Plans for Acer House, Seattle’s ‘first truly anti-racist private sector development,’ rising in the Central District

Early design concept for the project’s massing

Legislation to allow a rezoning of the corner of 23rd and Cherry could allow a five story, mixed-use building to rise at the corner, connecting a wave of redevelopment across the 23rd Ave corridor through the Central District where major new developments have already risen at 23rd and Union and 23rd and Jackson.

But developers of the project say the surgical rezone would bring more than an extra story of height to the corner across from the Garfield Community Center and the Garfield High School campus. Acer House, they say, can be an example of a different recipe for equitable development beyond dependence on public funding.

“We believe in the power of housing,” Ben Maritz, the Capitol Hill developer of affordable housing behind the project says.

Acer House, Maritz said, could be the “first truly anti-racist private sector development here in Seattle.” Continue reading

One shot in drive-by outside 23rd Ave Ezell’s

A man was reported shot in the stomach outside the Ezell’s Chicken Thursday night in a drive-by shooting at 23rd and Jefferson.

According to East Precinct and Seattle Fire radio updates, the shooting happened around 9:50 PM and involved a gunman in a four-door silver or light colored sedan occupied by multiple people.

UPDATE: SPD reports the victim is a 52-year-old man who was targeted in the parking lot of the restaurant:

Continue reading

Central District’s ‘Soul Pole’ to be taken down and, hopefully, restored

(Image: City of Seattle)

Another landmark of public art is set for work officials hope will help to keep it part of its neighborhood. The Soul Pole, a 21-foot wooden sculpture that has stood outside the Central District’s Douglass-Truth Branch of the Seattle Public Library for nearly 50 years, must come down for work to figure out how best to save the creation:

The 21-foot wooden sculpture, gifted to the Library in 1972 by the Seattle Rotary Boys Club, was carved by six young community artists in the late 1960s to honor 400 years of African American history and the struggle for justice in the United States. The Library will work with Artech Fine Art Services, an organization with extensive experience in the restoration and preservation of artwork, to deinstall the piece and transport it to an art storage facility, where an extensive assessment will be performed.

The library is also trying to learn more about the creation of the 23rd at Yesler pole: Continue reading

Police respond to armed man reported at 23rd and Yesler Catholic Community Services building — UPDATE

(Image: Alex Garland)

A large police response filled the area around 23rd and Yesler’s Catholic Community Services building Tuesday afternoon after a report of an armed man at the facility filled with dozens of people.

Officers located several employees inside the Randolph Carter Center building and were evacuating them from the area after finding the possible gunman down with a gunshot wound, according to East Precinct radio reports. UPDATE: Police were continuing to search for a possible suspect. It’s not clear at this point if the downed man is a victim or the suspect. UPDATE x2: Police have determined the downed man is the shooter.

UPDATE 2:51 PM: Police say the gunman is dead — shooting himself after trying to shoot a woman at the facility:

A man fatally shot himself after attempting to shoot a woman at a housing services program in the Central District Tuesday afternoon. Around 1:15 PM, the man met with the woman in a courtyard of a building in the 100 block 23rd Ave and made threatening statements to her. He then pulled out a gun and fired at the woman, who managed to get away uninjured. The suspect then fatally shot himself. Police surrounded the building, confirmed the suspect was deceased, and searched floor by floor. They located one person who had sustained minor injuries while fleeing from the sounds of gunfire.

UPDATE: In a letter to the community, Archbishop Paul Etienne described the gunman as “a distraught individual.”

“This afternoon, a distraught individual came to the headquarters at the Randolph Carter Family and Learning Center,” Etienne writes. “He threatened the life of a staff member before taking his own life. Mercifully, no one else was harmed and all of the staff were able to safely leave the building.”

In his letter, Etienne expressed his gratitude for the employees and management “who quickly followed all safety protocols and took control” of the situation and thanked the Seattle Police Department and emergency responders.

“Events like this remind us of the stress and pain that unrelenting poverty can bring. Events like this remind us of the real suffering and frustration that coincide with untreated health conditions, Etienne writes. “Events like this remind us of the desperation and hopelessness people feel before taking their own lives — a tragic trend that is exacerbated by the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Suspect shot and killed by police in Central District was maintenance man with history of threats at Urban League Village apartments

Police say security video shows Taylor during his deadly shooting attack in the museum and apartment complex parking lot

The suspect in a deadly shooting shot and killed by Seattle Police Tuesday night in the Central District was a resident and maintenance employee at apartments in the building also home to the Northwest African American Museum whose behavior people familiar with the circumstances say had become more and more threatening.

Wednesday night, SPD released an edited video showing clips from building security video that captured the parking lot shooting that left one person dead and another critically wounded and police body-worn video showing what SPD says is Taylor approaching police on S Massachusetts and raising his gun as officers opened up with a hail of gunfire, killing the Black suspect. Continue reading

Investigation underway after deadly police shooting during response to reported Central District gunfire — UPDATE

Shell casings are marked in the street along Massachusetts (Image: CHS)

UPDATE: The area around 23rd Ave S and S Massachusetts near the Central District’s Colman Playfield was locked down Tuesday night after Seattle Police shot and killed a man while responding to a reported shooting.:

White tags marked multiple shell casings in the street along Massachusetts and police tape cordoned off a large area around the field across from the Northwest African American Museum and Jimi Hendrix Park. Continue reading

As Seattle struggles to meet larger Black Lives Matter goals, city will transfer two more Central District properties to community ownership

Fire Station 6

Protesters outside Seattle’s emergency operations center this summer

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Monday to transfer two long-sought Central District properties back to the community after years of hope and promises including pledges from Mayor Jenny Durkan this summer as Black Lives Matter movement demonstrations grew in Seattle.

The transfer of the Central Area Senior Center on 30th Ave and Fire Station 6 at 23rd and Yesler comes after an increased push in recent months connected to protests and demands from community groups and activists.

Africatown Community Land Trust, which has been pushing the city to transfer the property for seven years, will now have a 99-year lease on the fire station property. The organization will look to turn the decommissioned space into the William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation, which advocates hope will serve as a technological hub of a community that hasn’t had as much access to the resources needed to be successful.

“This community asset will help close the gap we are already seeing in Seattle where there is an astronomical economic growth that is not resulting in all communities benefiting,” said Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, who sponsored the legislation for both transfers.

Community organizer TraeAnna Holiday told CHS last month, for example, that she hopes children will be able to use 3D printers there they wouldn’t have had otherwise which could make them better candidates for local jobs.

The city designated this site as ripe for a possible cultural center four years ago, but the process was fast-forwarded after the transfer was included as one of the hyper-local demands from recent protests.

Africatown held a press conference with hundreds in attendance in front of the fire station in June, calling on the city to finally make the transfer. Continue reading

One shot in reported 23rd Ave driveby

One person was hospitalized after a reported driveby shooting Sunday night near 23rd and Dearborn.

Police were called to reports of gunfire near a store in the area around 10:30 PM and found a male victim on the ground suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Seattle Fire arrived to treat the victim and rush him to the hospital.

Police say it was not believed his injuries were life-threatening. Continue reading

Teen injured in late August Central District shooting has died

Seattle Police announced that the 17-year-old dropped at the hospital with gunshot wounds following gunfire at 23rd and Yesler two weeks ago died Monday night from injuries suffered in the incident.

CHS reported here on the August 26th shooting. The teen has not yet been publicly identified.

The death comes amid a rash of shootings across Central and South Seattle and marks the sixth homicide in the East Precinct so far in 2020. There were five murders investigated in the precinct in all of 2019, and three in 2018.

Citywide, there have been 26 homicides reported so far this year. 28 were murdered here in all of 2019.

In the Central District, a deadly shooting at 23rd and Cherry in late July claimed the life of 17-year-old Adriel Webb. Another shooting at that intersection a few nights later left another victim dead. CHS does not know the identity of that person.


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SPD investigating 23rd and Yesler shooting

A gunshot wound victim was dropped at Harborview Wednesday night just minutes after a round of gunfire from a vehicle was reported at 23rd and Yesler.

Seattle Police were collecting evidence at the Central District shooting scene and the hospital where the victim was delivered via private vehicle.

According to East Precinct radio reports, 911 callers reported seeing a shooter open fire just before 9 PM from inside a vehicle at 23rd and Yesler where police found multiple shell casings.

Police were working to determine if the shooting victim at Harborview was related to the 23rd and Yesler incident.

SPD assistant chief Adrian Diaz and Mayor Jenny Durkan said last week the city has seen a major increase in shots fired incidents since June 1st, a trend also seen in other major U.S. cities.

UPDATE 8/27/20 5:30 PM: SPD reports that a 17-year-old is in critical condition:

Detectives are investigating after a 17-year-old was shot and wounded Wednesday evening in the Central District.

At 8:48 PM, officers were called to 23rd Avenue and Yesler Way for a report of gunfire. Police arrived and spoke with witnesses, and learned a 17-year-old male with a gunshot wound had arrived at Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

SPD’s Gang Unit is investigating. If you have any information about this case, please call the Violent Crimes Tipline at 206 233 5000.


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Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.