SFD handles small fire intentionally set inside 10th Ave apartment building

Firefighters quickly handled a small blaze investigators say was intentionally set Tuesday night inside the seven-story Alder Flats building.

The apartment building is on the same block where two 118-year-old homes used as apartments and a 1905-built duplex are slated to be demolished to make way for a new 111-unit apartment complex. Design review for the project is slated for Wednesday night.

Seattle Fire tells CHS the fire reported at the 220 10th Ave building just after 8 PM Tuesday did almost no damage and there were no injuries. Radio reports indicated papers inside a hallway had been set on fire. SFD says it investigated the fire and provided information to Seattle Police. Officers were called to the scene but there were no immediate arrests.

As redevelopment continues, community celebrates opening of Yesler Terrace Park

“As this city becomes increasingly dense, we continue to need spaces like this. This is the kind of space where memories will be created by all the young people here,” Christopher Williams, interim superintendent of the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, said at the grand opening of the brand new Yesler Terrace Park on Saturday. “This park will be the center of the Yesler community.”

Yesler Terrace Park includes a fountain, public seating, a soccer field, basketball court, an intricate playground and an expansive view of the Seattle skyline, all of which were designed and created by several city groups and local organizations. Community members, city officials, and families gathered to celebrate this new public space.

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SPD investigating after escaped inmate reportedly shot by corrections officer at 8th and Yesler — UPDATE

An escaped King County Jail prisoner was shot by a corrections officer near 8th and Yesler Wednesday morning, according to radio reports.

All information regarding this incident is preliminary. SPD has confirmed it is investigating an “officer involved shooting.”

According to SPD and Seattle Fire radio dispatches, an inmate was reported to have escaped custody from Harborview around 10:15 AM. Minutes later, Seattle Fire and SPD were called to the area of 8th and Yesler after reports of shots fired.

According to emergency radio dispatches, the inmate was being rushed back to Harborview for treatment and Seattle Police had closed the area as they collected evidence at the scene where the corrections officer reportedly opened fire.

No law enforcement officers were reported injured in the incident.

UPDATE: SPD has confirmed the details of the shooting and says the inmate who was allegedly attempting to escape is a suspect charged with first-degree murder and domestic violence in the shooting death of an 18-year-old woman in Kent last week:

The guards chased him, but were not able to capture him. One guard shot the suspect at 8th and Yesler, and jail staff placed him back into custody at that time. The suspect was transported back to Harborview Medical Center and is receiving emergency care for non-life threatening injuries. Seattle Police are on scene and have agreed to conduct the preliminary investigation. King County Jail staff will conduct their own internal, administrative investigation regarding this incident.


Developer completes 12th Ave affordable housing trifecta

Reverb apartments as seen from the rooftop of its sister building, Decibel.

Reverb apartments as seen from the rooftop of its sister building, Decibel.

In 2014, CHS wondered whether Capitol Hill’s affordable housing might not be built on Capitol Hill but in the neighborhoods to the south along 12th Ave. Today, a trio of Capitol Hill-adjacent affordable housing developments from Spectrum Development Solutions has been completed.

Reverb Apartments, the final of three developments in the 12th and Alder area of the Central District, threw an open house party on Thursday featuring music and a community event to show off the newly opened building.

“It’s been a long journey, and we’re really excited to be a part of the community and to play hopefully an important role in bringing workforce housing to this area. It’s much needed,” Spectrum’s Jake McKinstry told CHS.

Across the three buildings, 56 units qualify as affordable with the other projects priced as “workforce” housing designed to appeal to young, working professionals willing to sacrifice space and perks like parking in exchange for proximity to employment centers and public transit. Spectrum is focusing on “the missing middle” — teachers, nurses and other young professionals, who are trying to live near their jobs and don’t qualify for affordable housing, McKinstry said. Continue reading

Design review: What Vulcan’s first Broadway project will look like, plus small efficiency dwelling units on 10th Ave E

Vulcan's Block 3 plan for Broadway at Yesler might finally justify the First Hill Streetcar

Vulcan’s Block 3 plan for Broadway at Yesler might finally justify the First Hill Streetcar

While Wednesday night’s review sessions will include one half of real estate giant Vulcan’s development plans for both sides of Broadway at Yesler and a review of a Central District project the review board was worried about being shoehorned into a residential area, the bigger design review decisions of the week won’t happen at a public meeting. More on Vulcan’s 120 Broadway development and a rowhouse project from Isola Homes at 18th and Spruce, below. But first, let’s stop by the squabble on 10th Ave E just past the curve from Broadway where neighbors aren’t happy about a planned five-story, “small efficiency dwelling unit” apartment building being lined up to rise above the lot currently home to a 1930s-built single family house.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-3-00-43-pmMcKee 10th
Though it will create a five-story building with 18 small units and one regular old “apartment”-style unit, the McKee 10th microhousing development being planned for 714 10th Ave E isn’t large enough to trigger a full design review. Instead, its “streamlined” review process wraps Friday without the full package of 90-minute meetings and a lineup of public comment by neighbors objecting to the bulk and scale of the project. But you can still have your say — here are some of the comments from letters sent to the city about the project: Continue reading

Design reviews: 15th Ave E project fits on a parking lot — Plus, what Vulcan’s first Yesler Terrace development will look like

The Vulcanic future of Yesler Terrace

The Vulcanic future of Yesler Terrace

Two projects slated to come before the East Design Review Board Wednesday night are probably good examples of the types of projects we’ll see in Central Seattle in the next waves of development. One in the heart of Capitol Hill’s “eclectic” 15th Ave E neighborhood is relatively small and will be widget-ed into a space between buildings where a parking lot is currently found. The other is an enormous investment from a massive name in Seattle development that threatens/promises to completely transform an area passed by in the most recent waves of explosive development.

123 Broadway
Here’s what Vulcan’s first mixed-use foray into the transformation of Yesler Terrace will look like:

The corner expression at the south (Yesler) provides a strong identity marking the corner of Yesler and Broadway. The base features a retail space with a plaza for spill-out dining. The extra width provided by the plaza will allow for increased pedestrian traffic at this important intersection.

It’s going to be huge. Continue reading

Encampments along I-5 lead to call for more permanent tent cities


Bags of trash collected from I-5 camps are hauled away (Image: Bryan Cohen)

IMG_3681IMG_3716A group of men were sprawled out on a grassy hillside near 7th and James on an afternoon last week, surrounded by collapsing tents, blankets, and suitcases. They were watching as two backhoes lifted piles of trash and shopping carts full of belongings into a dump truck.

The men had been staying in the fenced off area where the Washington State Department of Transportation trucks were working — a well known homeless camp on a stretch of state-owned land along I-5 between Jackson and James.

The state spends some $250,000 a year to clear hundreds of encampments along state roads and highways in the Puget Sound area, according to WSDOT spokesperson Travis Phelps. But that doesn’t keep campers out.

“They come back within days or hours,” Phelps said. “They show up with bolt cutters and get right back in.”

Yesler Terrace neighborhood activist Kristin O’Donnell said public safety issues have been on the rise over the past two years as the Yesler Way camp has grown. Nearby residents have specifically blamed the campsite for burglaries, aggressive panhandling, and trash piles.

Some are there by choice. Some are there because there isn’t any place else to go. Continue reading

Design review: First Central Station’s out-of-the-blue six-story block, Capitol Hill Lofts on Boylston

First Central Station's future central courtyard (Image: First Central Station)

First Central Station’s future central courtyard (Image: First Central Station)

Two projects emblematic of the current waves of development in the neighborhoods where each is planned come before the East Design Review Board Wednesday night: adjacent Yesler Terrace, a plan for not one but three six-story apartment buildings — on Capitol Hill just off E Denny Way, an eight-story apartment building replacing the old two-story building that has run its course after being home to Boylston Ave tenants for 95 years.Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 9.44.08 AM

1203 E Spruce St
Design Review Early Design Guidance application proposing three, 6-story buildings containing 400 residential units, 16,000 sq. ft. of commercial space at ground level and parking for 270 vehicles to be provided below grade. Existing structures to be demolished. Project includes contract rezone / View Design Proposal  (22 MB)    

Review Meeting: August 12, 2015 8:00 pm, Seattle University, 824 12th Ave, Admissions & Alumni Community Building
Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance
Project Number: 3018576  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice
Planner: Holly Godard

The developers behind First Central Station are planning to create a six-story block of mixed-use apartments out of the blue on the edge of the wave of redevelopment cresting over the Yesler Terrace neighborhood. Continue reading

Vulcan comes to Broadway for the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace

(Image: Runberg Architecture Group)

(Image: Runberg Architecture Group)

Block 2E (Image: Runberg Architecture Group)

Block 2E. The redevelopment of Yesler Terrace is a big deal. How big? There is even a new Fir Street involved (Image: Runberg Architecture Group)

This April Fool’s, the joke was that Vulcan was redeveloping Cal Anderson Park. There was some truth to the farce. The Seattle development giant so closely associated with South Lake Union’s transformation is bringing its game uphill. But it won’t be part of the signature redevelopment project of the late two thousand teens on Capitol Hill at the Broadway light rail station. Instead, Vulcan comes to Broadway from the south as part of yet another signature redevelopment project for our shiny new Seattle.

Wednesday night, the developer’s vision for two of the three projects it plans to be part of the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace will begin the public design review process.

Here are the plans for Block 2E and Block 3 including more than 400 apartment units, some 10,000 or more square feet of commercial space and parking for something between 250 and 310 vehicles when all is said and done. Both projects will be presented in a double-header of a design review session Wednesday night. Continue reading