Here’s what 150 or so new apartments surrounding the (newly landmarked) Knights of Columbus building will look like

Still only a massing proposal and a design concept, this is what could rise next to the Knights of the Columbus building

Here is the first look at early design proposals for the two projects that will work together to shepherd the newly landmarks protected Knights of Columbus building into its new adaptive reuse future and add more than 150 new apartments to the block at Union and Harvard.

Design review: 704 E Union St and 722 E Union St

The projects from developers SRM Development and the Runberg Architecture Group will begin the city’s design review process with a joint session Wednesday night. Continue reading

‘Conceptual’ — SDOT says now is the time to shape E Union’s 2020 plan for protected bike lanes

E Union from above 18th Ave — just add PBLs (Image: CHS)

Tuesday night, Seattle Department of Transportation officials will be at Washington Hall as part of a series of “conversations” in neighborhoods across the city about — and, yes, we know the Seattle is Dying crowd loves this — the plan for implementing Seattle’s bike plan.

SDOT Bike Master Plan cafe-style conversation

One topic newly installed SDOT head Sam Zimbabwe’s crew knows will be on the minds of neighbors and business representatives in this plan for the plan is a pretty solid embodiment of Seattle’s increasingly modest bike projects circa 2019: new, semi-protected bike lanes on E Union hoped to be under construction by the end of the year and, some advocates say, disappointedly compromised by a City Hall unwilling to take on a serious commitment to new bike infrastructure.

First, SDOT wants you to know the whole bike riders can ride on the sidewalk thing at the busy intersections of E Union and 23rd and E Union and MLK is only an idea right now — one of many planners need to sort through, SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson tells CHS.

“We realize because there is a gap, people could potentially ride on the sidewalk. One potential thing is widening the street but with all the development that probably isn’t possible,” Bergerson said.

“This is all conceptual.” Continue reading

Wall fire scorches building home to Union bar — UPDATE

(Image: CHS)

Firefighters battled a stubborn wall fire Sunday night inside the building home to Capitol Hill gay bar Union.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene just after 10 PM and found the fire in an area of the building’s second floor. Firefighters were able to quickly bring the fire under control. It was not clear how much damage the flames and fire response caused inside the building.

The intersection of 13th and Union was filled with fire trucks and a haze of smoke as nightlife patrons cleared the building and gathered from nearby venues.

There were no reported injuries. The Seattle Fire Marshal was called to the scene to investigate.

UPDATE 4/22/2019 12:40 PM: Seattle Fire says the incident has been ruled an accidental fire “most likely caused by an electrical/mechanical malfunction of the natural gas water heater.” The estimated loss is $70,000.

The investigation’s findings can put to rest any worries that the fire could be connected to a recent string of arson fires on Broadway.

No word yet on damage from Union.

UPDATE 11:00 PM: Union is temporarily closed to clean up after the damage from the fire:

Our Sunday Funday was so hot we caught fire, literally. We appreciate your patience while we temporarily close for clean up. ​ We sincerely thank the Seattle Fire Department, our staff, and all the kind messages from the community. ​ Stay tuned for updates, we will be open again soon!

Seattle’s increasingly modest plans for new bike projects include seven across Capitol Hill, CD — UPDATE

This page from the council presentation on the bike plan implementation update oddly includes an image of a Capitol Hill rider on perhaps the most un-pedal friendly in the neighborhood.

Seattle is criss-crossed by 1,547 lane-miles of arterial streets and 2,407 miles of non-arteries. In recent years, the city has added new bike infrastructure to only about 10 miles of those streets per year.

Tuesday afternoon, the Seattle City Council will begin the latest process to shake out the next five years of Seattle bike infrastructure investments. Following the relatively paltry output of the last couple years, the proposed plan includes projects that will likely add up to even less than 10 miles per year. But there are still some new improvements on the list for Capitol Hill, the Central District, and the nearby. Continue reading

CURA shop on search for ‘an intersection of artistry and equity’ in the Central District

(Image: CHS)

Akiko Eisner-Waters was not expecting the notes. When she found the two pieces of white paper taped to the door of her new Central District lifestyle shop CURA last Sunday morning, barely 12 hours had passed since the official opening celebration the evening before. The store had been open for about a week.

“Gentrification,” spell red letters on one of the sheets of paper. “The displacement of Black and Brown urban residents by more affluent whites — is a function of the same forces that emptied the cities of much of their white populations, generations ago: the movement of capital. Capital wants the cities back, and clears spaces for whites,” it reads in black letters below. Continue reading

Wait for it — With expansion to Georgetown, growth comes slowly but surely for Capitol Hill’s Oola Distillery

Kallas-Lewis (Image: OOLA)

Oola Distillery, today, stands alone, the only craft spirits creator to survive on Capitol Hill born in the modern era rebirth of the industry in Washington State. And now it is ready for expansion and, hopefully, legislative changes that could make its E Union tasting room as busy and bustling as its neighbor breweries in the Central District and Capitol Hill.

How did distillery founder and head distiller Kirby Kallas-Lewis pull it off?

“Just made a huge commitment and put the life savings on the line,” Kallas-Lewis remembers. “If you stepped back and looked at as a business major, you would have stopped a while ago.” Continue reading

Central District’s Union Market held up at gunpoint in Tuesday morning robbery

Police were searching for a suspect seen fleeing on foot through the icy slush after a Tuesday morning armed robbery at the Central District’s Union Market.

The just before 9:30 AM hold-up of the corner market involved a suspect seen pointing a handgun as he grabbed cash from the register of the corner store at 21st and Union. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Metier has new partner in Homegrown for cycling, coffee, sandwiches — and beer

(Image: Metier)

As a global brand stumbles with as much focus on fashion as cycling, Capitol Hill’s Metier is setting its own pace with a new partner on E Union.

Metier’s Todd Herriott tells CHS the decision to link up with Seattle “sustainable” sandwich shop concern Homegrown was a natural combination and will help keep the food and drink in Metier’s “Coffee and Racing” concept.

“We learned a lot,” Herriott said of Metier’s three years in the food and drink business after it opened its new headquarters combining a cafe, bike gym, and training center on E Union in late 2015. One of the lessons, Herriott said, was to find a partner to put Metier’s space more fully to use with good food connected to the space’s cycling culture. Continue reading

Capitol Hill wins a Lyftie, a dubious distinction for a ‘walkable neighborhood’

(Image: CHS)

Capitol Hill, perhaps Seattle’s most walkable neighborhood(TM), is the recipient of a dubious 2018 distinction.

Take it away, global transportation network company Lyft:

Lyft is celebrating the fourth iteration of the annual Lyftie Awards, a program that recognizes the most popular destinations in cities across the country. This year, Lyft has expanded the Lyfties to celebrate bars, concerts, gyms, neighborhoods, and more in 45 markets, including Seattle.

The company announced Tuesday that Capitol Hill took Seattle’s top position as the “Most Visited Late Night Neighborhood” in the city. Continue reading

Heritage Distilling Capitol Hill celebrates grand opening, ‘blessing of the still’

Its heritage on Capitol Hill already runs four months deep but Heritage Distilling’s backside of Pike/Pine tasting room will celebrate a grand opening this weekend.

“Expect music, a blessing of the still, ribbon cutting, discounts on bottle sales, tastings and more,” the folks at HDC Capitol Hill — the “C” is for “company” — promise. Continue reading