If you took the old signs from Bellevue Ave E’s Harry’s Fine Foods, the young chef behind the project set to transform the former corner market into a new restaurant would like you to consider bringing them back. Continue reading
This week’s Capitol Hill design reviews are getting upstaged. Firstly, the meetings are happening the same time this is going down at City Hall. Secondly, a new Capitol Hill project slated for review next week is way more interesting.
A proposal for a new five-story apartment building on the northwest corner of 19th and Mercer is slated to come before the design review board for the first time next week. It’s a corner where plans for development were in motion before. This time, the plan includes neighborhood restaurant Monsoon and the cluster of businesses in the offices behind the restaurant and its new rooftop deck.
In 2008, a four-story, 52-unit building was lined up for the northwest corner of 19th and Mercer. This is what the Weber Thompson project would have looked like:
The global economic slowdown derailed the development and allowed Monsoon owner Eric Banh to end his five-block search for a new home. In the years since, the economy heated back up and the area’s development kicked back into gear. Across the street, the 19th and Mercer building rose and brought new neighbors to the street. Monsoon expanded and added its rooftop deck. And, now, the corner’s redevelopment is back in motion again. Continue reading
Neighbors around Bellevue and Mercer received an intriguing land use notice recently:
Land Use Application to change the use of an existing multipurpose retail, sales and service (store) to restaurant.
That existing multipurpose retail, sales and service (store)? That’s Harry’s Fine Foods — or, at least, the two-story building the grocery store called home before clearing out earlier this year.
The restaurant? That’s the most intriguing part.
CHS has learned that one of the biggest behind-the-scene names in Seattle food+drink is behind the Capitol Hill restaurant project involving a secret chef and an ambitious buildout set to transform the old neighborhood bodega into a new culinary destination.
Harry’s Fine Foods, LLC, a company run by real estate broker to Seattle’s food and drink stars, Laura Miller, purchased the property in the summer of 2014 for $560,000 according to county records. Miller “wields great power within Seattle’s close-knit restaurant community because she helps chefs navigate the abstrusely touchy process of securing a restaurant space,” as Seattle Met put it in a profile of the real estate pro last year. We’re not aware of any previous instances (on Capitol Hill, at least), where Miller stepped up and bought a property destined for food and drink transformation. But we also haven’t had a chance to speak with her. The busiest woman in Seattle’s food business can be difficult to connect with. We’ll keep trying. UPDATE: Miller tells CHS the building is the fourth such that she’s developed in Seattle — but first on Capitol Hill.
“It’s just too competitive up there,” the real estate ace said.
Miller said she likes to find candidates to rehab, not tear down. She pointed to a property in Greenwood now home to a Caffe Vita, Blue Bird Ice Cream, and Cornuto as an example.
We did connect with the chef all of this fuss and hullabaloo is about, however. Continue reading
The story is something out of a Cold War thriller, with a Capitol Hill twist. Buried cash, “deep cover” spying, “brush passes” at train stations to exchange bags of money, all ending with a U.S.-Russia spy swap on a Vienna airport runway.
Russian intelligence called it the “Illegals program” — an ambitious multiyear spy operation carried out by at least 11 deep cover Russian agents in the U.S. that all came crashing down five years ago this summer. Two of those spies, a married couple with children, lived in Seattle as early as 2004 and left in 2009.
They lived on Capitol Hill.
Known in the U.S. as Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills, the couple lived relatively quiet lives. He purported to be from Yonkers, New York while she claimed to be Canadian. Their spycraft never drew any suspicion from neighbors or their landlord at 424 Belmont Ave E.
In 2010, after the couple had moved to Virginia, they were arrested as part of a major FBI surveillance investigation into the Russian spy ring. It wasn’t until then that the true identities of Mikhail Kutsik and Natalia Pereverzeva were revealed. FBI agents called them the “Seattle conspirators.” Continue reading
She had spent months looking for the right place to live. She wanted to be able to walk to her job downtown at an orthodontist’s office, but still be able to afford her rent. Then she found a new building on Summit Ave E, The Local 422 and landed one of the units built under Seattle’s Multifamily Tax Exemption Program.
“I got really lucky,” said the new resident CHS ran into after a tour of the new project. “It’s the tiniest (income) window you have to hit.”
Under the program, developers must make at least 20% of their units available only to tenants making 80% or less of the average median income for the area. In exchange, the developer is exempt from property taxes. The exemption lasts for up to 12 years, so long as the developer keeps up their end of the deal. Continue reading
A male victim suffered a “severe” knife wound to the hand in a reported robbery at E Mercer and Bellevue Ave E Tuesday night just before 10:30 PM.
UPDATE: According to police, the victim said he was meeting with a “friend of a friend” to sell a laptop when the robbery and stabbing occurred:
XXX said he was selling his MacBook Pro laptop to a friend of a friend. He said he couldn’t think of the friends name at the moment but would be able to give it later. He met with 4 unidentified suspects (1 Hispanic male and 3 Hispanic females)in the back of a Ford F-150 on E Melrose St and Bellevue Av E. XXX said he was hesitant to get in the vehicle, but the male suspect, who was driving insisted on it. Once inside the vehicle, the male suspect pulled a 7in military style fixedblade knife demanded the laptop and his money. The suspect took XXX ‘s laptop and $200 in cash.
Police were unable to question the victim further at the hospital after the victim was given pain medication. Police say they had “prior contact” with the victim that night at the E Olive Way Starbucks where he said he was meeting a female who wanted to buy his laptop.
Police were looking for a vehicle described as a silver Ford F150 truck carrying
three males and one female reportedly involved with the incident.
Seattle Fire responded to the area near Mercer and Bellevue at 10:21 PM to a report of a stabbing.
Medics transporting 25yo male with stab wound to hand in stable condition from E Mercer St/Bellevue Av E to HMC @SeattlePD investigates
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) April 1, 2015
It may be a first for Seattle development: overhauling an old apartment building to create new microhousing. By combining two Seattle development trends at a legendary E Summit building, one developer thinks he may have found a solution to create some much sought after affordable housing on Capitol Hill.
In some ways, a microhousing renovation project would be back to the future for the Summit Inn. The history of tiny, affordable rooms for rent goes back well beyond the recent aPodment-powered trend. The Summit In was built 115 years ago for single room occupancy units.
Developer Brad Padden told CHS he plans to start the estimated $2.5 million renovation in October and have units ready to rent by next summer. The plan is to add one story to the building and transform the building to a mix of dorm-style congregate units and “small efficiency dwelling units” with individual kitchens.
Padden paid $2.9 million for the property late last year.
- Summit Ave stabbing: Seattle Fire medics and police rushed to an apartment building in the 1700 Summit Ave late Monday night to a report of a domestic violence stabbing inside. According to police radio, a female reportedly stabbed a male in the side in the assault around 11:30 PM. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident. The male victim was taken to Harborview with what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries.
- 14/Spring hold-up: Police are investigating an armed robbery reported early Sunday morning near 14th and Spring. Information on the incident is limited at this time but the hold-up was reported around 1:50 AM Sunday. The victim reported the hold-up occurred near 14th and Spring around 20 minutes earlier. We’ll post an update when we learn more about the investigation.
- Flo Ware shooting: A gunman was arrested Friday night after a woman was shot in the leg in a hail of bullets inside Flo Ware Park near 28th Ave and S Jackson. Police say two groups of suspects may have exchanged gunfire in the incident just after 6 PM. The 29-year-old woman suffered non-life threatening injuries. The 26-year-old suspect was tracked down and arrested downtown after trying to flee the area via a Metro bus.
- Shots fired: Police investigated a burst of gunfire at 25th and Yesler Sunday around 7:15 PM but fortunately found no victim in the shooting. Investigators collected several shell casings and a slug found at the scene.
- ‘Stop throwing shade’ assault: The suspect in an early Saturday assault reported near 13th and Madison reportedly told his victim to “stop throwing shade” after hitting the male victim with a glass bottle:Police took the assault suspect into custody. The victim was not seriously injured.
If you’re reading this anywhere within the rectangle of dense apartments between Roy and Thomas and Broadway and I-5, please keep it down. Your bartender might be sleeping.
The most excellent Seattle Times FYI Guy has posted a new map and dataset based on the 2013 Census that shows what time of day different areas of the city start their workdays.
We assume that I-5 Shores workers rolling out of the house between noon and 4 PM are the folks that make the neighborhood — and the city’s — food, drink, and entertainment economy hum. There is a similar time of day pattern seen south of Madison around 12th Ave and Seattle U, too. Meanwhile, don’t be envious of those blocks around Stevens Elementary in Fancy Pants Capitol Hill that start their workdays a little later around 10 AM — they’re probably just cleaning up after their children.
You can check out the patterns through the day and the prime commute time in your part of Capitol Hill here.
The East Design Review Board convenes Wednesday night to take a first look at a six-story project slated to replace a rejected Capitol Hill landmark and what the developers hope will be a final look at the long-planned apartment building on the site of a different sort of Capitol Hill landmark — the old E Madison Taco Time.
A brand new buyer and a marketing brand for the new project accompany the plan for a six-story apartment development at 1420 E Madison across from the super-green Bullitt Center in the now-empty lot where Taco Time once stood. Last April, we speculated whether the sale of the property by the family behind the Taco Time chain would open up a new life for the project that had so far experienced a rather critical trip through the design review process after the old fast food restaurant was razed back in 2009. Continue reading