and the board referred to the proposed development as “massive.” Continue reading

Design review: Long paths for Midtown Center’s mixed-use grocery future, Hill dive bar-turned microhousing

Blueprint Howell

Blueprint Howell

Long-anticipated development is the shared theme Wednesday night as the East Design Review Board takes its first look at two projects neighbors have been expecting for years — one will replace the home of a classic Capitol Hill dive bar, the other could redefine the heart of the Central District.

600 E Howell
You know it best as the Redwood. After more than 10 years on E Howell, the much-loved, and long-doomed dive bar is set to be replaced by a seven-story, mixed-use building that will create 73 “Small Efficiency Dwelling Units,” and four studio apartments atop 1,500 square feet of commercial space. Continue reading

Enjoy the Annapurnas and The Redwoods you know and love… 2017 is coming

In this week of regrets and coulda, woulda, shouldas, here is an opportunity to get ahead of the sadness and enjoy some of your favorite things before… well, things change.

Two design reviews being planned for the start of 2017 have big implications for two Capitol Hill small businesses that have grown into neighborhood favorites.

First, on January 11th, the first review is planned for the seven-story apartment building slated to replace the block where The Redwood stands today.

Two weeks later, subterranean Broadway eatery Annapurna and its street-level Yeti Bar will watch as the six-story mixed-use project set to replace its home gets its first review.

Both procedural events will start the clock ticking on the end as we know it for the popular neighborhood joints. You will have at least a year for the design review process to play out and typically several more months for the demolition and construction permits to be lined up. Continue reading

One injured escaping Belmont Ave apartment fire

(Image: Seattle Fire)

(Image: Seattle Fire)

One person was reported injured escaping and Seattle Fire was assessing whether the residents of the 25-unit, low income apartment building could return to their homes after an overnight fire in Belmont Ave’s Granberg Apartments.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene around 1:33 AM to reports of black smoke billowing from the upper floors of the three-story apartment building on Belmont near Howell. Firefighters found what was described as a small fire in a room on the second floor. Seattle Fire reported the fire under control within 15 minutes of arrival at the scene.

According to SFD, one person sustained an injury escaping the blaze. The victim was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and was reported in stable condition. Units in the building were being assessed for fire, smoke, and water damage as residents hoped to return to their units on the rainy night. SFD reports the Red Cross was called in to help provide shelter for two men displaced from damaged units.

The 1908-built Granberg Apartments are operated by Pioneer Human Services and provide low income housing to residents with “verifiable income” and “supportive of a clean and sober living environment.”

UPDATE 10/10/2016: Seattle Fire reports that the fire caused $70,000 in damage and was caused by an “overheated electrical extension cord.”