Capitol Hill’s Sweatbox, one of the first purveyors of Bikram Yoga in Seattle, is in a fight for its life to survive years of 10th Ave construction. Thousands of new residents — and potential yoga students — are coming to Pike/Pine. The studio’s Laura Culberg is doing everything she can to hold the pose until they get here.
“We’re just trying to get a breath,” Culberg told CHS.
Culberg said that ongoing construction and torn up streets for infrastructure upgrades to support new Pike/Pine developments have severely damaged Sweatbox’s Capitol Hill business. It’s a similar situation at the other businesses on 10th and 11th just south of E Pike though the likes of Neumos have so far weathered the challenges. There is no public mitigation money for the private projects necessitating the work. Instead, Culberg said she was forced to file a claim with the city asking for more than $11,000 for lost business — one life raft she has been hoping for to help Sweatbox survive the ongoing lean times.
But in the course of reporting this story, CHS had the sorry business of informing Culberg that the city had rejected her claim.
In a double whammy, a massive project on Aurora is now hampering business for Sweatbox’s Shoreline location, Culberg said.
Sweatbox’s other life raft will hopefully prove more buoyant. Culberg has turned to a fundraiser campaign selling classes and merchandise to help raise enough money to keep the doors open:
For the past two years, our “Flagship” Capitol Hill location has been all but smothered by new construction. A neighborhood institution, we have been swimming upstream to fight the effects of development around us! But, still we are struggling. Construction has not ceased, and now, our Shoreline location has been hit with road work all along the Aurora Corridor! OUCH! All said and done, we are over $75,000 down in revenue from last year to this year.
There’s also a fundraising party planned for December 15th at Lucid.
Raising that $75,000 will be a significant challenge. After a few weeks, the campaign stands at less than $9,000.
“This is a chance for supporting small business on Capitol Hill,” Culberg said.
There’s also the alternative. “If we could get a lawyer, we’d get a lawyer,” Culberg said. Hopefully, that won’t be the goal of Sweatbox’s next fundraiser.
A video sent to CHS from a stumble around Moe Bar through the 10th Ave construction last year.