New leader on First Hill sees neighborhood’s opportunities as it readies for population boom

Anne McCullough is the new director at the First Hill Improvement Association

After moving from St. Louis, Anne McCullough’s walks in her new, surprisingly leafy neighborhood are filled with reminders of what First Hill can be.

“There’s a lot of opportunities and I can’t help but think about the work that I do when I walk through the neighborhood,” McCullough tells CHS.

The new executive director of the First Hill Improvement Association is also focused on what First Hill is today.

First Hill has about one-third the residential population of Capitol Hill but its density is off the charts — only Belltown has squeezed more residents into a smaller space in Seattle. Continue reading

First Hill Park hosts ‘Mobile Incubator’ with business advice for artists

A stop in Wisconsin (image: @culturehustlers)

The Mobile Incubator — “a mobile office where artists, designers, performers, writers and other cultural entrepreneurs can come to seek business advice for their creative ventures” — will make a stop on First Hill next week.

Seattle Parks is hosting the traveling 1957 Shasta camper at five parks across the city adding to the tally of 25,000 miles across 42 states already covered by artist and entrepreneur Lucas Spivey.

“My goal is to teach business principles to artists, but I encourage everyone to interact on their terms because I feel that people learn best when they’re comfortable and excited,” Spivey said in the Parks Department announcement of the project.

Spivey and the trailer will be parked Monday through Wednesday at First Hill Park, 1201 University. Office hours are 3 to 7 PM.


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First look: Whole Foods Madison Broadway

There is a new, upscale neighborhood, of sorts, at the corner of Broadway and Madison. Your new neighbors will celebrate the grand opening of their neighborhood grocery store Tuesday morning.

Whole Foods is continuing to open new stores in great locations,” Pacific Northwest regional president for the grocery chain Angela Lorenzen told CHS during a pre-opening tour of the store Monday as workers put on the finishing touches and stocked the shelves of the two-level, 40,000-square-foot supermarket.

Whole Foods Madison Broadway — diplomatically labelled so as not to play favorites with the First Hill and Capitol Hill neighborhoods it straddles — is set to open at 9 AM 8 AM Tuesday morning with a day of giveaways, and, of course, a DJ. “There will be a line — and lots of excitement,” Lorenzen said. Continue reading

Broadway Whole Foods sets October 30th grand opening

Plan your monthly grocery budget now. The under-construction Whole Foods at the edge of Capitol Hill and First Hill has announced it will be open by the end of October.

The opening will come four years and a week after CHS broke the news on the project, planned, at the time, to be the company’s ninth store in Seattle. “We have been interested in the Capitol Hill and First Hill communities or a long long time,” a company spokesperson told CHS back in November of 2014. “We couldn’t be more pleased about the location of the new store.” Continue reading

Speaking of Seattle transit bumps, officials sorting Madison Bus Rapid Transit trolley problem

While we’re taking a spin as the Capitol Hill Transit Blog, the area’s next big transit investment is facing a major barrier to acquiring its much needed $60 million federal grant. It’s not Donald Trump. And it’s not this E Madison gay bar.

The Seattle Transit Blog broke the news last week — the Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro have been sideswiped by a collision of international trade barriers, the unique design of Madison “Bus Rapid Transit,” and the corridor’s challenging grade and are scrambling to find a bus design capable of meeting the $120 million project’s needs and plans for electric trolley coaches:

Continue reading

Capitol Hill Station development not tall or affordable enough for you? Sound Transit approves deals for more

The Sound Transit Board approved the nitty gritty business terms of two deals Thursday that will create hundreds of affordable housing units a short walk or a First Hill Streetcar ride away from its Capitol Hill Station light rail facility.

Terms approved Thursday in one deal are worthy of the most complicated baseball trade involving a four-way swap between Sound Transit, Seattle Central and the state community college system, and Capitol Hill Housing.

  • Sound Transit will convey Site D to the College Parties in exchange for the Atlas Site. Sound Transit will then convey the Atlas Site to CHH for a mixed-use, affordable housing development that meets the requirements of RCW 81.112.350. Continue reading

Seattle can’t afford a new First Hill park so it’s planning to spend $1M to fix up the old First Hill Park

Seattle has money set aside to buy park land in the First Hill neighborhood. The First Hill neighborhood, however, doesn’t really have any park land for sale. The solution? Move $1 million $500,000 from the Seattle Park’s acquisition funding and invest it the neighborhood’s existing central green space — First Hill Park.

UPDATE: An additional $500,000 to complete the project will come from the Swedish Medical Center public benefits package.

The Seattle City Council’s civic development committee will discuss the proposal Wednesday afternoon following years of community involvement to reshape the 0.2-acre city park adjacent Stimson-Green Mansion at Minor and University. Continue reading

DV stabbing suspect in custody after First Hill standoff — UPDATE: ‘Suspicious item’ on 19th Ave E

Officers took a suspect in a reported domestic violence stabbing into custody Monday morning after a five-hour standoff with police inside a First Hill apartment building, SPD tells CHS.

UPDATE: In a separate incident, 19th Ave E was closed off for part of the morning as authorities responded to a report of a “suspicious item” left at a Metro bus stop. More on both incidents, below.

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Design review: Microhousing on Boylston, apartment tower on First Hill

Wednesday night’s East Design Review Board session includes the big and the small. On First Hill, the board will ponder the early massing plans for a 28-story apartment tower set to replace one of the apparently plentiful surface parking lots around Saint James. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, a development firm known for its microhousing projects will present its plans for a Boylston Ave E development.

Design review: 420 Boylston Ave E

Developers Johnson & Carr and architects at SHW bring forward a plan for a seven-story building with 58 small efficiency dwelling units to replace a possibly historic but already lined up for demolition early 1900s Boylston Ave E house that has been used as an office building in modern times. The Tucker House stands at 420 Boylston Ave E. Continue reading

Buyer plans two new buildings to join ‘adaptive reuse’ overhaul of Knights of Columbus property

(Image: City of Seattle)

The future of Harvard Ave’s 106-year-old Knights of Columbus building is a massive adaptive reuse project sandwiched by two new apartment buildings, according to early planning by the property’s new owner, SRM Development.

The Spokane-based developer of multifamily and commercial properties struck a deal for the building and its two surface parking lots with Grand Knight Tom Joyce that will net the Knights of Columbus, Seattle Council 676 some $18.55 million, according to King County records. Continue reading