RIP, Broadway Sleep Train

Breaking news from Broadway. The chain that inspired one of the largest WTF? storms in CHS history when it arrived on Capitol Hill in 2016 is no longer. Sleep Train is gone. Welcome our new retail bedding manufacturer overlords, Mattress Firm.

Confused? Here’s the FAQ.

Homestead Seattle grows into new space in Pike/Pine, sprouts new plant shop on E Olive St

The folks behind vintage furniture and design brand Homestead Seattle have been growing all sorts of things. Their design shop is about to grow into a larger, much more prominent space. And, Sunday, the new Homestead Seattle Plant Shop will blossom on E Olive St near 23rd Ave.

“We’ve definitely seen more apartment gardening,” Ryan Tansey tells CHS about some of the trends at play behind the new shop at 2202 E Olive St. “People who are moving to the hill are less likely to have a yard to work with,” Tansey said. “And I’ve also heard from some people that because many people are having kids later, having plants around is another way to have something to nurture and grow.” Continue reading

Ultra running from Capitol Hill, Pike/Pine shop owner completes decade-long race

Morrison at Fleet Feet (Image: Kelly Knickerbocker for CHS)

Morrison at Fleet Feet (Image: Kelly Knickerbocker for CHS)

In 2006, a 27-year-old ultra runner from Seattle was poised to take first place in the notoriously grueling 100-mile-long Western States Endurance race. Garbled video footage shows Brian Morrison, now the owner of Fleet Feet Sport Seattle in Capitol Hill, struggling to stay upright in the final moments of the race. His body was shutting down.

Over the loudspeaker, an announcer says Morrison is just 50 meters from the finish line. He walks, weaving along the track with a heavy expression. He begins to run, but collapses. With help from his team, Morrison gets up, moves forward and collapses again. This happens several times before he eventually wins the race — his first-ever attempt. An amazing finish.

He didn’t know it yet, but 2006 wouldn’t mark the end of Morrison’s Western States story.

Ethan Newberry, a filmmaker and ultra runner who’s also from Seattle, documented Morrison’s 2016 return to Western States in A Decade On. The 40-minute film was released to YouTube last month and has since been around 70,000 times — striking a chord with runners and non-runners alike.

“It’s about setting a goal and working toward that goal, no matter what it is. Things get hard. Work through it and stay positive. Hard work generally leads to good results,” Morrison said.

A day after the race in 2006, Morrison learned that he’d been disqualified.

Continue reading

‘Contemporary furniture’ retailer Blu Dot opening showroom on Capitol Hill

Minimalist but friendly, Blu Dot is bringing one its few worldwide showrooms to an auto row building on Capitol Hill that has been home to furniture before.

CHS has learned that the Minneapolis-headquartered furniture, design, and lifestyle brand will open a Seattle showroom on the corner of Pine and Crawford Place in the Colman Automotive building that is currently a whir of construction activity for a seismic overhaul and tenant upgrades. The work will create the new Blu Dot store and a new restaurant project lined up to neighbor it as well as a rooftop bar. The building was the longtime home of original and vintage furniture concern Area 51.

There are currently only five Blu Dot showrooms around the world. The most recent addition opened in Chicago this winter. UPDATE: “Blu Dot currently has six stores in the U.S. and nine stores globally,” a company rep tells CHS. Continue reading

Central Co-op set for an E Madison facelift

Front Entry Elevation_132in sign Revised layoutCentral Co-op is getting a makeover, but nothing on the inside is going to change.

The building’s landlord, Madison Crossing, is working on some improvements to the exterior. Construction is expected to start within the next few weeks, and should last about five months, assuming there are no delays in permitting or construction, the co-op’s Suzanne Schultz told CHS. The building opened in 1998, and the Co-op, moved in shortly after.

Schultz said the store plans to remain open during its normal business hours throughout the construction. She said the interior layout and selection of products will not change, nor will the look of the inside of the store.

“Most of the work is not going to be happening in our store,” she said. Continue reading

With grace and toughness, Honed brings custom jewelry to Chophouse Row

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One of the smallest new shops on Capitol Hill also might be one of its sturdiest. Jewelry designer Claire Kinder Barrett’s newly opened Honed features works that seek balance between grace and muscle.

“I always try to design delicate pieces that are also strong enough to make it through life,” Barrett told CHS during a recent visit. Continue reading

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

You might be able to move into your new Capitol Hill Station apartment in 2019

Earlier this month, Sound Transit and Capitol Hill Station celebrated one year of service carrying thousands of riders every day on the light rail line connecting downtown to Montlake by way of Broadway. The two acres of so of pavement around the station, you might have noticed, remain empty but there are big plans. Here is what comes next after December’s first design review — and why the one-year celebration didn’t include a ribbon cutting from the project’s developer Gerding Edlen for the some 400 affordable and market-rate apartment units and 59,000 square feet of commercial and community space planned to rise around the station.

Destined to begin construction in 2018 and open for new residents late the following year, the architects behind the largest buildings and the key central plaza above Capitol Hill Station are refining plans following the project’s first step in the special streamlined design review process set up for the community-guided “transit oriented development.” As part of its application for the critical land use permit, Hewitt Architects submitted a roster of planned design changes based on feedback from the design review board for the project’s main Site A building along Broadway and the pedestrian plaza that will sit above the busy light rail station below and is hoped to create a central gathering place, a home for the Capitol Hill farmers market, and a new gateway for the adjacent Cal Anderson Park.

Here are some of the changes being planned for the next and final round of design review expected to take place this summer:

  • Parking: The developer’s rep told the crowd at the December design review that there was likely to be fewer parking spots than included in the design plan. True… kind of. The big lot is down to 158 spaces: Site A was previously showing 183 parking spaces on 3 below grade parking levels. This has been reduced to 158 spaces. 
  • Broadway pass-through: The plan for a passageway through the development to connect Broadway through to the internal plaza will be de-cluttered and the quasi-public space will hopefully be more inviting and provide small retailers with a more active environment: The pass-through for Site A has remained at 15’-0” minimum width and all bicycle racks have been removed. The residential lobby no longer lines the entire south side of the pass-through allowing for further activation of the retail spaces. Retail is now visible at both the west and east. Continue reading

CHS Pics | A spring fashion party on E Pike

With pictures and reporting by Lisa Hagen Glynn

March brings flowers to Capitol Hill — and spring fashions. Thursday night, some newly sprouted looks for the season were on display at Visette.

“This store is about women of all shapes and sizes, and anytime you want to be beautiful, you should be able to find a dress,” Visal Sam told CHS Thursday during her spring collection preview party at the E Pike store. Continue reading

The tale of a new home for Postal Plus, an expansion for Ruckus pot shop, and the exit of a Capitol Hill antiquarian book seller

Postal Plus will, indeed, be moving on from its longtime home on Republican at 15th. Because this is Capitol Hill, Seattle in the year 2017, the move involves both a pot shop expansion and changes for an antiquarian book seller.

Let’s start with the mail. Postmaster Ed Zhang has found a new address to help serve as a contractor for the United States Post Office.

“I feel very much relieved,” Zhang said about finding a new location.

Zhang said the new location, which formerly housed Louis Collins Rare Books, is not only more affordable, but it also has space for parking. Zhang said the lease he signed is for 10 years with the option to renew for another 10. After taking the weekend to move and set up, the shop will reopen at 1211 E Denny Way on April 3. Continue reading