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State of First Hill: ‘9,999’ people (plus one living in a single-family home)

First Hill has been in CHS’s news mix a lot including coverage of this important step forward for affordable housing in the neighborhood. The First Hill coverage is nothing new — you can check out our First Hill section here. But growth in new places to live and population has also meant a rise in awareness. Tuesday, the First Hill Improvement Association, a nonprofit organization at the middle of that change, will hold its January meeting and present a State of First Hill discussion of the neighborhood’s first ever annual report:

When the First Hill community comes together over an issue, we bring a can-do attitude driven by the belief that we all do better when we all do better. In 2017 this conviction produced forward momentum in our neighborhood on Seattle’s biggest issues– affordability, open space, accessibility, beautification, and caring for our neighbors most in need.

First Hill Improvement Association January Meeting

In addition to the State of First Hill, the FHIA will also vote on new board members and present the latest on the Madison Bus Rapid Transit project.

What the latest designs for RapidRide G look like, Madison Bus Rapid Transit block by block

With only around 11,000 residents according to the most recent tallies, First Hill has about one-third the population of Capitol Hill but its density is off the charts — only Belltown has squeezed more residents into a smaller space in Seattle.

“Of the 10,000 First Hill residents, only 1 person lives in a single-family home,” the FHIA notes in the 2017 annual report. “The remaining 9,999 of us all live conveniently stacked next to and on top of each other in the densest residential neighborhood in Washington State.”

Among 2017 First Hill highlights, the report includes progress toward Plymouth Housing and Bellwether Housing negotiating a purchase of Sound Transit land at 1014 Boylston Ave and 1400 Madison meant for high-rise affordable housing, up to 160 feet, the opening of Plymouth on First Hill, I-5 columns painting, and Freeway Park renovation. All that, and Whole Foods hasn’t even opened yet!

The full 2017 First Hill annual report is here (PDF).

You can learn more at



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