Lifelong Thrift brings vintage Capitol Hill to new Broadway store

Lifelong Thrift's Tamara Asakawa (Image: CHS)

Lifelong Thrift’s Tamara Asakawa (Image: CHS)

The old sign will stay -- kind of. Watch for a LIFELONG update later this spring (Image: CHS)

The old sign will stay — kind of. Watch for a LIFELONG update later this spring (Image: CHS)

It fits like a hand in a glove. A second-hand glove. Lifelong Thrift is set to open on Broadway Wednesday morning bringing a most Capitol Hill next chapter to the former space home to Red Light Vintage.

“I feel like we’re a part of the old Capitol Hill,” Thrift’s director Tamara Asakawa told CHS Tuesday as she and her crew of 10 employees and a dozen or so volunteers put the finishing touches on the gigantic new home for the store.

The new Lifelong Thrift combines the spaces left empty by the departure of the much-loved Red Light and its sibling boutique Aprie and at 12,500 square feet and two levels will be almost three times the size of the thrift’s former E Union location.

In November, CHS reported that the prospect of higher rent combined with lower than needed sales was forcing the ownership of Red Light, acknowledged as the Hill’s oldest vintage clothing store, to leave Broadway. Lifelong Thrift was slated for an earlier opening but a complication over a move-in date caused a costly delay for the nonprofit. Asakawa said the pluck of her crew and volunteers helped keep things on track even with the added cost and work of dealing with storage and waiting for the spaces to open up for the buildout to begin. Changes inside are few — in fact, you’ll see many remnants of Red Light left behind. But you’ll also find an opened up space that better connects the two wings of the shop. Continue reading

Broadway Whole Foods project design — though ‘too timid,’ ‘too much a solid block’ — approved for next round in review process

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 7.39.02 PMDespite concerns from the board about the building’s unique combination of both bulk and height and with support but also questions from residents concerned about truck traffic and the building’s multiple visible facades, the design for the 16-story development planned to be home to a Whole Foods at Broadway and Madison was moved forward Wednesday night in its first step in Seattle’s design review process.

The review board felt the design presented Wednesday was “too timid” and “too much of a solid block” for such a large project on an important corner between Capitol Hill and First Hill. “I’m not seeing a gateway statement,” one board member said. But the board also agreed it could provide enough guidance to the architects and developers to move the project through to the final “recommendation” phase of the review process.

In making their decision, the board members said the project’s developers and designers needed to come to the next phase with a proposal that better mitigated the bulk of a 16-story, full-block building and create a larger plaza on the prominent corner. Continue reading

Station 7 boutique to join 15th Ave E in former home of Capitol Hill’s ‘last video shop’

Sorry to Ethan Stowell and the other food and drink barons of Capitol Hill on a seemingly neverending quest for new spaces to conquer — 15th Ave E’s old fire station will not be yours.

Station 7, a “really fun art gallery with furniture, jewelry, and home goods,” will open this spring in the ground floor of the brick building at 15th Ave E and E Harrison formerly home to On 15th Video.

“I really wanted it to be close to home,” Danielle Yoakum Tilden tells CHS. “I wanted it to be a neighborhood thing.”


Continue reading

Broadway Whole Foods and apartment development begins design review this week

(Image: Tiscareno Associates)

(Image: Tiscareno Associates)

We showed you what the Broadway Whole Foods building will look like the minute we got our hands on the plans back in February. This week brings the first public test of the design proposal to create a 16-story, 288-unit, mixed-use development with parking for around 350 cars at the corner of Madison and Broadway where Capitol Hill and First Hill with its high-er-rise zoning meet.

The early design guidance for the Columbia Pacific Advisors development designed by Tiscareno Associates is Wednesday night:

1001 Broadway/Design Proposal (84 MB)
Review Meeting: March 4, 6:30 pm
Seattle University
1016 E. Marion St
PIGT Room #304
Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance
Project Number: 3019050 permit status | notice
Planner: Lindsay King

The project will include a two-level 40,000 square-foot street-level “urban grocery” from the Texas-based chain of markets “specializing” in organic food. The project is targeted for a late 2017 to early 2018 opening and will replace the 1928-built, three-story masonry medical building currently at the site.

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Whole Foods has cited the coming First Hill Streetcar line and proximity to First Hill’s hospitals and nearby Seattle University as important factors in choosing the Broadway and Madison location.

We’ve embedded the full design proposal, below. Continue reading

Public Bikes comes to Capitol Hill, taking over former Black Coffee space on E Pine

Here’s a vignette of retail today on Capitol Hill: An anarchist cafe closes and a stylish, San Francisco-based bicycle shop takes its place. CHS has learned that Public is opening its first Seattle location at the E Pine and Summit space formerly occupied by Black Coffee Co-op.

With the ink barely dry on the lease, Public’s head of sales and marketing Dan Nguyen-Tan told CHS he expects the shop to open this spring.

“We looked at several neighborhoods and Capitol Hill was always at the top of the list,” he said. “It’s central, bike friendly, and we love that our location is along the Pine Street corridor.”

The shop will primarily focus on selling and servicing Public bikes, but Nguyen-Tan said some general repair services will be offered depending on the amount of parts the store can stock. Continue reading

Revival fashions vintage opportunity from tiny store above Broadway

Busacca (Images: CHS)

Busacca (Images: CHS)

DSC_8756As Red Light Vintage prepares for one last liquidation sale on Broadway before leaving its space and making way for Lifelong Thrift, another source of recycled fashion and style is settling into Capitol Hill. Nestled atop Jai Thai on the western corner of Thomas and Broadway is Revival, a “one-stop-shop” boutique offering to buy, sell, and trade an array of items such as clothes, furniture, home accessories, and and jewelry.

Though the shop has been on the block for around half a year already, it still is somewhat of a “secret spot,” due to its above-street-level location, according to co-owner and San Francisco transplant Ashley Busacca.

“People are like ‘I live across the street and I had no idea you were here, when did you open?’ I’m like ‘six months ago!’” Continue reading

Attention Pike/Pine lovers: Castle announces its plans for E Pike move

B9mHCAnIcAAatYJThe Arizona-based “megastore” chain known for mass-merchandising lube and nipple clamps still hasn’t confirmed our report but the sign doesn’t lie. Broadway’s Castle sex store is leaving Capitol Hill’s main drag for a new berth on E Pike in a former tattoo shop.

Sandwiched between the Wildrose and Bimbos, the buildout is in the early stages of the new 2,000 square-foot store. In November, the new Out of the Closet thrift store and the new home AHF Pharmacy joined Lifelong in a new retail, health, and office facility across the street from where Castle is readying its new home. Around the corner, longtime Pike/Pine purveyor of kink The Crypt still lurks. Down E Pike, Babeland celebrated its 20th anniversary on the Hill in 2013. Meanwhile, Doghouse Leathers is expanding on upper E Pike.

Castle joins a thriving and sometimes tumultuous Pike/Pine nightlife economy still coming to grips with the Woo! Girl and what feels like an influx of not always sensitive new visitors.

CHS reported on the planned move in December after the retailer’s management had toyed with an on again, off again move from its longtime Broadway home citing public safety issues on Broadway and the poor maintenance of Castle’s building.

Broadway, meanwhile, will need to deal with another gaping retail hole after the OfficeMax chain confirmed it is closing its Capitol Hill location after only one year of business.

Capitol Hill’s vacuum repairman says goodbye to his 50-year-old family business

Central Vacuum owner Dennis McDonnell has removed most of the pictures that once covered his shop walls (Image: CHS)

On a recent afternoon, a customer picking up his vacuum from Capitol Hill’s Central Vacuum Service was relieved to find he had $40 in his pocket. The man wanted to pay for his $36 repair with a credit card, but Central Vacuum has been cash only since it opened in 1959.

“I’ve been saying it for years: one of these days, we’ll enter the 1990s,” said owner Dennis McDonnell as he made change for his customer.

Sadly, that day won’t come for Central Vacuum. CHS previously wrote about how the E Pike vacuum repair shop would be closing at the end of January as Doghouse Leathers plans to expand into the space. Still up is the shop’s familiar red Hoover sign that, for years, has marked the the E Pike block between 13th and 14th Aves. McDonnell, 59, is still packing up decades of accumulated vacuum parts and souvenirs.

It’s not how he wanted to go out. McDonnell’s father, Dick McDonnell, opened the business in a space next-door and he remained a permanent fixture in the store until his death last year at 87. Following his father’s death, McDonnell said it was his family’s decision to close the business and he reluctantly agreed. The McDonnell family still owns the building, which includes the two retail spaces and an apartment upstairs.   Continue reading

What the 16-story Broadway Whole Foods development will look like

(Image: Tiscareno Associates)

(Image by Tiscareno Associates)

(Image by Tiscareno Associates)

(Image by Tiscareno Associates)

Probably.

Though its first round in the Seattle design review process isn’t slated until March, city planners are getting their first looks at the plans for the new Whole Foods grocery store and 16-story apartment tower planned for the intersection of First Hill and Capitol Hill at Broadway and Madison.

Developer Columbia Pacific Advisors and the architects of Tiscareno Associates are preparing plans for a 160-foot-tall, 288-unit apartment building featuring a two-level 40,000 square-foot street-level “urban grocery,” and five stories of underground parking for 374 motor vehicles and 98 bikes.

“The four sides of the project site face different neighborhoods. The design responds to these different areas with one unified concept. forms and materials wrap the corners to create continuity,” a draft of the “early design guidance” document for the project reads. Continue reading

After 15 years, Metro Clothing is closing but won’t leave another hole in Broadway retail

Changing neighborhood dynamics and shifting fashion styles have conspired to end Metro Clothing’s 15-year run of selling alternative and goth clothes on Capitol Hill.

Last week, owner Angel Theurer began putting up signs announcing a liquidation sale in order to bring on new line of spring clothing. But Theurer and Metro founder Carl Medeiros have now decided to close Metro and start fresh with a new clothing store in the same space.

“A lot more New York influenced, edgy but not gothic, and definitely low price points,” is how Medieros described the new direction he wants to take. Medieros said the new offerings will be a higher-end complement to Panache, his clothing shop next door. Continue reading