On 22nd Ave, listening in on Seattle’s new design review community process

The community meeting was held at the site of the planned development (Image: CHS)

Seattle has a new design review process designed to add more community time and discussion as developers continue to reshape many areas of the city. Hybrid, a Capitol Hill architecture firm located on E Pike, held one of Seattle’s first early community outreach meetings as mandated by the new design review process last week.

As CHS reported last month, an ordinance passed last year that went into effect July 1st requires developers to “actively solicit community input before beginning the design review process” if the project begins its development permitting process after that date.

This new rule allows Seattle residents early opportunities to shape local developments and, hopefully, create more transparency and community engagement in the design process.

The meeting on 162 22nd Ave dealt with the demolition of an existing blue single-family home that sits on this property to create room for the construction of three new townhouse units and one single family residence. Five neighbors from the surrounding houses attended the outreach gathering hosted by three members of the Hybrid team.

“What are your guys’ main concerns about it? Is it the fact that it’s here at all? Is it the density? Is it the parking? Is it the building form?” Continue reading

What has bubbled to the top of ’30 ideas’ for saving — and developing — Seattle studios, galleries, and music venues

Not everything is about preservation. The new Hugo House is set to open soon on 11th Ave.

As Seattle once again wrestles with the fragility of its arts spaces in the face of continued growth, change, and development, the Seattle City Council this week heard an update on City Hall’s efforts to preserve and grow the number of studios, galleries, and performance venues on Capitol Hill and across the city.

Tuesday, the Seattle Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development & Arts Committee convened to discuss the cultural space access and stabilization project currently being undertaken by the Office of Arts and Culture (ARTS).

ARTS has been working for the past eight months to implement concepts proposed in The CAP Report: 30 Ideas for the Creation, Activation and Preservation of Cultural Space (PDF), which was published by ARTS last year. ARTS is assessing the feasibility of the project and working on a racial equity toolkit to ensure the communities of color that will be impacted have their voices heard.

Council member Lisa Herbold, chair of the committee, expressed her support for the project and its research.

“Our ability to preserve cultural spaces is really important,” Herbold said. “It goes beyond one particular threatened cultural space and we really need to figure out what the tools are that we have available.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s last independent service station’s days numbered as developer has deal for 15th Ave E corner

After more than half a century of business on Capitol Hill, the Hilltop Service Station on 15th Ave E is slated to be no more. Customers have been told the station’s last day of service is coming — possibly this week.

Cadence Capital, a Colorado-based real estate and development firm, finalized an agreement to purchase the property last month, according to King County records, making the deal official and paving the way for the property to be acquired and redeveloped. Financial details and terms of the memorandum of agreement are not yet publicly available.  Continue reading

CHS Pics | Even more neighbors will come to E Republican’s block party next year

The neighbors around E Republican between 10th Ave E and Federal Ave have been gathering together for Night Out block parties for a few years now. Tuesday night, CHS stopped by the party. Next year, there will be even more neighbors to join in.

“We need to have more housing but development in a way that kind of fits the neighborhood,” neighbor John Stuntebaeck told CHS about the four-story, 36-unit apartment building under construction on the block.

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Design review: Twin seven-story buildings set to replace Broadway’s Bonney Watson funeral home

The Modera Broadway development set to embrace E Howell’s approach to Cal Anderson and replace Broadway’s Bonney Watson funeral home and its surface parking lot with twin seven-story, market rate apartment buildings will go in front of the design review board for what the developers and its team of architects hope will be the third and final session Wednesday night.

Design review: 1812 Broadway

“Although development will occur on two separate parcels, the buildings will be designed to create one cohesive resident community with shared management, ample resident amenities and outdoor space,” developer write about the project. “Design will incorporate opportunities for maximizing light and views to the apartment homes, creating overlooks and encouraging people-watching. The buildings will work together toward a shared design concept with similar massing, materials and detailing in support of creating a vibrant transit-oriented development.”

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With increased call for community say in redevelopment, mayor helps kick off Umoja Fest with ribbon-cutting at 23rd and Union

Mayor Durkan joined K. Wyking Garrett of the Africatown Community Land Trust at a Saturday ribbon-cutting (Image: City of Seattle)

Mayor Jenny Durkan joined with Africatown for the official ribbon cutting on the Imagine Africatown Pop Up Plaza and Art Installation to kick off Saturday’s 2018 Umoja Fest parade march in the Central District:

The Imagine Africatown Pop Up Plaza and art installation is located at Midtown Center on 23rd and Union, a longtime hub for African American small businesses that is slated to be demolished for redevelopment in 2019.

“Before the existing Midtown Center meets its fate with the wrecking ball, we are partnering to transform the site into a vibrant community activation space to host a wide range of events and activities aligned with the rich African American and African diaspora heritage of the neighborhood,” landscape designer and project lead designer Sara Zewde said. “The goal is to capture the community ideas about the potential for the future development at 23rd and Union, including space for gathering, Black and African diaspora identity, culture and Black-owned businesses.” Continue reading

New artwork in Chophouse Row builds on old foundations — the ‘ghost’ of a Capitol Hill farmhouse

The living and dead gathered together in Chophouse Row on Saturday for the unveiling of the “Ghost Cabin,” a new art installation that pays tribute to a house that once stood on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, the unveiling also commemorated the opening of the new headquarters for City Arts Magazine in the Cloud Room, a workspace and lounge above the 11th Ave development.

When Chophouse Row was being built, contractors had to excavate the foundations of the old buildings to create a footing for the new development. When they were doing that, according to Liz Dunn, the developer and owner of Chophouse Row, they struck the remains of house deep beneath the surface of the ground.

“They hit the foundations of the old farmhouse 25 feet down that we knew were there,” Dunn said. “The contractors were completely freaked out. They were like ‘oh my god, we hit grandma’s house. The ghost is going to haunt us for the rest of the project’ and, in fact, she did because it was a challenging project.”

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With $4.6M deal for uber green project at 13th and Pike, developer leaps ahead in race to build new Capitol Hill condos

(Images: Solis)

A $4.6 million land deal at the corner of 13th and Pike will kick off a race to build the first new condominium project on Capitol Hill in… a really long time.

Developer Solterra slapped down the cold, hard cash in a transaction reported to the county Monday for the former Fran’s Chocolates building and a 2016-approved plan to build Capitol Hill’s (and Seattle’s) first Passive House-certified mixed-use project at 13th and Pike.

The new wrinkle in the uber-green project? Condos. Here’s how the developer is describing the planned Solis project: Continue reading

The Eldridge, preservation plus seven stories on Broadway — and in ‘the sweet spot’ of affordability

(Image: Mithun)

Local community members got the first look at plans for The Eldridge, a preservation-friendly seven-story affordable housing development on the property of the auto row-era Eldridge Tire building, located on the 1500 block of Broadway between Pike and Pine, earlier this month at a meeting of the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council.

Walter Zisette, the associate director of real estate development at Capitol Hill Housing, one of the developers of the project, said that the level of planned affordable housing is in “the sweet spot” compared to other developments in the neighborhood. Continue reading

Central Area Design Review Board ready for first project: 23rd Ave S microhousing

The first project in Seattle history to be examined by a design review board dedicated to the city’s Central District is an aPodment project slated to replace a south-of-90 23rd Ave retail strip.

The review for 2000 23rd Ave S will come before the newly formed Central Area Design Review Board Thursday night.

While the 23rd Ave S microhousing will get the first look from the new board, last week CHS reported that the group is likely to get involved with the much higher profile project at Midtown Center that started the permitting process before the new body was formed but is now facing community pressure to be part of a more conscious review.

Earlier this year, CHS reported on the creation of the new review board, splitting off the Central District neighborhoods from the East region in an effort to preserve and grow the historically Black culture of the Central District.