Post navigation

Prev: (09/07/11) | Next: (09/07/11)

Planned 4-story apartment project to replace craft store, Capitol Hill Hair on 19th Ave E

A new wave of development appears to be forming on Capitol Hill. After a year of developments digging in on major arterials and in the heart of Capitol Hill on Broadway and in Pike/Pine, there are signs that a second wave of projects is also sweeping through quieter sections of the Hill like Belmont Ave and, now, 19th Ave E. Here’s a note passed on to CHS from a developer who says its partners are planning to build a 4-story, 50-unit mixed use building on 19th Ave E:

Dear Capitol Hill Neighbor,

You are invited to attend an informal meeting to discuss preliminary plans to develop the property located at the SE corner of 19th Avenue E., and E. Mercer Street, with the address of 522 – 526 19th Avenue E. The project sponsor is Lake Union Partners and Meriwether Partners of Seattle. To learn more about our firms, visit or

The project architect is Weinstein Architects + Urban Designers,

We are in the preliminary planning stages of a mixed use building that would include an underground parking structure, one level of street level commercial space, and approximately 50-apartment units on floors 2-4.

We would like to hear from you about any aspirations or concerns you may have about the project to be built on this site. We believe there is a unique opportunity to create a special development that will be well designed and will provide desirable amenities for the neighborhood.The architect Ed Weinstein will present preliminary site fit studies, and we will be on hand to answer your questions and take notes. We are very interested in hearing what you have to say. The meeting will be held on Monday September 12 from 6pm – 8pm at Miller Community Center located at 330 19th Avenue E. in Multi-Purpose Room # 1.

We look forward to meeting you and hearing your thoughts. If you would like to contact me prior to the meeting, I can be reached at (206) 850-6637 or

Kind Regards,
Patrick Foley
Lake Union Partners

The lot is across E Mercer from the Kingfish Cafe and is currently home to the Holiday Craft Store and Strength Studio. CHS has heard rumors that the parcel has been sold but no sale is listed in King County Records. According to the county, the land is owned by Ambrose and Bernadette Noonan who bought the property in 1987 for $147,848 at a time when the fortunes of present-day Capitol Hill were still risky bets. The most recent tax assessment valued the land at more than $1.1 million.

View Larger Map

The Holiday Craft Store was formerly home to Director’s Service, a business that, believe it or not, specialized in the shipment of the deceased.

Also planned to make way for the new development is the building that has been home to Capitol Hill Hair — where, apparently, former Seattle mayor Greg Nickels still gets his hair cut.

The lot at Mercer and 19th is currently zoned for a 40-foot height limit.

The September 12th meeting is not being organized by the City of Seattle and is not part of the formal design review process. We’ll check with developers to see if any renderings of design concepts are ready at the early juncture in the project. The project is not yet listed on the Capitol Hill Design Review Board’s schedule.

Capitol Court neighbors (Image: City of Seattle)

Weinstein AU, principal architects on the project, also designed the BelRoy project that will soon be underway on Bellevue Ave


The new project won’t be the first mixed-use development to be kicked around for 19th Ave north of Thomas. It’s been a few years since we last wrote about another 19th Ave E development that was to of replaced the building where Monsoon continues to reside when the project bogged down and was ultimately canceled.

Before that, back in 2003, Capitol Court was built and is featured in the Seattle Design Review Program’s “Gallery of Great Examples.” 

Down the street at 19th and Madison, a long dormant 6-story project that was unthawed earlier this year is now under construction with a spring 2012 opening target.

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

14 thoughts on “Planned 4-story apartment project to replace craft store, Capitol Hill Hair on 19th Ave E

  1. The site presents an opportunity for appropriately, transit-oriented scaled infill development. Setbacks above the ground floor should be included in zoning here but undoubtedly are not. Parking too should be restricted but is not.

    Unfortunately, its probably going to look like ass and be overprices – see every other new apartment project – and include excessive parking, generating additional traffic and greenhouse gasses. Meanwhile, like so much other phony BS in this town, it will be branded as “green”. Nothing worse than a phony.

  2. It’s really encouraging to see the developer reaching out to the neighborhood prior to the DRB meeting. As many of us know those meetings can be a bit frustrating for people with actual concerns.

    Weinstein AU is a good firm with a lot of good people working for them. Unfortunately I’ll be out of town but I encourage neighbors to go and think big! It sounds like the building partners are open and willing to take genuine feedback about what stylistic direction to go in. If neighbors can find a bold, shared vision for the project then the team can push for something a little more interesting than what DR typically favors.

    My suggestion: A mural/art piece along the Mercer side to complement the one on the Kingfish building (and maybe a little extra to refurbish that one as well).

    Also: Just wanted to note that the link in the first paragraph is a project on Belmont, not Bellevue

  3. I’m so glad this property is getting developed, hopefully the neighborhood embraces this and works with the developers not against them. Extending the retail a block could be awesome for the neighborhood.

  4. God dammit stop building these giant buildings with teeny apartments no one wants to live in. Bring in retail development and entertainment venues.

  5. It should be taller. And there’s plenty of demand for those teeny apartments — that’s why these projects are being built all over the place. I’m definitly glad that sorry old building with the annoying parking in front is finally getting redeveloped. I’m amazed it’s taken this long.

  6. “entertainment venues”? I suspect you must mean restaurants?

    Cuz if you mean nightclub there’s no way the neighborhood will stand for that. And if you mean bar, note that this is only two blocks from a playground. Might be another tough sell.

  7. Glad to see a project moving forward on that derelict site, and glad Weinstein A + U is the architect. Should be a quality project.

  8. on the next block north you’ll find a theatre group, i’m pretty sure that’s entertainment. Kingfish has a bar and hopefully the developer will try to get retail going too .. this is when going to meetinga and voicing your concerns/support is super important. The building to the south only has offices on street level and I think that’s a bad idea for a small neighborhood commercial corridor.

  9. Those that don’t attend this meeting or email their thoughts, shalt not be allowed to post derogatory comments on the final product when that article shows up on CHS.

  10. Does anyone have any info on what kind of impact this kind of development typically has on real estate values in the surrounding hood? That old building was an eye sore but 50 units seems like a lot for this spot.

  11. For generations people have chosen to live in the area around 19th & Mercer because it is NOT 15th or Belltown. This plan drops an urbanization bomb on an what has always been primarily a school zone. The traffic and parking is enough of a problem without 51 additional units and street-level retail and restaurants. There are actually folks already people living in the immediate vicinity who do not want to see the neighborhood turned into ‘just like everywhere else’. This structure will be the largest structure on 19th, besides the church. Am I the only one who is appalled by the implications?