About jseattle

Justin is publisher of CHS. You can reach him at chs@capitolhillseattle.com or call/txt (206) 399-5959. Follow @jseattle on Twitter or be best pals on Facebook.

CHS Subscriber Update: Now is the time

CHS is starting its second week back in the daily neighborhood news business. We have had a great response to our subscriber drive and it has been exciting — and humbling — to see the support grow. We need our subscriber totals to keep climbing.


In our first week back, CHS published 32 posts, and the community added around 120 comments and more than 50 new CHS Calendar events. Some of the comments were even good ones! Yup, on CHS, you *can* read the comments. Meanwhile, people either shared, liked, or commented on a CHS article more than 20,000 times last week.

All of this toward saying, look, there are a lot of us who are already part of the site. Now, we need to help shift the way our small piece of the Seattle media business works.

To continue to serve Capitol Hill, the Central District, and our neighbors, CHS needs 2,000 subscribers. After week 1, we are at a quarter of our goal. THANKS SO MUCH for being part of the site. We love doing this work and want to continue to do so — without subscription walls and irritating logins.

We also hope to do it without a never-ending subscriber drive. Please consider subscribing today. If you are already a subscriber, tell a friend… or 2,000.

If you have questions or need more information, drop us a line anytime.

Thanks for reading CHS!


Developer behind Bonney Watson deal has plans for two six-story buildings to join Broadway

Last week, the designs were finalized on one of the most significant development projects Broadway has ever seen. Consider this part two.

Mill Creek Residential and the architects at Weber Thompson are readying plans for two six-story buildings to flank Cal Anderson Park atop the site currently home to the soon to be dearly departed Bonney Watson funeral home, extending a pulse of “transit oriented development” south from Capitol Hill Station.

The companies plan to unveil the initiative publicly Monday night at the monthly meeting of the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council — “In order to smooth the process, the applicant will be providing light snacks and beverages” — as the second most significant new development lined up for Broadway moves toward a November 1st start of the public design review process.

Design Review: 1732 + 1812 Broadway

Here is how the developers describe the ambitious project:

The Broadway Commercial Corridor is recognized as both Seattle’s longest continuous pedestrian commercial street and most vibrant and interesting commercial street. The blocks adjacent to the project site have the highest pedestrian volumes in the neighborhood due to proximity to SCCC, the Park, and Station. Broadway is noted for activity day and night thanks to its eclectic mix of shops and services as well as its prominent gay, eclectic, and street youth cultures. Redeveloping the existing parking lot and two story commercial structure with a variety of commercial uses and housing for a diverse demographic, with likely participation in the MFTE program, will stitch together a gap in the existing urban fabric. The positioning between these neighborhood features provides an opportunity to enhance the entry corridor of East Howell Street and create an inviting pedestrian gateway experience oriented toward the Park. Critical components to creating this gateway include; a strong massing for gateway identification at the larger neighborhood context with better activating the current inactive pedestrian experience with porosity and eyes on the street at ground level for safe vibrant pedestrian-oriented streets.

Continue reading

Intrigue Chocolate and Coffeehouse coming to 15th and Madison

Aaron Barthel, right, and Karl Mueller (Images: Intrigue Chocolate)

No, you can’t get coffee on every corner of Capitol Hill. But just about. Pioneer Square’s Intrigue Chocolate Co. will be putting another key Capitol Hill corner to use, creating a “chocolate and coffeehouse” at 15th and Madison.

Owners Aaron Barthel and Karl Mueller broke their own news on the project Friday with a detailed blog post:

Imagine walking through the front doors of our new chocolate and coffeehouse and being greeted by the delicious smell fresh coffee, warm quick breads, and cacao beans in the mill. Imagine ordering a cup of coffee from a knowledgeable and friendly barista that suggests you try this origin chocolate from Ghana after you take your first sip, so you can experience the chocolatey and plum notes of the coffee without distraction. Imagine sitting comfortably in a tall window with your cozy mug and small chocolate next to a warm slice of banana bread, enjoying the grey Seattle light and soft rain on the skyline.

OK, we’re intrigued.

Intrigue’s chocolate philosophy should fit nicely with Capitol Hill. The focus isn’t on mastery and repetition. Mueller says of his chocolatier business partner’s cocoa genius.

“Aaron likes to use chocolate a as medium to express what he knows about flavor,” Mueller said. Continue reading

Blotter | Cal Anderson robberies, 7-11 beer beating, First Hill dildo assault

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Cal Anderson arrest: Police had their hands full after taking suspects into custody for a reported robbery in Cal Anderson Park last Saturday afternoon. According to the SPD report on the incident, the victim said she was pushed to the ground and her backpack was stolen by a group of known males. But as police detained the males in the park, the victim refused to identify the suspect. One of the group was taken into custody for “false reporting” — that’s when things got a little crazy
    The suspect was booked for investigation of harassment and malicious mischief, hate crime statutes.
  • I-5 OD: Seattle Police were called to the area of homeless and drug camps below I-5 near Pine and Minor Tuesday afternoon after a report that a male was undergoing CPR at the scene. According to radio dispatches, the male recovered after the CPR and the administration of overdose antidote naloxone by Seattle Fire.
  • Felony warrant suspect chase: Police in cars and on bikes fanned out across Capitol Hill last Wednesday, October 4th, after a reportedly armed felony warrant suspect was spotted and fled from a car ditched at Summit and Pine. The search spread across several blocks and police recovered a bag from a rooftop along the Crawford Place alley but there were no arrests.

Continue reading

Broadway’s newest restaurant makes opening plans despite looming demolition

Though demolition and redevelopment loom in its future, a new restaurant is set to take over a long empty space on Broadway in a move that should also be good news for another longtime Capitol Hill favorite.

Capitol Hill’s food and drink boom years have sent the neighborhood veering from high concepts to ramen noodle-soaked herd mentality. But the ongoing wave of openings still has a few small surprises to throw our way. Sometimes the ideas are as simple as filling a space.

Albacha Restaurant’s planned opening next week on Broadway is one of those one-offs. Albacha is shaped more by the space available on Broadway than foodie trends in the neighborhood. Continue reading

Seattle has plan to retrofit its most earthquake-risky buildings

In 2016, CHS reported on 300 buildings around Seattle added to city’s list of hundreds of seismically risky “unreinforced masonry” structures that could crumble in a major earthquake. In 2018, the City Council might finally start to do something about it.

Monday, the council heard recommendations from the Unreinforced Masonry Policy Committee around requiring retrofitting across Seattle — and how to pay for it. But even with the renewed recommendations — embedded below — there is still only a fuzzy roadmap to putting new rules into effect:

Having briefed the Council this morning, it’s now in the Council members’ hands to decide how to move these recommendations forward in 2018: whether to once again make retrofit of URM buildings mandatory and under what timeline, which financial assistance programs to pursue, and whether ancillary programs such as the Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance should be extended to provide additional aid for tenants displaced by retrofit work. Council member Bagshaw has been vocal about the need to address this issue for some time; it wouldn’t be surprising if she sponsored legislation to adopt the policy committee’s recommendations.

And bricks might not even be the city’s biggest challenge. There is growing evidence that concrete buildings engineered using outdated methods were some of the most vulnerable structures during Mexico City’s big quake in September. “Flat slab” construction is only restricted in parts of the United States.

Meanwhile, some Capitol Hill landowners are moving forward on their own. Last year, CHS reported on details of the voluntary retrofit of the Whitworth Apartments, a classic Capitol Hill apartment building at 17th and John.

The full presentation of recommendations from the committee is below. Continue reading

Harris-Talley is Seattle’s newest City Council member


Seattle has a new new mayor. And now it has a brand new City Council member — for about 50 days.

The council Friday selected Kirsten Harris-Talley, program director of the Progress Alliance of Washington, to fill the seat left vacant by the ascendancy of Tim Burgess to the mayor’s office in the wake of the Ed Murray resignation.

Harris-Talley was one of 16 applicants for the seat including former council member Nick Licata. Her selection Friday required a majority of votes from the nine other members of the council. She emerged with five including the backing of District 3 representative Kshama Sawant.

Harris-Talley’s selection marks a victory for the Seattle Peoples Party, the organization formed during activist Nikkita Oliver’s unsuccessful bid for the mayor’s office this summer, which fought for a more inclusive selection process and backed the Progress Alliance organizer.

In her five years at the alliance, Harris-Talley worked with the organization “to bridge gaps in the progressive movement and help build collective capacity for engagement and policy wins.”

Her selections brings the number of women serving on the Seattle City Council to six. Of those, three are women of color.

Harris-Talley will serve through November when, depending on how the vote falls in the citywide Position 8 race, either Jon Grant or Teresa Mosqueda will fill the seat.


CHS sabbatical: We’re back

Do as the bird says. Subscribe to CHS.

It has been six months since CHS was regularly posting daily news. After a break, we are back.

Some things have not changed. CHS returns with the same basic model of what we hope is excellent reporting from a small core team and a wide ranging army of regular — and irregular — contributors, usually pretty swell writing, great photography, and a focus on high-level journalism at the neighborhood level. We won’t pretend to get “all sides” in any story — but I guarantee we will give humanity a fair shake.

Some things have changed. For a decade, CHS survived as a business thanks mostly to advertisements purchased by local merchants, restaurants, and community organizations and programs. We will continue to offer the service, though you will probably notice fewer ads on the site.

To continue into a new decade, CHS must now more fully turn to its readers for support. A trio of dedicated journalists are in place at our core — longtime CHS contributor photographer Alex Garland, CHS newbie and respected Seattle reporter Kelsey Hamlin, and me, a community news publisher character played by Justin Carder :).

Now comes the pitch. We will not (yet) be building a subscription wall like the New York Times or the Seattle Times. It’s just not practical at this point for us from the technology end of things and the last thing we want is for the site to be slowed.

But CHS will also no longer be free — exactly.

To succeed, we believe CHS needs to have at least 2,000 subscribers paying to help support the site.


We’re asking you to subscribe TODAY and pay what you can. It is not a model you see a lot in the neighborhood news biz. But we hope you will agree there aren’t a lot of neighborhood news sites like CHS out there.


Some 8,000 or so people come to read the site on any given day — more than 100,000 in the course of any month. We will keep everybody up to date on our progress and plan to make a big push these first few weeks to get the ball rolling. You can help spread the word, too.

Questions, comments, concerns? Let’s talk in the comments.