Save the Royvue! Residents rally to thwart sale of Capitol Hill building

A view worth the fight? A look across the Royvue courtyard (Image: Haley Blavka Photograph/Save the Royvue)

Seattle’s endorsement of rapidly adding thousands of efficiency sized housing units to the cityscape has some residents in Capitol Hill unconvinced that one size fits all. Tenant-led group Save the Royvue has escalated its effort to keep the 94-year-old building from succumbing to development plans that would significantly reduce apartment size. The growing assembly of advocates says the Royvue Apartments is fine the way it is and now seeks landmark protections to keep it that way.

Eugenia Woo with Historic Seattle is consulting with the group and shares their worry that “the city is losing its identity.”

“This city has always been known for its character and that distinguishes us. It’s ok to have good new designs but unfortunately most of what’s being built is not so great,” she said. Continue reading

Woman robbed at gunpoint, shot fired on Summit Ave E — UPDATE: ‘drug related’

A woman said she was robbed at gunpoint and gunfire was reported in the area just before midnight in an incident near the 600 block of Summit Ave E late Sunday night. UPDATE: Police say the incident appears to have been drug related and not a robbery.

Police rushed to the block home to the Summit Pub and Sun Liquor around 11:55 PM where the victim said she had been robbed about 10 minutes earlier by a man and woman reportedly in a ReachNow-style car-sharing vehicle.

The victim told police a shot was fired during the robbery. There were no reported injuries. Continue reading

Up against rent boom and affordability crunch, residents worry about plan to change 1924-built Royvue into microhousing

Residents of a classic 94-year-old Capitol Hill apartment building hope to organize against a plan to gut the structure and turn its 34 apartments — some as large as four or five room spaces — into more than 100 units of microhousing.

“Everyone in the building is obviously going to be kicked out,” one resident tells CHS of the project. “This place is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen in the neighborhood and I can’t believe there aren’t any checks in place to preserve other ones like it.”

In an affordability crunch and a boom market for rents, Seattle is doing everything it can to create more homes and landlords on Capitol Hill have been particularly creative trading away parking and laundry rooms (and sometimes retail space) for more places to live. Continue reading

Here’s why the original Sun Liquor lounge is now for sale

(Image: Sun Liquor)

Born on Capitol Hill as a lounge powered, in part, by Summit Ave doughnut cash, Sun Liquor appears poised to make a final break with its home neighborhood.

Owner Michael Klebeck has confirmed details of the listing on Craigslist advertising the bar now available at the NEW PRICE of $195,000. “Desirable Capitol Hill neighborhood location on a synergistic block with active co-tenants including Single Shot, Top Pot Donuts and Summit Public House,” the sales pitch reads. Sorry: “Business name not included in sale.” Continue reading

Work wraps up on Capitol Hill’s Summit Slope Park enhancements and ‘pedestrianized’ street

Summit Slope Park — and its P-Patch — will get a little larger next month but some of the biggest changes from its most recent round of construction are already in place and in use.

The $260,000 project renovated the park at Summit and E John which first opened in 2011. Construction wrapping up to begin 2018 including preparing space for trees and turf patches to be installed along an extended sidewalk cut into half of the block. Vehicle traffic on E John will remain open, but parking in front of the park has been removed. Continue reading

Capitol Hill parks notes | Summit Slope legal fight, I-5 Columns design, Montlake lid

Summit Slope Park (Image: CHS)

Summit Slope Park (Image: CHS)

With the most excellent news of Volunteer Park’s new bandshell and amphitheater rounding into shape, here are a few more bits of news and notes from the Capitol Hill area’s parkland and open spaces.

  • Summit Slope Park: Here is some unhappy news from the Unpaving Paradise group that shaped the vision for the small — but growing — Capitol Hill park just off E Olive Way:
    Some Parks employees are starting the process of removing the table, benches, and BBQ from the upper area of the park this morning. They are taking the BBQ today. Their work order was to remove the boards of the table, leaving the metal frame. They had a call in to someone to see if they were also supposed to remove the boards from the benches. Then a Parks supervisor of some sort came by and she said they should remove the benches and table completely, since leaving the metal frames would be a safety hazard. They plan on moving them out in the next few days. But it all seemed to be a moving decision process, subject to change at any moment Continue reading

Work to ‘pedestrianize’ E John near Summit Slope Park inches forward

If you have been eagerly waiting for work to start on the final section of Summit Slope Park, don’t get too excited by the arrival of work crews this week.

While the “East John Street Open Space Development” is seven years in the making, there is still some work to be done before the final piece of the park comes to fruition. Before the street is ripped up to extend the park into part of E John in January 2017, Seattle City Light is taking advantage of the timing by installing a new duct bank for electrical wiring and electrical vaults along the park. Continue reading

CHS Pics | ‘Wall’ mural remembers Orlando on Bellevue Ave E

A work in tribute to the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting has become part of the streetscape at Bellevue and Mercer.

Artist Mariah Widman pasted up pieces of her “Wall” mural Sunday night. It represents the holes knocked out by police as they responded to rescue survivors in the deadly Orlando shooting in which a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 more. The work represents the wall of Pulse as both a barrier that had to be breached and a symbol of resiliency, Widman said. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | The Harry’s Fine Foods transformation

The intriguing Harry’s Fine Foods project — as CHS called it back in September 2015 — is rounding into shape for a summer opening inside a transformed convenience store at the corner of Bellevue and Mercer.

“A jewel box” is how the contractors refer to the project which is set to restore the old market’s exterior befitting the building’s history and fill it with finely crafted elements and recovered, restored finishings including the old store’s refrigerator case, fully gutted and recreated for a new life inside the new Harry’s.

“The extra time has allowed us to make some very styled decisions,” Julian Hagood quipped as he gave CHS a cup of coffee and a tour of the under-construction restaurant and the completed apartment the chef/owner calls home upstairs.

Or, really, up-ladder. Metis, the contracting company Hagood turned to after construction on the restaurant bogged down earlier the project, had just removed the 1910-built building’s old staircase approach to the upper level and given the chef a tall ladder in its place. If all stays on the new pace, Harry’s Fine Foods will be open by July or August.

When it does, the neighborhood around Bellevue and Mercer will have a new daytime hangout — to start with. Hagood and partner in crime Alexa Dallas plan to open with a breakfast, brunch, and lunch focus before dipping toes into the dinner and nighttime bar business. With menus honed by the duo’s booming catering business, Harry’s will feature cafe offerings with vegetarian influences and a light, nutritious approach. A patio is being built behind the old store abutting the old house next door and windows are being designed to be opened wide to transform the rebuilt store into an open, airy cafe. The old refrigerator will be put to work with meals to-go and prepared items like parfaits for neighbors to grab and go. There should also be beer and wine for sale.

The project is an ambitious one — even beyond the kitchen. 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 said the building is the fourth that she’s developed in Seattle — but first on Capitol Hill. To transform it from a market to a restaurant, Miller and Hagood had to navigate the city’s change of use process and make sure the surrounding community supported the new life for the old building. Continue reading

Big Boylston Ave raccoon bites woman

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The weird 911 reports from Capitol Hill keep coming. This one involves a frighteningly large masked bandit reported to have bitten a Capitol Hill woman Thursday night.

According to Seattle Fire, Station 25’s Ladder 10 was dispatched to the 700 block of Bolyston Ave E Thursday around 10:30 PM after a woman reported she had been bit by a giant raccoon.

Worse, the woman reported that the approximately 15-pound animal was still outside at the scene. Police were called to assist.

Seattle Fire couldn’t provide information about the extent of the woman’s injuries and SPD’s records for what transpired next are light on details — it’s likely the big raccoon left before police arrived and got away with the crime.

It wouldn’t be the first. A woman reported being bit on the hand by one of the Hill’s plentiful raccoons just before Halloween last year. This attack made news in 2009. Mostly, though, you don’t have anything to fear. Like most of your neighbors, raccoons are extremely intelligent, highly adaptive, and streetwise creatures just looking for something to eat and a place to hang out on Capitol Hill.