Why there might* be a temporary** hotel above Capitol Hill Station

Building C is lined up to be apartments above a daycare and and a dentist office… eventually.

* COVID-19

apartments are worth more than hotel units?

As construction on the buildings rising above Capitol Hill Station is completed, the project’s lead developer has been looking for ways to put the properties and their hundreds of new apartment units along Broadway to use as quickly as possible. You might see a new hotel operating in the neighborhood next to the busy transit station — for a while, at least.

Developer Gerding Edlen is securing permits for a possible temporary transition in plans from apartments to 60 hotel rooms managed by the WhyHotel chain on the project’s southwest edge above Broadway and E Barbara Bailey Way, Jill Sherman of Capitol Hill Station master tells CHS.

WhyHotel is a Washington, D.C. based player in the growing “apartment hotel” industry that is targeting a more premium, extended stay and work housing-focused cut of the hospitality market. CHS reported in January on Sonder, another industry startup, stepping in to replace planned office space in an eight-story, 65-unit apartment and mixed-use building rising on the land where a surface parking lot once spread out on Pine just above downtown. Two floors of the under construction building will be dedicated to the hotel units while the rest of the upper floors will be standard apartment units. The change in plans in this project was a simpler effort — the city treats office and lodging as the same use category. Continue reading

Pine mixed-use project pivoting from office space to lodging

Rendering of the Pivot (Image: Tiscareno Associates)

The direction for one mixed-use development under construction at the base of Capitol Hill might show the appetite for new office space in the neighborhood isn’t as strong as the downtown lodging market.

Pivot, the eight-story, 65-unit apartment and mixed-use building rising on the land where a surface parking lot once spread out on Pine just above downtown, is again, well, pivoting — this time, office space is out and a new era hotel service is in.

Developer Vibrant Cities CFO Ming Fung confirmed the new direction for the project with CHS and says two stories of planned commercial office space will be redeployed as lodging operated by Sonder, a startup dedicated to creating a network of tech and business worker appropriate short and longer term stay options in large cities around the world. Continue reading

He already ‘owned’ it, so why did this guy just pay $21M for First Hill’s Hotel Sorrento?

(Image: Hotel Sorrento)

Capitol Hill real estate investor and developer Mike Malone already owned the business around First Hill’s Hotel Sorrento, now he owns the building and the dirt below it — $21 million of it — and the high-rise rights that come along with the Madison property’s underutilized edges.

“I’ve spent 20 some years trying to buy the property,” Malone told CHS last week about the deal first reported by the Puget Sound Business Journal, remembering back on the 50 year lease he signed to operate the historic hotel.

“I thought, ‘Shit, I won’t even be alive.” Continue reading

Plans for (another) Broadway development mixing hotel rooms and microhousing

(Image: Anew Apartments)

Another plan for a project combining a hotel and microhousing is being lined up for Broadway. This one — eventually — will mean the end of a popular little restaurant just south of E Cherry but, likely, a good deal for the restaurant’s ownership.

Developer Brad Padden of Anew Apartments is beginning the public process for the planned two-story hotel below five stories of Small Efficiency Dwelling Units and congregate housing set to replace the building home to the Cedars restaurant location in the 500 block of Broadway.

A public meeting part of the city’s new “Early Outreach for Design Review” process is slated for November 10th to discuss the project: Continue reading

There’s a hipster Best Western coming to Capitol Hill

A rendering of the rooftop view from the future Vib hotel

A new hotel coming to Harvard Avenue will likely be a Best Western, or more specifically, a Vib — intended to be pronounced with a long “i” as in vibe. The “stylish, urban” boutique hotel from the big brand will be just around the corner from Capitol Hill Station and could be the first of similar projects if zoning changes come to pass.

The new building on Harvard between Howell and Denny has been in the works for more than a year, and is now about halfway through the design and permitting process, said Jon Courter, a member of the ownership group.

Along the way, the project has gotten a bit smaller. Initially it had been planned for four stories of hotel, topped by three stories of residential units. But in an effort to make the rooms feel more spacious, the developers decided to lop off the top floor of residential units and have higher ceilings on each of six remaining floors.

“Every inch, every half-inch really matters in height,” Courter said. “We want people to say it’s small, but it’s well-designed.” Continue reading

Why they’re building a hotel and apartment building on Harvard Ave

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-4-13-49-pmAdding some hotel space and apartments to Capitol Hill was an easy decision for Jon Coulter and his business partners Rod McClaskey and Terry Boyle.

In spite of the common perception of soaring rents and developers making money hand over fist, Coulter says they are running up against some softness in the market, at least in the higher-end range where they build.

“The pressure of the rents is downward,” Coulter said. “We’re testing the top of the food chain.”

Design review: 1818 Harvard Ave

And he’s expecting that downward pressure to keep up, with hundreds, if not thousands of new units coming online over the next few years.

“We’re not sure what 380 square feet will get us in Capitol Hill in three years when it’s done,” Coulter said. Continue reading

Hotel plus microshousing development planned right around corner from Capitol Hill Station


Don't judge the design just yet -- this is just the massing concep

Don’t judge the design just yet — this is just the massing concep

A new seven-story development planned for Harvard Ave just off E Denny will include “small efficiency units” for around 42 residents interested in a place to live on Capitol Hill at a reasonable price and near one of the neighborhood’s greatest new assets — Capitol Hill Station. They’ll have some interesting, though transient neighbors. The first four floors of the planned building at 1818 Harvard Ave, if developers get signoff on the plan, will be a hotel:

The proposed project consists of a 7 story building with 42 small efficiency dwelling units above, four floors of hotel with 70 rooms. Parking for 19 vehicles will be located on one level of below grade parking with access off of Harvard Ave. The existing three story apartment building will be demolished.

The developers behind 12th Ave’s Sola 24 building are now moving forward with plans to develop the Harvard parcel they acquired in 2012 for just under $2 million, according to county records. The project is being planned for a site where a 1950s-built, three-story apartment building stands today, just around the corner from the sprawling Capitol Hill Station campus where development is on track for a 2019 opening of new affordable housing and commercial space around the transit hub. Continue reading

Central District Art Inn boutique hotel checks in for last step in design review

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 4.40.30 PMThe first project on the docket for Wednesday night’s session of the East Design Review Board might will create a mixed-use office development and preservation project in the heart of Pike/Pine. But the second one, well… the second project will create… art.

The Art Inn, a four-story, 15-room component of a small global boutique hotel chain destined for the corner of E Jefferson and 13th Ave, will come before the review board for what should be its final step in the design process. Continue reading

First Hill’s grand Sorrento Hotel getting hip Pike/Pine-style makeover

(Image: The Sorrento)

(Image: The Sorrento)

Sorrento-17Just a few blocks from the rambunctious nightlife of Broadway Pike/Pine, the Sorrento Hotel and its restaurant and bar have quietly persisted for nearly a century as one of the few remnants of Seattle’s original cocktail culture. Now the family behind the hotel is seeking to apply some of the the Ace Hotel “casual luxury” recipe to breathe new life into the First Hill gem.

The Sorrento has announced that the Seattle-based firm Magnetic/ERV is taking over management of the 76-room hotel and plans to start its revamp work early next year. Magnetic/ERV is a hospitality management company with staff that have worked on the Palm Springs Ace Hotel and a handful of other boutique hotels around the country.

Cori Ready, a Seattle event designer that’s working with the Magnetic/ERV, told CHS the management group is still in the early planning stages of the overhaul. “We want to make it more like a culture hub,” Ready said.

Continue reading