Kaiser Permanente not pulling back on $400M Capitol Hill campus overhaul despite canceled headquarters project

Kaiser Permanente is working on a $400M overhaul of its Capitol Hill campus planned to finish by 2022 even after the company announced its pullback on a $900M Oakland headquarters project.

Not-for-profit healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente began the process of renovating its 15th and John Capitol Hill facilities about two years ago. The campus, formerly known as Group Health, was acquired by the company back in 2017.

CHS spoke with Kaiser Permanente in the fall of 2018 about its plans for remodel, centering around improving out-patient medical care while not expanding the size of the facility. Continue reading

Amazon Fresh grocery store making plans for 2020 opening in the Central District

(Image: Vulcan Real Estate)

With its city and its Central District neighborhood grappling with issues of equity and gentrification in a summer of Black Lives Matter protest, the new Amazon Fresh grocery coming to 23rd and Jackson will mark an interesting milestone when it opens later this year.

Typically secretive, the Seattle retail and tech giant has yet to confirm the Central District plans CHS unearthed in February describing a new 25,000-square-foot grocery store under construction in the massive Vulcan development underway at the corner where the neighborhood Red Apple and a collection of shopping center businesses used to stand.

But its latest permitting efforts confirm what the company’s PR department won’t — Amazon is opening a new grocery store at 23rd and Jackson. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Safeway redevelopment moves forward with plans for seven-story apartment project above new grocery

The plan to redevelop the Capitol Hill Safeway at 15th and John and its giant surface parking lot as new mixed-housing above a new grocery store is moving forward.

Plans filed with the city last week show the grocery chain’s $11 million-plus, 100,000-square-foot property at the top of Capitol Hill is being planned for a new mixed-use development that will rise seven stories above a new, larger grocery store.

The Daily Journal of Commerce reported the filing Monday. CHS reported on the early planning on the effort in September as developers began the process of setting up community outreach for the design process. Continue reading

Once the Seattle Automobile Company, 11th and Pike building home to Retrofit, Cafe Pettirosso up for landmarks vote

Thanks to 2020-era videoconference technology, Pike/Pine could have a new landmark this week celebrating Capitol Hill’s auto row history.

The 1916-built Baker Linen building at 11th and Pike is set to go through the final stage of the city’s landmark preservation process Wednesday afternoon in an online session necessitated by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Continue reading

Independence Day in Seattle: A 4th of YouLie rally in the Central District as coalition marks win vs. ‘predatory development’

Africatown’s Joy (Image: CHS)

On Saturday afternoon, organizers of the Africatown-led King County Equity Now Coalition are holding a “4th of YouLie” rally event at 23rd and Union to shift the narrative surrounding the Fourth of July.

“Fourth of July depicts the independence of the United States — not everybody was free. Our people of African descent weren’t free, were still slaves in that time,” organizer and Africatown ambassador Fynniecko Glover Jr. said. “So the July 4th, the Fourth of YouLie, is just saying that not all of us were free.”

The event will center around a teach-in with a series of speakers discussing the history and gentrification of the Central District neighborhood, according to Glover Jr., and there will also be a teen resource area and Black-owned businesses for people to shop at.

“23rd and Union historically is a significant intersection in the Black community,” Africatown Community Land Trust member Isaac Joy told CHS. “That intersection has been transformed, I think at really all four corners, in the negative with huge gentrification projects.”


Friday, the coalition announced it had halted a “predatory” development of the former Keiro Care Center at 17th and Yesler. This coalition of ‘Black-led, community-based” organizations has plans to turn the property into a space that will “honor Indigenous and Pan-Asian communities.”

Continue reading

Spurred by Seattle protests, city says will finally transfer Central District’s Fire Station 6 to Africatown — UPDATE

(Image: Joe Mabel/City of Seattle)

Seattle’s crises of 2020 have caused major disruptions, delays, and postponements. But they have also accelerated and unstuck some changes that should have happened in the city long ago.

Friday, the City of Seattle announced it will transfer the Fire Station 6 property at 23rd Ave and Yesler to community ownership, clearing the way for an Africatown-led redevelopment plan after more than seven years of process over the decommissioned facility.

“We at the City of Seattle understand the urgency behind making bold investments in the Black community and increasing community ownership of land in the Central District,” the brief announcement reads. “The City believes in the vision behind the William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation and we remain committed to making the transfer of Fire Station 6 to the community a reality.” Continue reading

‘More economic empowerment in the community’ — A Black church is leaving the Central District and a Black developer has a $6.9M plan for new growth

Coming next: Eight stories next to Uncle Ike’s

There are hopes and plans for a set of Central District properties to be put into service for the community and to help Black residents, businesses, and community groups thrive there. A key property near 23rd and Union will take a different path with similar goals.

The team of Gardner Global and its Onpoint real estate firm has announced it moving forward with a plan to create an eight-story mixed-use development on the land currently home to the Mount Calvary Christian Center. The effort would create a new corridor of growth for the Black-owned developer at the core of rapid economic investment in the Central District.

“We are living in unprecedented times,” Jaebadiah Gardner, CEO of Gardner Global, said in the announcement. “Our current events have shown us why our mission of building wealth for Black and Brown communities are so important and we are excited to have partners onboard who share this vision.” Continue reading

Design review: Capitol Hill auto row-inspired design gets an update for Hilltop Service Station project

(Images: Studio Meng Strazzara)

A Capitol Hill project dinged for what the developers said was “not being modern enough” is back in the design review process and ready for public comment.

The 523 Hilltop project from Capitol Hill-based developer Hunters Capital — and inspired by the neighborhood’s auto row-era preservation projects — is settling into the final phase of design review under the city’s “administrative” system put in place to keep projects moving during the COVID-19 crisis. Continue reading

A demolition on Millionaire’s Row

Face masks helped filter the smell of dust and mildew as a crew set about the unusual task Thursday of tearing down an original house of Seattle’s Millionaire’s Row, the 14th Ave E entryway to Volunteer Park.

Also unusual for a Capitol Hill demolition: The house will be replaced by another single-family home — not apartments, not townhomes. Continue reading

21-story First Hill ‘Living Building’ up for design review

Seattle’s streamlined design review process seems destined to keep the city’s “stay home” population entertained. There is another comment deadline on a central city project up for administrative review this week.

Today is the final day for comment on the proposed 21-story, super-green “Living Building” apartment tower being planned for the corner of Madison and 9th where the Quarter LoungeGeorge’s Delicatessen, and the former home of Lotus Asian Kitchen stand.

CHS wrote about the project from developers Sustainable Living Innovations and architect CollinsWoerman last in February as it was geared up for a postponed design review. Continue reading