Capitol Hill Housing planning mass timber apartment building on E Union

An early concept for the planned mass timber project (Image: Atelier Jones)

For years, prime real estate neighboring the brick Helen V apartment building on Union has hosted a surface parking lot used by a few local residents and Capitol Hill Housing vehicles.

On its face, a new eight-story, affordable project set to rise there doesn’t seem much different than the many sprouting on Capitol Hill but there is one major difference. The new building will have a mass timber structural system, which Atelier Jones principal architect Susan Jones says allows for more density. She said that the shift to timber away from concrete or steel made a 114-unit goal for the affordable project possible. Standard construction would have produced only 88.

Mass timber buildings like these are a trend in the Pacific Northwest, Jones says. Continue reading

Central District’s Midtown Square will feature massive ‘external art’ — These eight artists will create the works

The public process to approve the design of the Midtown Square development was stuck until developers incorporated a plan for large installations of art panels hoped to help the project better reflect the culture and the history of the Central District. With the old strip mall torn down and the construction underway at 23rd and Union, details of the artists who will create those works have been announced.

A panel representing “several Central District based organizations and African American artists,” has selected eight artists for “a commitment of more than $225,000 in dedicated local artwork for the new project,” developer Lake Union Partners announced this week. Continue reading

What does federal inquiry mean for Madison RapidRide project?

As part of a criminal inquiry into local transportation projects that use federal dollars, several Seattle projects are coming under further scrutiny including the planned Madison Bus Rapid Transit line set to break ground this summer.

Seattle Department of Transportation officials were ordered via subpoena to produce records related to the projects earlier this month, according to Crosscut. The transportation projects include the RapidRide bus route on Madison and the Center City Connector streetcar.

In late November, Mary Kay Langan-Feirson, an assistant inspector general at the U.S. Department of Transportation, announced the audit into SDOT’s federal grants.

“Recently, the Office of Inspector General received several complaints concerning federally funded projects for the City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) that are subject to DOT’s oversight,” she wrote in the Nov. 25 announcement. “Given the significant amount of departmental funds allocated to State and local governments for transportation-related projects and that we have not conducted an audit of the flow of DOT funds to SDOT or WSDOT, we are initiating this review.”

The criminal inquiry has come as a surprise.

SDOT receives federal funding in two ways, according to Langan-Feirson. SDOT can either receive direct financial assistance awards from a federal operating administrator or an operating administrator can grant funds to the state transportation department, which then sends the money to the city. Continue reading

Developer behind 23rd Ave church land buy and mixed-use project says ‘contending gentrification in Seattle’s Central District’

Jaebadiah Gardner

Gardner Global and its Onpoint real estate firm have announced more details of the 23rd Ave church property purchase and development plans CHS reported on earlier this month.

“We have an unbelievable opportunity to be creative in a way that gives back,” Jaebadiah Gardner, CEO of Gardner Global said in the company’s announcement of the project. “Our company slogan is #letsbuildwealth and this project is an example of how we are doing exactly that. Through this project. we’re providing non- traditional real estate investors an opportunity to be directly involved in the ownership.” Continue reading

Driver busted for DUI after crashing outside Capitol Hill ice cream shop

(Image: @sdottraffic)

The driver was arrested for suspicion of DUI after a trip to the hospital and damage was fortunately minimal after a car crashed into the front of a Capitol Hill ice cream shop Wednesday morning.

Fortunately no pedestrians were injured in the just after 9:30 AM crash along busy E Pike at Boylston where the Toyota Corolla came to a rest against the building home to the Capitol Hill location of Salt and Straw.

Police closed E Pike in both directions during the response as Seattle Fire worked to get the driver out of the crashed car.

The driver was taken to Harborview for evaluation and then taken into custody by police for investigation of driving under the influence.

A Broadway Tamaleria Cider House will rule — Get ready for A & A Cafe coming to Capitol Hill

A & A’s tamales are about balance — filling and masa, moistness, texture (Image: A & A Cafe)

Its name may be a mouthful but Ana Espinoza hopes her new venture on Broadway will follow in the footsteps of another restaurateur across the street she hopes to emulate.

“I always wanted to be near Tacos Chukis,” Espinoza told CHS Tuesday afternoon about the any day now opening of her A & A Cafe Organic Tamaleria Cider House in the 200 block of Broadway E next to the post office.

“Simple, very humble, affordable.”

Let’s add delicious. Espinoza’s new, about to open restaurant will bring recipes of the original A & A from Everett to Capitol Hill’s main drag on Broadway taking over the lease she bought from the partners behind Aloha Cup Bap. Both of the Hill area outlets of that poke venture are now shuttered.

A & A’s tamale recipe is about family and generations of learning — and balance. “We got to the point where we perfected it,” she says. “It has to be the right combination of meat and masa.” Continue reading

Design review: First Hill’s The Victor set to rise — in deference — next to First Baptist Church

There is a chance Wednesday night’s session of the East Design Review Board will be postponed due to wintry weather. If so, you’ll be prepared early for a January 29th session reviewing on The Victor, a planned eight-story, 227-unit apartment building on First Hill.

If not, read up quick and settle in for what could be the project’s final step in the public design process.

CHS reported last May on the early plans for the project from developer Carmel Partners and Encore Architects and their “church-friendly” midrise design in a zone that could have featured an apartment tower. Instead, the new development planned for 1100 Boylston will replace a surface parking lot with lots of new First Hill housing but even more deference for the neighboring First Baptist Church. Continue reading

Overnight snow misses Seattle — UPDATE: Wednesday afternoon flurries

You can stop refreshing the CHS Traffic Cam page now

Sometime big changes pass you by. Tuesday night’s uncertainty about where heavier bands of snow would fall played out with Seattle and Capitol Hill getting nothing at all.

The result is a thawing city with most — but not all — things kicking back into full motion.

Seattle Public Schools, faced with still icy streets and sidewalks and short-days on Wednesdays, decided to play it safe and cancel altogether. King County Metro’s buses, on the other hand, are providing regular service.

What happened? The National Weather Service lays it out: Continue reading

E Madison Safeway hit in back to back armed pharmacy hold-ups

Police are searching for three suspects after two armed pharmacy robberies Monday night that included a heist at the 22nd and Madison Safeway.

According to an SPD brief on the robberies, the hold-up team entered the E Madison Safeway around 6:30 PM armed and with surgical masks covering their faces. “Two of the suspects jumped the counter of the pharmacy and forced the employees to open a safe,” SPD reports. “The suspects took prescription medication and fled out the door prior to police being called.” Continue reading

Sold out: 10,000 free tickets for Seattle Asian Art Museum’s reopening weekend already snapped up

(Image: Tim Griffith/Seattle Asian Art Museum)

Turns out Seattle art lovers are jazzed about the reopening of the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Officials from the museum located in Volunteer Park that has been closed for a two-year, $56 million renovation and expansion say the SAAM’s “Housewarming: Free Reopening Weekend” is already “sold out” with every free ticket already snapped up for the February 8th and 9th event.

SAAM announced Tuesday morning that 10,000 “free timed tickets” for the two-day housewarming event have been claimed and “there will not be a wait-list for the event.”

If you missed out, join the Seattle Art Museum. The Members Open House planned for Wednesday, February 5 and Thursday, February 6 still had spots available as of this morning.

After that, you can enjoy the newly overhauled museum on its new regular schedule starting Wednesday, February 12th or you can aim for the first Free Thursday at the venue on February 13th. The museum will also now be free to visitors on Satursdays: Continue reading