Redfin says 30% want to live ‘somewhere else’ because of protests

In a new study, Seattle-based real estate service Redfin really gets to the heart of the matter of the summer’s Capitol Hill occupied protest zone — condo prices:

“Seattle’s condo market has really struggled in general during the pandemic, but the units that are closest to the CHOP have typically been selling even more slowly than other condos in Capitol Hill,” said local Redfin real estate agent Forrest Moody.

“I had one listing that was a block away from the CHOP and across the street from a Ferrari dealership that had its windows smashed,” Moody goes on to say. “The condo actually sold within five days, but that’s likely because we listed it for $25,000 less than we had planned to back in February.” Continue reading

Who ordered the abandonment of the East Precinct? — UPDATE

(Image: Matt Mitgang)

KING 5 is reporting new details of text messages and emails from city officials this summer as the CHOP occupied protest took shape on Capitol Hill including bizarre exchanges like this reported between Fire Chief Harold Scoggins and hip hop artist Raz Simone who had been part of the chaotic, exciting, and growing demonstrations and was asked to try to do something to help protect the abandoned East Precinct:

“Raz, I just got word that 4 people just broke the door at SPD and entered the building,” said a Scoggins text to Simone.

“A way to keep SPD out of the space is secure that building during the protest. Can you guys work with us on that?” Scoggins asked.

But despite former Chief Carmen Best’s new job with NBC, KING did not add much to the question at the center of how CHOP formed and grew on Capitol Hill in the first place — who ordered the abandonment of the East Precinct?

On Friday, May 29th, protests begin in Seattle after the police killing of George Floyd as thousands marched and demonstrated. Windows were smashed at Capitol Hill’s Amazon grocery and Ferrari dealership and seven arrests were reported. As the protests grew through the city, on Wednesday, June 3rd a “Defund Seattle Police” rally began in Cal Anderson after a battle of tear gas and blast balls as police moved on demonstrators and National Guard troops joined the lines with police outside the East Precinct. The next day, the city began bowing to protest demands, lifting its curfew as demonstrations continued. Cal Anderson continued to grow as a center of the ongoing protests and a battle line of sorts emerges at 11th and Pine. Clashes continued and on Saturday, June 6th Seattle City Council members joined the protest. Sunday, after the mayor’s speech on deescalation of the ongoing protest clashes between demonstrators and police, SPD responds with its strongest show of force yet in the “standoff” at 11th and Pine. That Sunday night, a man drives into the crowd at 11th and Pine and shoots a demonstrator. Nikolas Fernandez, the brother of an East Precinct cop, will be arrested and charged with one count of first degree assault. On Monday, June 8th, moving trucks arrived at the East Precinct as city officials said there were credible threats of arson targeting the building identified by the FBI. On Tuesday, June 9th, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms around an emptied East Precinct

The KING 5 report provides some color behind the chaos of the situation: Continue reading

Capitol Hill auto garage in CHOP 911 controversy leaving 12th Ave as development moves forward

(Image: CHS)

With reporting by Gabrielle Locke

A longtime 12th Ave small business that ended up playing an outsized role in the summer’s Capitol Hill occupied protest zone is closing shop and leaving the neighborhood — a move that will be viewed through the prism of months of protests but that has been in the works for years as part of a multimillion dollar land and development deal.

In 1999, John McDermott and Russell Kimble bought Car Tender, a Capitol Hill auto repair garage on 12th Ave at E Olive St.

“We have our craft and we do enjoy that but, like everything, it has its challenges. What we enjoy the most is helping people,” Kimble tells CHS. After 49 years of serving the Capitol Hill community, Car Tender is relocating to Shoreline. “Our move has been coming for a long time because our property sold, so moving has always been the plan,” Kimble said.

The business has been servicing European cars including BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, and others, in the city since 1971.

In 2016, the garage partners bought the property where their business was located in a $7.6 million deal. Two years later with early development planning in place, the property was sold to developer Mack Real Estate Group for $10.2 million. Continue reading

Lawsuit over Capitol Hill protest zone can move forward: City of Seattle loses important first round in CHOP legal battle

A lawsuit brought by a collection of 12th Ave real estate developers, small businesses, and residents against the City of Seattle and Mayor Jenny Durkan over the handling of this summer’s CHOP Capitol Hill occupied protest zone can move forward, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Judge Thomas S. Zilly of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington denied the city’s motion to dismiss the case, ruling in favor of three of the four claims against City Hall alleging that city leaders violated property rights by allowing a dangerous protest and encampment to continue for weeks.

“Plaintiffs plausibly allege that the City’s actions — encouraging CHOP participants to wall off the area and agreeing to a ‘no response’ zone within and near CHOP’s borders — foreseeably placed Plaintiffs in a worse position,” the judge wrote in his decision. The full decision can be found at the end of this post. Continue reading

City holds last round of community meetings on Cal Anderson changes as park remains ‘temporarily closed’

This week brings the last in a series of three community meeting sessions to shape new features and investments in Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson Park.

The Wednesday night and Thursday daytime sessions come as the neighborhood’s central park remains “temporarily closed” by Seattle Parks officials as nightly protests and unrest continue in the area. Continue reading

Want to join the CHOP lawsuit against the city? You have until February as trial date set for 2022

The Seattle City Attorney’s office and lawyers for a collection of Capitol Hill property owners and businesses suing over the CHOP occupied protest zone have agreed on at least one thing: if the case ever goes to trial, justice will take years.

According to the latest filings in the case, both sides in the CHOP lawsuit have agreed they won’t be ready for a trial until February 2022 — one year and seven months from the day Mayor Jenny Durkan ordered the camp raided and swept.

CHS last reported on the case in August as lawyers for the real estate companies and small businesses suing City Hall countered the City Attorney’s efforts to have the class action suit dismissed. Seattle’s motion from the summer focused on an argument that you can’t sue over a city’s “inaction” to protest. remains on the table but, for now, the federal class action case moves forward. Continue reading

With sunny and dry days ahead for repainting of Capitol Hill’s Black Lives Matter mural, rain is not a risk — but the return of smoke season is — UPDATE

E Pine was stripped of its BLM mural last week as part of a project to recreate a more durable version (Image: Alex Garland)

The project to remake Capitol Hill’s Black Lives Matter mural as a permanent feature of E Pine should move forward this week with a forecast for dry weather making the pavement a suitable canvas for the effort.

A Seattle Department of Transportation representative tells CHS that artists are planned to be on the street starting Wednesday to begin the process of repainting the 16 10-foot-tall letters. SDOT is planning a four-day window for the project but they’re expecting the work might wrap up early. E Pine will be closed to traffic during the painting and sealing work. Continue reading

Seattle Parks surveys thoughts on new community garden and ‘conversation circle’ in Cal Anderson

The process to add new features and resources to Cal Anderson continues with new community meetings coming in October and a new survey about your use of the park and your thoughts on “community initiatives that emerged during the CHOP/CHAZ.”

CHS reported earlier this month on the ongoing Seattle Parks community process to shape the upgrades and changes at Cal Anderson that city officials say can incorporate the ongoing need for human services and resources for the homeless community around the park.

As officials prepare for the last in a series of three community meeting sessions scheduled for next month, a new survey is collecting feedback on how people have used the park and how safe they feel there now and in the past.

The survey also “investigates the existing community initiatives that emerged during the CHOP/CHAZ.” — a community garden and a listening circle. Continue reading

Override or compromise? Seattle City Council holds special meeting to respond to mayor’s #defundSPD veto

The Seattle City Council will take a swing Tuesday in the ongoing fight to redirect spending on policing to community programs and social services in the city by either overriding Mayor Jenny Durkan’s veto of its defunding legislation passed in August — or forging a compromise bill that will preserve only a few key #defundSPD planks. Either way, the step will make any road to changing the Seattle Police Department a longer journey.

The council has scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday afternoon starting at 3 PM to vote on the possible override of the mayoral veto of the council’s rebalanced 2020 budget package. To get there under the rules of budgetary legislation, that will mean seven of the nine council members will need to vote to override.

Council president Lorena González will lead the charge saying Monday she intends to vote to override the mayor’s vetoes but also acknowledging the compromise package waiting in the wings.

“We may not always agree or win every battle, but I believe many of us share the same vision of collective liberation that is (and will be) on the right side of history,” González said. “The work to divest from a broken model of policing will be a long road, and it will be full of challenges.”

Monday, community groups called for the council to side together to override Durkan and support the original cuts. Continue reading

Acknowledging botched first effort, City of Seattle announces plan with artists to quickly remove and recreate longer-lasting Capitol Hill Black Lives Matter mural

An image from SDOT showing the deterioration of the mural (Image: SDOT)

Before sweeps and violence continued in Cal Anderson, and before  Seattle City Hall reversed course on the start of defunding the Seattle Police Department, artists and activists pointed at a simpler failure to live up to the demands of the CHOP protest zone after what they said was a botched attempt to preserve and protect the massive E Pine BLACK LIVES MATTER mural.

Now Mayor Jenny Durkan and the Seattle Department of Transportation are announcing a new plan that will bring the original mural artists together to remove the original and replace it with a new and improved replica designed to better withstand the tests of a Capitol Hill street. And they’re in a rush to do it to get ahead of another Seattle challenge — the weather: Continue reading