911 | Madison Valley drive-by, E Thomas reported shotgun phone robbery, explosive dumpster fire

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS 911 coverage here. Hear sirens and wondering what’s going on? Check out Twitter reports from @jseattle or tune into the CHS Scanner page.

  • 25th Ave drive-by: A drive-by shooting left no reported injuries but damaged vehicles and homes near 25th and Mercer late Sunday night. According to East Precinct radio updates, police reported hearing 25 to 30 shots ring out just after 11 PM. Police found at least one vehicle that had been hit and bullet damage to at least two nearby homes. There were no reported injuries. Witness accounts described a silver sedan carrying at least two people who opened fire with two or three different guns before speeding away from the scene. Police searched the area but there were no arrests. Editor’s note: We originally identified this as a Central District location but as some have pointed out, it is a Madison Valley location. We’ve updated the headline.
  • Shotgun phone robbery: Police were called to E Thomas near Broadway to a report of an armed robbery of a phone. According to police radio reports, a man reported the suspect had pulled a shotgun and taken his phone just after 2:30 AM Monday morning. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the hold-up had taken place in a nearby building or on the street. Police were searching the area including Cal Anderson Park’s chemical toilets for the suspect but there were no arrests. No injuries were reported.
  • Boylston/Union dumpster arson: A dumpster fire with loud explosions woke residents around Boylston and Union early Monday. Seattle Fire responded to the blaze around 2:15 AM. Police were called after witnesses described two men seen setting the fire to a mattress and other items in the dumpster before fleeing. The two men were also reported pushing a shopping cart and were last seen fleeing westbound on Union. The Seattle Fire Marshal was called to investigate the scene. Last week, SPD asked for help investigating a string of a dozen arson fires after arresting a man for allegedly starting a small fire near Capitol Hill Station.

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Central District support helps Flowers Just 4 U stave off eviction

Mary Wesley has been serving the Central District for over 35 years, and eventually hopes to train young people in how to make floral arrangements. (Image: Mark Van Streefkerk for CHS)

Last weekend, Flowers Just 4 U was served a 14-day eviction notice. Located in the Central District on the corner of 23rd and Cherry, the florist was asked to pay past-due rent and utilities that totaled around six thousand dollars, or close its doors for good. After getting the word out, with help from WJJ Consulting and Africatown Media, owner Mary Wesley generated enough support to save her business.

“Can you believe this? That’s God,” Wesley beamed when asked about the overwhelming support she has received. “That is how well they love me. Donations and walk-ins, you name it. Whatever they can do to get here to keep me on this corner, they did it, from their hearts.”

At the time of this article, Flowers Just 4 U’s fundraiser campaign has received over twice the goal amount in only a few days. Said to be the only Black-owned florist in the Pacific Northwest, Wesley has done business in the Central District for more than 35 years. Now in her late 70s, Wesley has had to dip into her retirement savings to help the business.

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The Central District’s Medgar Evers Pool is back after a much longer than expected construction closure

(Image: City of Seattle)

Until they transform the Volunteer Park reservoir for swimming — and they’re not going to do that, unfortunately — the Central District’s Medgar Evers Pool will remain a one of a kind asset. It returned to service after a much longer than anticipated absence for much needed repairs.

Shut down for what was expected to be an 18-week closure last December, the pool’s reopening was delayed due to the amount of deterioration work crews found in the facility and by a major water leak discovered at the end of the project, the city says. Continue reading

Company sale means New Seasons won’t be coming to Central District throwing plans for new 23rd and Union grocery up in the air

(Image: New Seasons)

When mixed-use development East Union opened to residents last year but the windows of its large 23rd and Union retail space remained papered-over month after month, neighbors worried that the much anticipated arrival of a new neighborhood grocery store might never happen. Those fears might have been warranted.

Portland-based New Seasons has been sold to the South Korean grocery company that owns the Metropolitan Market chain throwing any plans for Seattle expansion and an opening in the Central District out the window. Continue reading

Seattle announces $110M for new affordable projects including five in District 3

Bellwether Housing and Plymouth Housing Group’s First Hill development could end up the tallest affordable housing building Seattle has ever seen (Image: Weber Thompson)

Seattle has announced its largest ever annual round of city funding for affordable housing with $110 million going to help start 13 projects across the city including five new buildings across Capitol Hill, First Hill, and the Central District that will create nearly 800 affordable units in the area.

“Seattle is committed to investing in housing and services that help advance our shared priorities of equity and inclusion,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said in her announcement of the annual funding roster powered by the 2016 housing levy. “With investments in both permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness, affordable housing for seniors, and housing for working families, we are addressing our affordability crisis.”

The millions in city funding are part of the recipe required for nonprofit developers to piece together the dollars required to create new affordable projects in the city like the Capitol Hill Housing-backed Station House that will begin its leasing process in January for 110 new affordable units above Capitol Hill Station. With units reserved for those meeting affordable housing income thresholds and rents likely some 30% or more below area averages, demand will reach thousands of prospective tenants.

The 2019 roster of investments announced Monday will also include two Capitol Hill Housing-involved projects. Continue reading

Mapping Sawant’s 2019 win shows continued strength of District 3’s political divide

Sawant again performed strongly in the southwest core of District 3

It was a tale of two districts.

To the east and north were the wealthier homeowners of North Capitol Hill, Madrona, Montlake, and Broadmoor, where voters picked the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce-backed Egan Orion.

Meanwhile, in the more densely populated Broadway and Pike/Pine cores and the Central District, residents sided with the re-election of socialist Seattle City Council incumbent Kshama Sawant.

While the path to victory in 2019 included a dramatic shift from Election Night totals, Sawant’s win, in the end, looks extremely familiar.

To Erin Schultz, a consultant that worked on the Orion campaign, the voting distribution of District 3 looks like what Sawant saw in 2015 as she defeated Pamela Banks for the seat.

“The mapped results are similar to results Sawant has gotten in every election, but we were obviously hoping to close the narrow gap, especially after the Primary performance,” Schultz said in an email. She believes that Amazon’s late $1 million contribution turned the election into a “referendum on corporate influence in elections rather than solutions to addressing homelessness, improving affordability, and the many other issues our city is struggling with.”
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Police search for suspect after reported Central District stabbing — UPDATE

Police and a K9 unit were searching the area around 29th Ave and E Pine in the Central District Friday afternoon after a man was stabbed in the back in an assault.

Seattle Police confirmed they were investigating a stabbing but Seattle Fire had not yet provided details on the victim’s injuries.
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Group files complaint over efforts to address racial inequity in advanced learning in Seattle that would start at Central District middle school

A group calling itself Equity and Access to Support Every Learner, or EASEL, is calling on state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to intervene in the debate over reshaping advanced learning in Seattle Public Schools that has boiled over at a Central District middle school.

In its complaint sent Monday to Ferguson’s office, the group echoes many of the point critics of the public school system’s “highly capable” program have argued: Advanced learning classes don’t reflect the racial makeup of the Seattle communities they serve. Continue reading

Central Area design board takes up 500 Broadway microhousing+hotel project

Two projects set to come before the Central District’s design review board will add new housing neighboring the Liberty Bank Building and create an intriguing mix of hotel and apartment units on Broadway near Seattle U.

Thursday night’s session of the Central Area Design Review Board takes place at Washington Hall:

Central District Design Reviews | 500 Broadway and 1419 24th Ave

500 Broadway
The first project on the night’s roster is up for what could be its final pass in front of the board. Anew Apartments is the developer on the Neiman Taber Architects-designed project to create an eight-story hotel building with “91 sleeping rooms for congregate residences” and retail on Broadway between Jefferson and James. Continue reading

I drank this *in the Central District*: Paper Plane at The Neighbor Lady

The bartender at E Union’s The Neighbor Lady, Tom, let CHS know it wasn’t a fancy cocktail bar, before he made us a fancy cocktail. He did not waste his time informing us that we were in the Central District for an episode of “I drank this on Capitol Hill.” Continue reading