Eight-story ‘annex’ planned to rise above 19th Ave E landmark Littlefield Apartments

Despite uncertainties in the coming months — and maybe years — in the Capitol Hill rental market, developers and property owners are still looking to build in the neighborhood in 2021 as taller projects with more units spread from the neighborhood’s core. A new project ready to move forward on the quieter eastern side of the Hill at 19th and John is an eight-story example.

The longtime property owner and architects from the Neiman Taber firm are moving forward with plans for an eight-story, 50-unit development that will rise nestled around the 1910-built Littlefield Apartments building. The project entered the city’s administrative design review process just before Christmas.

The proposed eight-story annex is hoped to complement the Littlefield with a “3-story podium” that “mimics the 3-story mass of the historic brick podium” of the existing 30-unit apartment building. Continue reading

Cultural Space Agency’s mission: Create and preserve arts venues in expensive Seattle (and even more expensive Capitol Hill)

The V2 project was temporary — there are hopes for more permanent outcomes from the Cultural Space Agency

The City of Seattle has established a Public Development Authority (PDA) with the hope of creating shared cultural spaces and supporting local artists.

The move might be a last hope for arts organizations in a neighborhood like Capitol Hill that has transitioned from cheap auto row-era spaces perfect for galleries, studios, and dive bars. The latest victim here is Velocity Dance which gave up its 24-year struggle against rising rents and the COVID-19 crisis and has now given up its 12th Ave  home.

The Cultural Space Agency, which will be partnered with the PDA, will look to build community wealth and invest in communities of color as a real estate investment company focused on spaces for the arts. For example, it could partner with the city’s Equitable Development Initiative on real estate deals to ensure cultural space is included, and working with the Office of Housing to purchase ground-floor units in new developments to give ownership opportunities to small businesses, said Randy Engstrom, director of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture.

The city has set aside $1 million for the next two years for the PDA’s operating costs with the hopes of getting investments from philanthropists for projects.

“We’re doing it to make sure that, as we come out of COVID, that we not only preserve but we protect that part of our city that really is its soul: the arts and culture,” Mayor Jenny Durkan told reporters Tuesday morning. “And that we make sure that we do it in a way that can be more equitable and that our recovery is one that actually does bridge the gap to prosperity for everyone.” Continue reading

Design review: First look at proposal for preservation incentive-boosted project that will rise above 110-year-old E Pike Rowland building

Wednesday night will bring two virtual design review meetings that could help set the course for new developments on Capitol Hill in 2021 including a project planned to preserve the E Pike facade of the 1910-built commercial building that has been home to Gay City and Kaladi Brothers as part of an eight-story, incentive boosted mixed-use project.

CHS reported on the early plans from developer Hunters Capital and longtime property owner Chip Ragen to redevelop the corner of E Pike and Belmont.

Wednesday night, the Studio Meng Strazzara-designed project will take its first step in front of the East Design review board. Continue reading

Seattle City Council set to approve $1M no-interest loan to help affordable developer Community Roots Housing overcome COVID-19 losses

The Seattle City Council’s Finance and Housing Committee found little satisfaction Wednesday as it struggled to understand yet another loose end in the Seattle Police Department’s spending but it did make progress in addressing challenges from the COVID-19 crisis faced by the largest provider of affordable housing on Capitol Hill.

The committee voted unanimously Wednesday to extend an up to $1 million, no interest loan to Community Roots Housing as it tries to recover from the financial impact of the pandemic. Continue reading

Long live Capitol Hill’s La Quinta — Residents rally (early!) to make 17th and Denny Anhalt apartments a landmark

(Image: Viva La Quinta/Jesse L. Young)

Hoping to head off yet another story of a lovely, old building being torn down to make way for a new brick of ceramic and fiberboard, residents of the La Quinta apartments have started a drive to have their building recognized as a landmark.

The building at 1710 E Denny Way was built by prolific Seattle developer Frederick Anhalt in 1927. The U-shaped building with a clay tile roof holds a dozen two-story apartments and has a large central Mediterranean Revival courtyard. A thirteenth apartment is perched over the building’s garage.

It changed hands a few times until it was purchased by Ken Van Dyke in 1982. Van Dyke died earlier this year, leaving residents worried that the new owners might want to redevelop the property.

Chelsea Bolan, who has lived in the building since 2003, said they don’t know for certain that redevelopment was planned in the immediate future, but they started hearing rumors from people in contact with the new owners.

“He suggested, if we wanted to do a landmark, do it now,” Bolan said. Continue reading

A Broadway development more than 20 years in the making, the process to fill Capitol Hill Station’s new apartments has begun — UPDATE

Capitol Hill Station’s Park luxury apartment building will provide its tenants with plenty of Cal Anderson views (Image: Live Capitol Hill Station)

One quarter of the first batch of units in the new Capitol Hill Station mixed-use development have been leased, as of early this month, according to the complex’s general manager.

The major project above the light rail transit station has been seen as a key development for the neighborhood creating hundreds of new homes and thousands of square feet of new commercial space on Broadway. The COVID-19 crisis has delayed construction but the new, mostly “market-rate” apartments are finally hitting that market.

110 affordable units in the Station House development on the northeast area above the station opened earlier this year and faced high demand.

More than two years after the project’s groundbreaking across the street from Cal Anderson Park, which included a ribbon cutting from Mayor Jenny Durkan, the leasing process on the first 94 units of 400-plus on Broadway started in mid-September amid the coronavirus pandemic, general manager Kristin Lipp told CHS. Continue reading

Central District microhousing development targeted by Sawant ready for next phase in design review

(Image: GGLO Design)

A four-story microhousing development planned to replace a former Section 8 subsidized apartment building on 19th Ave in the Central District will move into the second and final phase of the city’s design review process with a virtual meeting Thursday.

The Cadence Real Estate project was the center of controversy when District 3 representative Kshama Sawant took on the developer over its treatment of tenants living in the The Chateau Apartments under the federal affordable housing program. Sawant claimed victory in the matter saying the movement had forced Cadence to meet with residents and make several concessions including allowing the Section 8 tenants to remain in their units in coming years until the building is eventually demolished and an “unheard of concession” — $5,000 from Cadence to every household living in the building on top of legally required relocation assistance. Continue reading

Seven-story development set to rise on 12th Ave Car Tender block faces design review

The multimillion dollar driver behind the exit of longtime auto garage Car Tender from Capitol Hill will kick into gear this week as the development set to replace it brings its new, larger vision to the city’s design review process.

The seven-story development set for review Thursday is set for 1710 12th Ave E, on property formerly home to the Car Tender auto repair shop, Bergman’s Lock and Key and the former home of the Scratch Deli. The auto shop which became a center of private security activity during the Capitol Hill occupied protest, is relocating to Shoreline. The project set to replace it had started the design review process in November 2019, well before any of this summer’s events.

In its place, Hill residents will get a few hundred new neighbors. In plans from the Runberg Architecture Group, developer Mack Real Estate Group proposes a 170,000 square foot building with 145 apartments, including a mix of studio, and 1- and 2-bedroom units. It would include a total of 3,500 square feet of commercial use broken up into three spaces, one at the corner of 12th and Olive, and the other two along 12th.  There will also be 90 parking stalls. Amenities include a fitness center, co-working space, and a rooftop deck. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Goodwill lined up for mixed-use development

Plans have been filed with the city to replace the Capitol Hill Goodwill with a mixed-use development that would add around 170 new apartment units to Belmont Ave E just off E Olive Way.

The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce reports the planning could be part of the first steps in a sale of the 1926-built building by longtime ownership.

In the early filings, the development is being planned by VIA Architecture as a seven-story structure with 171 apartment units on the sloping lot. 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