Sawant brings her City Council committee to CD for meeting on embattled 12th Ave restaurant, gentrification

Council member Kshama Sawant was in the Central District on Monday as the city council committee she chairs discussed gentrification in her district while a local business sits on the frontlines of displacement.

At the center of the fight recently has been Saba, an Ethiopian restaurant on 12th Ave that has served the neighborhood for nearly 20 years. Saba is emblematic of broader change many longtime residents in the Central District see in which small businesses have increasingly been displaced. Organizer KL Shannon, who says she grew up in the area, said that she can’t think of one black-owned business anymore in the Central District due to rapid development.

“We want the kind of development that would allow small businesses of every origin to thrive here and for working families, regardless of income, to find affordable housing in our city because we go to work everyday and we make our cities run,” Sawant said. “We have the right to our city.” Continue reading

Mayor comes to Capitol Hill to launch $50M affordable ‘Housing Seattle Now’ plan

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Wednesday two early-stage steps for more affordable housing in Seattle. One would allow the city to take advantage of a new state law allowing municipalities to use sales tax revenue to fund affordable housing. Another would renew and improve the city’s current multifamily tax exemption (MFTE) program to limit rent increases.

Durkan made these announcements in a speech in Capitol Hill’s 12th Ave Arts, which includes 88 affordable apartments developed by Capitol Hill Housing (CHH).

“We need more affordable housing in every part of this city and we need it as quickly as we can get it,” she said.

CHH’s CEO Chris Persons, introducing Durkan, stressed the urgent need for cheaper housing in Seattle and money for it, saying the organization has about 1,500 units in the pipeline but it doesn’t have the funding necessary to build them.

Included in those is a plan to create an LGBTQ-focused affordable senior housing project on Broadway.

According to the mayor’s office, the MFTE program, which provides affordable rent currently to more than 4,400 low- and middle-income households in Seattle, is expected to aid 1,300 new such homes by 2022, but without renewal, it would expire at the end of this year. Continue reading

In a sea of Capitol Hill poke joints, Aloha Cup Bap’s Hawaiian approach stands out

(Image: Aloha Cup Bap)

Its founders hope Aloha Cup Bap’s traditional Hawaiian poke will separate the shop from the sea of poke joints around Capitol Hill. The poke spot now has two locations around the Hill after it opened its second shop on Broadway this spring.

“Opening our first location a year and a half ago was a difficult job because customers didn’t really know what poke was. Now we have returning customers and wanted to open a second location,” said Tony O, one of Aloha Cup Bap’s owners along with Madelene Phung and Yuree Chong.

With locations on 12th Ave and now Broadway, Aloha Cup Bap is creating an island chain of fresh fish spots through the neighborhood. Continue reading

Saba, 12th Ave restaurant at center of Sawant displacement fight, set for eviction

Inside Saba (Image: Saba Ethiopian Cuisine)

Though the building it calls home won’t be demolished for months, 12th Ave’s Saba is being shown the door after a King County Superior Court judge upheld an unlawful detainer case against the Ethiopian restaurant whose fight against displacement has been championed by District 3 rep Kshama Sawant.

“We technically have a month left. But the judge read the lease differently,” Saba Teklegiorgis tells CHS. She says her mother’s restaurant has been in an unfair fight with the management company brought in to help push the tenant out by the property’s owners. Tactics, she says, have included claiming Saba had failed to pay its rent even though the restaurant found another way to make sure the landlord got its check.

“If they are within the law, I don’t know why they keep doing dirty things,” she said. Continue reading

Seattle arts venue nomad Love City Love making new home below 12th Ave

Love City Love’s new home below Stumptown (Image: Love City Love)

Love City Love’s fantastic journey of art and community across Seattle will bring the venue to yet another new Capitol Hill home.

With its move was marked by the disappearance of its neon sign that used to light up the former American Artificial Limb Co. space on E Pike, the nonprofit has created a new event space and art gallery under Stumptown Coffee on 12th Ave. At its new location, Love City Love will continue to house a variety of creative endeavors.

“Love City Love is an all inclusive art and culture hub. It is designed to bring all people together, connect, inspire, activate, and push cultural criticism of the status quo,” said founder Lucien Pellegrin who spoke to CHS as a representative of the collective. “Love City Love supports individuals who continue the conversation of how to re define culture, what do about our new found technology crisis, and how to create more spaces fostering human interaction and authentic connection.” Continue reading

Man suffers serious injuries after pinned by construction vehicle on E Pine sidewalk — UPDATE

A person using a walker suffered serious injuries after being struck and trapped by the trailer of a flatbed truck on the sidewalk in an incident Tuesday night along E Pine.

Seattle Fire and Seattle Police rushed to the scene just a block from Fire Station 25 and the East Precinct around 6 PM to the report of the work truck hauling construction equipment up on the sidewalk on the north side of E Pine just above 12th Ave. Continue reading

CHS Pics | 12th Ave — Capitol Hill home field for Women’s World Cup

If Team USA is on the field in France during the Women’s World Cup, you’ll want to be on 12th Ave.

Tuesday for the first game of the French-hosted 2019 tournament for the Americans, CHS stopped by our neighborhood German beer bar, naturally, to catch the game and the crowd. Continue reading

CHS Pics | With more space to teach ‘how to be an adult,’ DIY community The Works expands on 12th Ave

A 12th Ave space for learning “the basics” of a life on earth — like being able to sew a rad patch on your jacket or make pickles — has expanded.

“If you didn’t grow up in a house where you got to learn this kind of stuff, where else are you going to learn it?” posits Kellie Phelan of The Works.

The “DIY hands-on community” its expansion earlier this month at 12th and Fir just above the busy with construction and redevelopment Yesler Terrace. Continue reading

15 things CHS heard at the 43rd District Dems D3 forum

You can view video from the debate on the 43rd District Dems Facebook page

The 43rd District Democrats contributed to a rush of candidate forums Saturday afternoon with its event featuring six candidates for the Seattle City Council’s District 3 seat, which includes Capitol Hill and the Central District, discussing issues like homelessness, climate change, and even their favorite mayors in city history. The day also included the most direct political attack by a challenger on the incumbent yet.

While Pat Murakami’s call for a used cruise ship to house the city’s unsheltered population didn’t make a second appearance, Logan Bowers continued his push for a triplex on every block and incumbent Kshama Sawant continued her crusade for rent control and social housing.

The 43rd District Democrats will also be hosting a “Ballots & Bubbly” event Tuesday night at 7 PM at The Riveter, where many of the D3 candidates can talk to voters in smaller settings, and Seattle University will be hosting a marathon of district race town halls on Sunday.

15 things CHS heard at the 43rd District Dems D3 forum

  1. The forum featured one of the clearest rebukes of Sawant’s tenure yet in one of these events from Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce head Egan Orion, who accused the incumbent of being more focused on raising her national profile and money for the Socialist Alternative party: “She’s neglected the people of District 3.” He added moments later: “We need sound policy, not soundbites; we need a council member who will seek out constituents not a camera and a podium.” He said, if elected, he would have office hours in cafes in the district to talk to voters. Continue reading

Design reviews: An even friendlier proposal for church-friendly 8-story project on First Hill

Most projects considered by the East Design Review Board come to the table with three options and a proposed “preferred” design that the developers and architects have settled on. The board typically doesn’t question the selection and sets about helping to shape the design. But in the case of a planned eight-story apartment block planned to rise across from First Hill’s First Baptist Church, the board not only said nope to the preferred design, it tossed all three proposals out.

“The Board was disappointed by the lack of any significant variation between the three schemes, and that there was no exploration of other forms that might allow the project to step back from the street-edge and create conditions that better meet the criteria in the Design Guidelines,” the report from the review meeting reads.

Wednesday night, developer Carmel Partners and Encore Architects hope to erase that disappointment with a new early design proposal to get the project back on track.

Design review: 1100 Boylston Ave

Continue reading