Housing of God? St. Mark’s Cathedral considers future plans for its St. Nicholas building home to Gage Academy and Bright Water School

The St. Nicholas building (Image: The Bright Water School)

There could someday be more than housing for more than the Maker at St. Mark’s Cathedral but any possible changes are still years off as the congregation of Saint Mark’s is beginning considerations of what to do with a signature part of its 10th Ave E campus, the St. Nicholas building. A consultant has recommended changing the building into a multi-family residential development.

The building at 1501 10th Ave E, just north of the cathedral proper, is home to the Gage Academy of Art and the Bright Water Waldorf School. Both of these schools have leases that run through 2023, and the church is in the early phases of deciding what to do with the building when those leases run out.

Even though the consultants have made a recommendation, the Very Rev. Steven Thomason, dean and rector of St. Mark’s stressed that the church is still weighing its options, and that nothing is happening in the immediate future.

“We are not making any decision, any time soon, about what to do with the building,” he said.

The church’s involvement in the property stretches back to 2003. At the time, St. Mark’s and a group called the Willow Trust purchased the building from then-owner Cornish with an eye toward converting it into a parish life center. The church wasn’t ready to move forward with the life center at the time, and so they began renting it out (technically subleasing it, since the building is officially owned by an LLC made up of the church and the trust and then leased to the church) to Gage and Bright Water.

Now the members of the Willow Trust, who have thus far remained anonymous, are granting full ownership of the building to the church. So, the church is beginning consideration of what it will do with the property. Continue reading

Reopening: Elliott Bay, by appointment or walk-in — Plus, Dover Street Market Seattle ‘will not be opening’ on Capitol Hill… probably

(Image: Elliott Bay Book Company)

Since March, Capitol Hill has been without access to perhaps its greatest retail asset — the busy shelves of the Elliott Bay Book Company. Elliott Bay turned its business on a dime earlier this year providing online and curbside service to readers even as COVID-19 restrictions required it to close the store to customers.

Now the favorite book shop is back with a big first step in fully reopening.

“We are ready to open our doors to you again!,” the retailer announced Wednesday afternoon. “We are limiting the number of people in the store, so if you’d like to be sure to get in, schedule an appointment.” Continue reading

Solid State pinball arcade bar coming to Pike/Pine bringing fine-tuned flippers, booze, and Cup Noodles

The horse racing-themed Hot Tip is considered the granddaddy of solid-state pinball machines

Williams Electronics is credited with creating the first mass-market pinball machine with solid-state technology. The microprocessors introduced more complicated play including lighting effects, sound, and speech. A new pinball arcade bar dedicated to honoring those silicon roots is being readied to flip flip, ding ding in the heart of Pike/Pine by this summer.

“It was the first time that things became software computerized,” Joe Ricci tells CHS. He and a group of fellow first time bar owners are hard at work shaping Solid State, a new arcade, drinking, and Cup Noodles venue being planned for 10th Ave in the Jack building between Pike and Union.

The pinball wiz… no, we won’t do it… expert Ricci already supplies some of your favorite games on the Hill at the Raygun Lounge. He hopes for Solidstate to add to the arcade community already on Capitol Hill with a connoisseur-level collection of games and by taking a craftsman’s approach to the machines with the highest level of fine tuning, maintenance, and repair. Continue reading

Death of a Capitol Hill waffle shop

(Image: @ktomcreative)

The Capitol Hill food and drink midway is down a sideshow and now lacks in the bright yellow neon and waffle department.

The Hill expansion of Sweet Iron has shuttered leaving a small retail hole in the commercial space of one of the largest preservation incentive-boosted developments in Pike/Pine.

We haven’t heard back from ownership about the shutdown but the original downtown Sweet Iron from the Jeffrey family remains open. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s D’ La Santa and its grande margaritas set for 10th Ave E expansion

Growing up in Guadalajara, Angelica Villasenor was the only one of her seven siblings who hated to cook. When Villasenor’s father opened a Mexican restaurant in Kent and asked her and her siblings to help out, she secured a bartending position and let her siblings take care of the cooking roles. Now, her Capitol Hill restaurant D’ La Santa is getting ready to begin its third year of business with an expansion plan that will put that bartending experience to good use.

D’ La Santa is getting ready to add a new catty-cornered bar and six-table patio to its 10th Ave E location. Along with the bar comes an addition of authentic Mexican cocktails and new food items including handmade traditional and green tortillas made with Poblano peppers.

“Finally we have a restaurant that tastes like Mexico,” Villasenor said.

During the decade Villasenor’s father’s restaurant grew, so did Villasenor’s love for cooking. Eventually in 2016 Villasenor considered opening a restaurant of her own in the city, but she didn’t have the money, a location or professional training as a chef. Now, after opening two years ago next month, Villasenor’s authentic Mexican restaurant D’ La Santa in Capitol Hill is expanding. Continue reading

Design review: Two big projects, 550 or so new homes on E Yesler

There’s a wave of new housing coming south of Capitol Hill. 12th and Yesler will be home to around 279 new units.

Projects creating around 550 new homes along 10th and 12th Ave will come in front of the East Design Review Board Wednesday night. All will be built well south of Capitol Hill, part of the massive changes coming around Yesler Terrace.

The 12th and Yesler project from the real estate investors at Northwest Builders Finance could take its final bow in front of the board while Vulcan’s latest project in the neighborhood at 1000 E Yesler returns for its second try before moving onto the final recommendation phase. Continue reading

By the Pound rent mess includes $18K owed for 10th Ave Estate fashion shop — UPDATE

An image of the papered over Estate on 10th Ave from the court filings

In 2017 when CHS first reported on the arrival of the club-focused 1923 Management and F2T Hospitality company offices on E Olive Way, a plan for a new ambitious speakeasy-style bar in the neighborhood also included a twin fashion retail venture’s move to the Hill.

With the shuttered By the Pound now embroiled in a $75,000 lawsuit over unpaid rent, it turns out paying the bills is also an issue for the fashion end of things on Capitol Hill for the companies involved.

According to King County Superior Court records filed in October, the company behind Estate — “a home for international streetwear/contemporary menswear. Brands: Estate, Represent, Knomadik, En Noir, Stampd La, Chapter, I Love Ugly & much more” planned but now shuttered in the new Modera building on 10th Ave — owed around three months in in unpaid rent for the Pike/Pine shop. Continue reading

SFD handles small fire intentionally set inside 10th Ave apartment building

Firefighters quickly handled a small blaze investigators say was intentionally set Tuesday night inside the seven-story Alder Flats building.

The apartment building is on the same block where two 118-year-old homes used as apartments and a 1905-built duplex are slated to be demolished to make way for a new 111-unit apartment complex. Design review for the project is slated for Wednesday night.

Seattle Fire tells CHS the fire reported at the 220 10th Ave building just after 8 PM Tuesday did almost no damage and there were no injuries. Radio reports indicated papers inside a hallway had been set on fire. SFD says it investigated the fire and provided information to Seattle Police. Officers were called to the scene but there were no immediate arrests.

Design review: 19 new townhomes on 12th Ave E, 111 units on 10th Ave — UPDATE

Much has been made of the condo revival of 2018 but on Capitol Hill over the past decade, the king of new home ownership has been the townhouse. Wednesday night, a project destined to create 19 more of the homes along 12th Ave E will take what could be its final pass in front of the design review board.

Design review: 506 12th Ave E

The project to turn the land currently home to the six-unit Lance Apartments at 506 12th Ave E has been in motion since developer Isola Homes bought the land in 2016 for $3.5 million. Ownership has passed across a couple Isola-related LLCs over the years including a transaction in the King County records that shows one Isola-related LLC buying the property from another for $5.3 million in July 2018. Seems like a good deal. The project is now set up for development company Mirra Homes to create four, three-story townhomes featuring a total of 19 units and parking for 19 vehicles. Continue reading

D’ La Santa taking a family approach to great Mexican food on 10th Ave E

With reporting and photos by Alex Garland

Maybe a higher power will help. Mom’s recipes and a family approach to business will, for sure.

Angelica Villasenor and her family have opened D’ La Santa on 10th Ave E down toward Roanoke in a Capitol Hill restaurant space that has been empty for years and that has challenged many a restaurateur. The recipe to making things work on this part of the Hill? From Guadalajara, Jalisco, Villasenor has turned to the dishes from her mother’s kitchen.

“All my mom’s recipes,” Villasenor said. “My mom is not a chef, when she cooks, she never follows recipes, just by taste. In the beginning, she was helping me with the seasoning.” Continue reading