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.

Compromise reached in long debate to reopen short Capitol Hill path

(Image: CHS)

Describing the solution as a unique one-off — not precedent-setting — officials finally have a back-to-school plan to reopen the Lowell Elementary S Path — the short, curving pathway connecting Federal and 11th Ave E that has been fenced off since the start of last school year due to safety concerns over homeless camping and drug use.

“It’s a little bit of a special snowflake,” Seattle Department of Transportation’s Genesee Adkins tells CHS.

The path joins a South Seattle school playground that doubles as a public park and a West Seattle school’s daily closure of a neighborhood street to allow safer student movement among the few unique agreements forged by SDOT with Seattle Public Schools over restricting access to the public right of way.

Officials expect the path to be reopened in time for the start of the school year in September. No property is being acquired and no money will change hands. “There is no change to the right of way,” Adkins said. Continue reading

Modern Steep, born Remedy Teas, to close after decade on 15th Ave E

15th Ave E is about to lose a longtime part of its cafe scene. Modern Steep, born a decade ago as Remedy Teas, will close its 15th Ave E cafe and tea chop later this month to focus on its online business.

Changing Capitol Hill demographics, expensive equipment upgrades, and a long building construction project that left many customers wondering if the cafe was open all contributed. But the opportunity to grown the company’s online business is at the core of the decision to leave Capitol Hill, owner Christopher Glenn tells CHS.

“With rising labor costs, we’re not growing fast enough,” Glenn said, “All that said, we have been seeing an increase in traffic on our website. We have grown that side of our business. These are changing times, of course.”

The 15th Ave cafe is slated to wrap up business on August 26th, the company announced:

Thanks again for your love and support. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you as we move forward, albeit in a slightly different fashion. From now through August 26th, our physical shop will be open 11am – 6pm, Monday through Saturday. We hope to see you for a cup of tea, a smile and a hug.

Continue reading

First look inside Redhook’s Capitol Hill Brewlab

Though his vats and filters are squished tightly into a Pike/Pine auto row-era building transformed into a 260-unit apartment building, Nick Crandall tells CHS there are no compromises when it comes to making beer in the new Redhook Brewlab.

“You can definitely smell when I’m brewing,” the project’s brewer said Thursday night as the new small-batch brewery and pub from the big beer brand held parties for media and the Puget Sound beer industry. More parties will follow over the next few days. The Redhook Brewlab opens officially to the public on August 17th. Continue reading

Stumptown E Pine set for closure

(Images: Stumptown)


Last summer, the Big Coffee(tm)-owned indie chain stopped roasting beans on 12th Ave. Later this summer, Stumptown will close its E Pine cafe to focus on its remaining Capitol Hill location.

The coffee industry-focused folks at Sprudge confirmed the news sent to CHS Tuesday morning by employees and customers that August 20th will be the final day for the E Pine cafe that neighbors Rudy’s and the Capitol Loans pawn shop. Sprudge reports that a company spokesperson tells them Stumptown “made the painful, yet considered decision to focus our efforts on our 12th Street cafe and our operations within the Seattle market.”

Stumptown became a wholly owned subsidiary of Peets Coffee and Tea in 2015 after the coffee chain obtained a partial ownership in 2011.

What the Capitol Hill Station development will probably* look like

The design process to create 400 affordable and market-rate apartment units and 59,000 square feet of commercial and community space around Capitol Hill Station will move back into motion next week. Here is what the Capitol Hill Station “transit oriented development” is planned to look like.

Architects for developers Gerding Edlen and Capitol Hill Housing have submitted the second — and final — round of design proposals for the project planned to create four new seven-story buildings on Broadway and 10th Ave just north of Cal Anderson Park. The full proposal is available here (PDF).

Design Review: Capitol Hill Station

Continue reading

19th and Madison’s Mount Zion to be considered for Seattle landmark protections

With more than 125 years of history in Seattle, one of the largest black churches in Seattle will soon find out if its 1962-built home qualifies for landmark protection. The Mount Zion buildings at 19th and Madison will be considered by the Landmarks Preservation Board in September:

Landmarks Preservation Board to consider nomination of Mount Zion Baptist Church for landmark status

SEATTLE (August 4, 2017) – Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider nomination of the Mount Zion Baptist Church (1634 19th Avenue) located in Central Area on Wednesday, September 6 at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue, Floor L2) in the Boards & Commissions Room L2-80.

The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments regarding the nomination. Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board at the following mailing address by 3:00 p.m. onSeptember 5:

Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

You can also submit comments via email.

According to our Re:Take history of the church, Mount Zion was founded in the 1890s, and for its first decade rented a few different spaces downtown. Church members date Mount Zion to 1890 when “a small group of African Americans held prayer services in their homes.” The church eventually bought its own property and moved to 11th and Union joining another African American — First African Methodist Episcopal (First A.M.E.) at 14th and Pine. 24 years later, Mount Zion moved to its present day home.

As development on East Madison has risen around it, Mount Zion has also been making longterm plans for redevelopment. The church has also recently sold off nearby property. In 2015, CHS was there as Mount Zion celebrated its 125th anniversary.

The full nomination document is below. Continue reading

Woman critically injured in E Denny Way apartment building fire

A resident trapped in the flames was rushed to the hospital in critical condition as crews battled a serious fire at the top of Capitol Hill’s more-than-90-year-old Roxborough Apartments building Friday afternoon.

Seattle Fire was called to the building in the 1700 block of E Denny Way just before 3:30 PM Friday and found the injured woman in the third floor apartment where the fire was believed to have started. The woman in her 60s was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. Continue reading

Queer/Bar set to replace Purr in Pike/Pine

Guild Seattle’s Burgess speaks about how the ownership group bucked bad trends during a 2015 release event for a report on wage theft and paid sick law violations (Image: CHS)

How do you replace a Montlake-bound Capitol Hill gay bar? With a Queer/Bar.

Here is the announcement on the new 11th Ave venture from one of the partners behind the Lost Lake family of businesses about the upcoming Pike/Pine hangout:

 In the wake of rumors of LGBTQIA businesses leaving the traditionally gay neighborhood of Seattle, a new-to-the-scene QUEER/BAR announces its plans to open in the coming weeks. QUEER/BAR intends to foster an inclusive gathering space for the LGBTQIA community and strives to have a team, ownership, and clientele reflect the diversity of the city, while retaining Capitol Hill’s foothold of being the premiere arts and queer neighborhood.

Joey Burgess, a partner at nearby Grim’s and part of Guild Seattle, the group behind Lost Lake Cafe, The Comet, and three Big Mario’s locations across Seattle, says he is excited to “finally be executing a project that marries his love for social activism and his passion for running bars and restaurants.”

“He is proud to own and offer a space that will serve his fellow LGBTQIA community,” the announcement of the new bar reads.

Citing a surge in Pike/Pine rent, Purr closed in July after more than 10 years on 11th Ave and has announced it will soon reopen in Montlake.

Queer/Bar is expected to open by “fall” and is lining up to be a busy place:

QUEER/BAR will make its mark by bringing together local artists, performers, and non-profits to create a community space for all things queer. The calendar of events will cover the spectrum from day and night. The space plans to launch a Queer/Chef series that focuses on the culinary talents of LGBTQIA chefs and Queer/Hall which will serve as venue for queer-focused issues in politics, activism, and community driven forums.  Additionally, Queer/Bingo, Queer/Dance nights, and local Queer/Art performances, including drag shows, are on the docket. Of course, Queer/Bar will fit right into its neighborhood nightlife by offering a full bar, plenty of music, dinner, and brunch.  The space will be designed by Burgess’ husband and partner, Murf Hall, a local designer at a large retailer that is home-based in Seattle, WA. Burgess says, “It’s been 12 years of planning, scrapping, and conceptualizing amongst friends and colleagues.  I’m over the moon to launch in a neighborhood that has felt like home for years.”

Burgess, described as an “LGBTQIA advocate” in the Queer/Bar news release, serves on the boards of Three Dollar Bill Cinema and Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce.

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Mike McGinn Q&A

CHS: Where have you been?

“Come on guys, listen. I know you guys wanna be mayor, but this is a real issue. Get serious about it.”

McGinn: I’ve been here in Seattle. Probably the thing I’ve worked the most on is still climate, fossil fuel divestment. Working on the Gates Foundation campaign, as well as working with other divestment activists, kinda helping other activists around the country. That’s been one thing. My podcast also, which has been fun and writing in Crosscut.

I also found myself getting deeply involved in the last election cycle, with helping city council candidates that I liked.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

In this Q&A, CHS talks with former Seattle mayor Mike McGinn about his campaign to return to City Hall and — apparently — settle a few scores along the way. Our conversation included a roster of Seattle politicians on McGinn’s shit list and the causes he has pledged to fight for even harder a second time around. You can learn more at mcginnformayor.com.

CHS: How so? Doing what? Knocking on doors? Making phone calls?

McGinn: No, no, no. I get a lot of people asking me what it’s like to run and how do you do it? And what do you need to do to run? And so, that was one of the things I talked to candidates about. The other thing I was talking to them about was, besides kind of the practical aspects of running, I was really trying to use, particularly the last election cycle, I was trying to use it around some causes. And one of them was CareerBridge.

When I was mayor, we launched it, it was a program for returning felons. And so, I’m kind of proud of what we did there. Burgess blocked it. I worked with (John) Roderick, and then, (Jon) Grant, to make it an issue in that race. I made it an issue. I helped Tammy Morales in her race against Bruce Harrell. It wasn’t just CareerBridge, it was also the extension of Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative to 18 to 21-year-olds. Both of those, the Council blocked. So I worked with the candidates to make that an issue, because I knew that if we did that, it’d probably get fixed. And you know what? CareerBridge was expanded. Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative has now been expanded up to 24-year-olds.

CHS: So, as a portal into your soul, what is it about CareerBridge? Why do you think it’s important in Seattle right now?

McGinn: Well, we have systems for arrest, prosecution, and incarceration, mass incarceration. And primarily of the people of color: Black people, Latino. And it kind of became impressed upon me when I was mayor. I was meeting with the black pastors. We were talking about a spike in shootings that occurred. And they said, “A lot of this are people who come back to the community. We know the people who wanna be serious about not returning to crime, who want to make a life for themselves. But they need help.” And it’s not just job training, or social services, it’s a community support network around it as well. And we can help provide that.

So that inspired me. I also went to Mary Flowers, who has worked for HSD, invited me and others from the program to go to meet with the Black Prisoners’ Caucus in Monroe. And that had a deep effect on me too. It was both talking to the men about how they felt and what they’re trying to accomplish, we had a circle. But it was also hearing Mary talk about what it meant to the black community with so many of our men ripped out of it. If we’re gonna be a successful community, we have to address all the reasons at the front end. But all the men and women returning from incarceration to our community, we need to figure out where their place is in this community. That benefits all of us. So, yeah, I just felt really passionate about it. And I’ll be honest. I was still angry at Burgess and Harrell for blocking that then, because they were doing it for political reasons. And they were lame reasons around data. Or it’s not proven itself effective yet. And it’s like, “Come on guys, listen. I know you guys wanna be mayor, but this is a real issue. Get serious about it.” Continue reading

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Jessyn Farrell Q&A

CHS: Alright, I’m a professional, you’re a professional, we’re ready to roll!

Farrell: Alrighty! Good! Good, good! Excellent!

CHS: So tell me about your district. Who do you represent right now?

“There are fewer Title 1 schools in my district now. Title 1 schools are schools where there’s 50% free or reduced lunch or higher. There are fewer than there were when I started out as a legislator because it’s really hard for poor people to afford to live in the city.”

Farrell: Up until when I resigned from my seat, I represented Northeast Seattle, Lake Forest Park, and Kenmore in the legislature. I’d done that for five years. I have been a transit advocate for my career. I’ve gone to law school, worked at WashPIRG, and then, ran Transportation Choices Coalition. When I ran Transportation Choices Coalition, our motto always was, “Holding the line until 2009,” when light rail would open, and then, we would be able to stop fighting over whether Sound Transit should exist or not. We’re still having that fight, but it’s a little different now that people actually get to take light rail and see what it’s like.

CHS: Well, can you tell me about the people you have represented in that part of the city? Way north, that’s super north! It’s like in Canada.

Farrell: North of the Ship Canal, what is it? It is, it’s almost Canada. Okay, so Northeast Seattle is, basically, I have the athletic portion of the U-Dub, not the academics. So that’s very important. I have football and baseball and all the other programs. And then, it goes all the way up to 145th, including all the way out west to Aurora. So there’s Northgate. It’s a really diverse district in that it has some very, very rich parts of town like Laurelhurst and Windermere, and then, some real pockets of poverty in the far north end. I actually grew up there. I was born in very glamorous Lake City.

CHS: I have friends in Lake City. Lake City’s more of my people than Windermere.

Farrell: I’ve lived in and out of that part of town my whole life. I have lived on Capitol Hill as well. And the real issues that people are facing in the north end are not unlike what people are facing in the rest of the city around affordability, as an example, and it comes, I think, in three different flavors.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

In this Q&A, CHS talks with Jessyn Farrell, the three-term state legislator who stepped down from her Northeast Seattle post to be part of the 2017 mayoral race. CHS had questions about transit, development, and, of course, affordability for the urbanist-leaning Lake City native. You can learn more at jessynformayor.com.

Farrell (cont’d): If you’re a renter, you’re really concerned about rising rents, and that’s the case all throughout my district. If you are living on a fixed income, and you own your house, you’re probably worried about property taxes. That’s something that people are worried about. And then, I think traditionally, that’s been a place where families could actually go buy a house. A young family in like the Lake City neighborhood, Pinehurst, a lot of those communities up farther towards 145th, — those are getting really, really expensive as well.

So I think the affordability crisis is hitting my district. It is hitting the rest of the city. And one of the things that really propelled me to actually get into this race was that I am seeing this play out in my district in a really unfortunate way. There are fewer Title 1 schools in my district now. Title 1 schools are schools where there’s 50% free or reduced lunch or higher. There are fewer than there were when I started out as a legislator because it’s really hard for poor people to afford to live in the city. And that’s happening everywhere, right?

CHS: How do we fix it? Continue reading