With eight stories, brick veneer, and preserving an ‘exceptional’ birch tree, development plans rise again across from Broadway Hill Park

(Images: Grouparchitect)

A plan to bring new development to the corner of E Republican and Federal Ave E neighboring the area’s mix of single family-style homes and old apartment buildings stalled during the pandemic, but now it’s coming back and will appear before the East Design Review Board this week.

Three existing homes, each dating to the first years of the 20th century, will be demolished. According to tax records, two of the three are single family homes, while the third is a duplex. In a trade a city desperate for new housing should be happy to make, an eight-story, 75-unit building will rise across from Broadway Hill Park.

In the works for years, developers began meeting with the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council in November 2019. There were more community outreach meetings in November of that year and in January 2020. Then 2020 happened. There was another, email evaluation by Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council. There was some movement later in 2020, but then things seems to have stalled. That earlier version had called for a 117-unit building, but there’s no longer any mention of that number.

And now, it’s back in the building pipeline with a recently released plan for design review (PDF). Continue reading

Homeless, gay, vulnerable: March murders echo with Capitol Hill’s cold cases past

Broadway Hill Park (Image: CHS)

Before Jonathan Caradonna was stabbed and killed on a Saturday morning last month on Capitol Hill’s 13th Ave E, he had mostly called the neighborhood’s Broadway Hill Park his home.

Some living nearby remember Caradonna as a peaceful resident in the neighborhood even through uprooting events like city clearances of the small Capitol Hill park.



11 years earlier, a woman walking her dog around sunrise spotted Zachary Lewis sprawled out in a vacant lot on the corner that is now Broadway Hills. He had been beaten to death. More than a decade later, the investigation into Lewis’s killing remains open.

If last month’s two killings of gay men living homeless on Capitol Hill fade into Seattle Police’s cold case files, they will join a sad list of unsolved murders of victims living on the edges on the neighborhood’s streets.

Caradonna, 32, died Saturday, March 19th after suffering multiple stab wounds in an assault near 13th Ave E.

Brent Wood, 31, was found beaten to death on the pavement behind the Broadway Rite Aid early on the morning of Thursday, March 3rd.

SPD detectives continue to investigate the March murders and the other cases including Lewis’s stretching over the past decade remain open, a department spokesperson tells CHS. Continue reading

Broadway Hill sweep: Two referrals to a ‘shelter surge’ hotel, five ‘voluntarily relocated,’ and a bin of personal belongings

City crews are at work in Capitol Hill’s tiny Broadway Hill Park after Wednesday morning’s deadline for removing personal property from the public greenspace.

Seattle Parks and the Human Services Department say two people living in the park were referred to shelter at the Executive Hotel Pacific, one of the city-leased in a “shelter surge” effort to move more people out of camps as COVID-19 slows. One of the referrals came Wednesday morning, the city says, while five others “voluntarily relocated out of the park.” Continue reading

Broadway Hill Park next in ongoing Seattle homeless encampment sweeps — UPDATE

Broadway Hill Park is slated to be the next public space on Capitol Hill to be cleared of homeless encampments.

Advocates say the park at Federal and Republican amid townhomes, apartment buildings, and single family homes is one of a handful of spaces across Seattle set for sweeps this week.

A Seattle Parks representative said more information was coming including information from the Human Services Department regarding shelter referrals.

UPDATE 5:08 PM: Seattle Parks says the sweep is needed because of concerns about recent fires.

“After a series of fires in the park, the City has requested that outreach efforts at Broadway Hill Park intensify this week with the goal of getting all who are onsite situated into shelter and on a path towards a permanent housing solution,” the parks department statement reads.

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Dear humans, it’s time to help shape the design of new housing across from Broadway Hill Park

“Dear humans, I’m sad to say this will be my last spring bloom with you all…” (Image: @maniftendst)

There is good reason for the City of Seattle’s streamlined design review process. And there is good reason for new housing across from rare Capitol Hill parkland. But it doesn’t make the scene passed by on so many COVID-19 walks at Federal and Republican any less melancholy. The little house and the blossoming tree are, indeed, enjoying their final season.

The proposed project by Mercer Island-based Sealevel Properties at 1013 E Republican will use the outbreak-streamlined administrative design review process and is part of a sudden, busy pulse of review activity across Capitol Hill. It’s time to add your comments before the proposal is assessed. Owing to coronavirus restrictions, the city has adjusted development regulations to cut out the in-person meeting with the design review board and allow developers to instead go through an administrative process with a public comment period. The comment period for the project opened with notices to neighbors two weeks ago. It closes May 26. Continue reading

Eight-story apartment building set to rise across from Broadway Hill Park

Capitol Hill has seen eight-story apartment buildings spring up before but a planned development kitty corner to Broadway Hill Park will need a little extra push to rise on the edges of the dense Broadway corridor where the blocks remain a mix of larger old apartment buildings, duplexes, and single family homes.

Thursday, developers from Sealevel Properties will hold a community outreach meeting at the Century Ballroom to talk with neighbors about their plans for the eight-story apartment building with 150 or so units, and three parking spots planned to rise at the corner of Federal and Republican: Continue reading

75 feet up and down Broadway — Seattle ‘Preferred Alternative Zoning’ plan released

With reporting by Kelsey Hamlin

With Mayor Tim Burgess’s noon press event in a Capitol Hill park to kick off the next phase in the process, officials have released the first look at the “Preferred Alternative Zoning” proposal at the core of Mandatory Housing Affordability, citywide changes intended to help create some 6,000 units of “rent restricted homes” across Seattle by connecting affordability mandates to upzoning parts of around 6% of the city.

“Today we continue our push to address Seattle’s housing affordability crisis,” said Burgess in the city’s announcement (in full at the bottom of this post. “With this plan, we will extend our requirement that new developments contribute to Seattle’s affordable housing supply. We’ve already implemented this requirement in the University District, downtown, and elsewhere. Now it’s time to bring this requirement to other high-opportunity neighborhoods so that we can hasten our progress in building a more inclusive and equitable city.”

“The MHA is not just about affordable housing,” said Seattle City Council member Rob Johnson. “It’s about the terms of those units.”

The City Council will consider the proposal and hold public hearings before the plan is finalized. New affordable housing units created under the plan must maintain their rates for 75 years.

“It’s a very long piece of legislation,” Johnson said. “Each of these individual neighborhoods requires some TLC [Tender, Love, and Care].”

You can view the newly released map here and navigate to specific addresses. Hashed areas indicate proposed zoning changes. The proposal comes after months of public feedback after the framework for MHA was first set last fall.

Additional public feedback is expected to run over the first six months of 2018. Johnson predicted legislation for these changes wouldn’t actually happen until July or August 2018.

The proposal released Thursday morning includes transitioning Broadway from around Cal Anderson Park all the way north to beyond Roy to 75-foot height limits and “neighborhood commercial” zoning that would allow seven-story buildings with commercial use throughout. Some of the bigger changes would also come around the Miller Community Center where planners are now proposing a less aggressive upzone than one potential alternative had originally proposed. Moving toward the Central District, most proposed changes are focused on the area around Madison and 23rd with notable exceptions around 23rd and Union and 23rd and Jackson where surgical upzoning has already been approved.

Under the MHA framework, affordability requirements chained to the upzoning vary by “scale” and developers can choose to pay fees instead of including the rent-restricted units — Continue reading

City planning Broadway Hill Park rollout of Seattle Mandatory Housing Affordability proposal

Broadway Hill Park (Image: CHS)

A Capitol Hill neighborhood park born thanks to a failed multifamily housing project is the planned site for City of Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess’s rollout of the citywide Mandatory Housing Affordability proposal.

City Hall departments are planning for the Thursday announcement at Capitol Hill’s Broadway Hill Park but neither the mayor’s office nor the Office of Planning & Community Development have yet confirmed the event. In a city struggling with intense affordability issues and only a short time left on the clock before the new Durkan administration moves in, the announcement of rezoning proposals in neighborhoods across the city is a sensitive one.

UPDATE: Confirmed!
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Board says plan for old house in new Broadway Hill Park project needs work

The East Design Review Board was not convinced plans for a project that would meld a net-zero energy apartment development with an early 1900s house on Capitol Hill are ready. Wednesday night, board members asked for changes to the development that will eventually rise behind Broadway Hill Park kicking the project back to architects for at least one more round of review.

The board favored many aspects of the project, but felt the addition to the to-be-relocated building needed some work and didn’t seem to, yet, fit well in the neighborhood.

“That’s my biggest concern with the entire project,” board chair Natalie Gualy said.

The problem could be resolved by changing the roof form or the style of the addition or by making other changes, board member Barbara Busetti said. Continue reading

Net-zero energy project will connect to an uprooted house behind Broadway Hill Park

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 4.32.59 PMWe have seen old houses relocated to make space for a new apartment building, but linking the two structures to create a single property may be a first on Capitol Hill. Retrofitting the house and designing the new apartment building to meet some of the strictest environmental standards in the U.S. is definitely a first.

The unique plans for 11th and Republican Passive House Apartments faces another round of design review Wednesday night. The outcome of the meeting also carries a special significance for the neighborhood as the building will serve as the new backdrop to the recently opened Broadway Hill Park.

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

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