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 →
Sawant had the backing of Black faith leaders in the call for new money for housing dedicated to addressing historical wrongs in the Central District (Image: Low Income Housing Institute)
On a big day for the Seattle City Council, Kshama Sawant is celebrating a small victory for housing in the Central District.
As part of a busy morning of sorting out how best to spend the some $200 million a year expected to be generated by the city’s newly approved tax on big businesses, the council’s budget committee approved Sawan’ts amendment calling for at least $18 million year in the new tax spending plan to fund the construction of new affordable housing in the Central District.
“Thanks to our powerful community movement, $18 million will be set aside annually beginning in 2022, to build affordable housing in the Central District for Black working-class and poor families,” Sawant said Thursday in a press release on the approval. “It represents a minimum floor of investment, not a ceiling, because other housing funds in the Amazon tax “spending plan” resolution, the Housing Levy, and other sources also can and should be accessed for affordable housing development in the neighborhood.”
We call for City Council to enact a progressive tax on big business to fund housing and services, including construction of at least 1,000 homes in the Central Area to bring back households that have been displaced over the years by racist gentrification.
The coalition said the dedicated funding “would begin to undo racist gentrification policies that private developers and the city have been responsible for creating and perpetuating over the years.”
The Central District funding is joined by amendments earmarking millions for new “tiny home” villages in the city and further relief for small businesses pummeled by the COVID-19 crisis.
The full JumpStart tax funding resolution including the dedicated Central District housing funding now goes to the full City Council for a final vote on Monday.
HELP KEEP CHS 'PAY WHAT YOU CAN' FOR EVERYONE -- SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.
With COVID-19 set to tear up the city’s budget, District 3 Seattle CityCouncil member Kshama Sawant has turned again to a familiar target: Amazon and the biggest two percent of businesses. But Monday, her council counterparts opted to send a proposal for a new tax on Seattle’s largest companies to provide emergency relief from the pandemic down a legislative pathway not controlled by the Socialist Alternative representative for Capitol Hill’s District 3.
More than 5,400 people signed a petition to the council spearheaded by Sawant to enact the new tax proposed last month with South Seattle rep Tammy Morales. Another over 1,100 people emailed council members calling on them to send the legislation to Sawant’s Sustainability and Renters’ Rights Committee.
Monday, the suite of three bills was sent unanimously to the Select Budget Committee, chaired by council member Teresa Mosqueda, who said she would work to get the legislation a robust discussion with urgency.
Sawant levied criticisms against council member Lisa Herbold and council president Lorena González for their votes to repeal her head tax on Amazon in 2018.
Monday, several council members, including Herbold, pushed back against Sawant for promoting the idea of a divided council during an emergency.
“I don’t think it’s helpful to really promote that divisive approach to how the council does its business,” Herbold said. “I think this council acts in a way that’s fair and respectful of one another.”
Council member Debora Juarez said “this type of politics in the midst of a lethal pandemic, to me, is unacceptable and a waste of time.” Continue reading →
Mount Zion Housing Development, the real estate and housing arm of the 19th and Madison baptist church, has unveiled details of its planned seven story, 62-unit affordable senior housing project planned for its property just north of the church.
The 1700-block 19th Ave development is being planned for “seniors who have been displaced or who are at risk of being displaced due to gentrification in the Seattle Central District area” and would be a coordinated facility with the nearby E Madison Samuel B. McKinney Manor. Continue reading →
You can help shape The Eldridge, an eight-story affordable housing project focused on LGBTQ+ elders on Broadway between Pike and Pine that will include at least 100 units at a mix of affordability levels rising above the preserved facade of an auto row-era Seattle landmark.
Affordable housing developer Capitol Hill Housing and Capitol Hill architectural firm Environmental Works are collecting community feedback as they prepare for the start of the city’s design review process set to begin later this year:
Capitol Hill Housing’s LGBTQ-Affirming Affordable Senior Housing Project at 1515-1519 Broadway has been awarded funding by the Seattle Office of Housing, King County, and the Washington State Housing Trust Fund. The project team is preparing to submit the initial design package to the city for the Early Design Guidance process and is currently seeking feedback from community members on the project. A public update meeting was held in August 2019 and the project team plans to hold an additional public meeting in mid-2020 to obtain feedback on the building design and programming. Community members are encouraged to submit comments about the project in the meantime by visiting the project webpage or contacting the project team at 1515Broadway@capitolhillhousing.org (note: any information collected may be made public).
Last August, CHS reported on early plans for the project being envisioned as one of Seattle’s first “community preference” developments — a new program that encourages developers receiving city money to offer a portion of their affordable units to communities with ties to the neighborhood, particularly those with a high risk of displacement.”
Mayor Jenny Durkan won’t veto the bill but the she said Tuesday she also won’t sign Seattle’s new law banning evictions during winter months as she proposed a new plan for $200,000 in funding for an existing eviction prevention program.
But Durkan says she is proposing a new solution be taken up by the council, saying the its winter eviction ban championed by District 3 representative Kshama Sawant created only “a legal defense during eviction proceedings” and “nearly half of households failed to contest an eviction or appear in court.” Continue reading →
Cal Anderson Park will again swing into action this week as a cradle of Seattle activism. Next Sunday will bring a Kshama Sawant-led March on March 1st to Tax Amazon starting at the park’s fountain and ending at the online giant’s downtown spheres:
“There is tremendous momentum to Tax Amazon, but big business is fighting tooth and nail to undermine our movement,” the rallying cry reads.
The rally and march follow a weekend victory for the effort to create a payroll tax on the city’s largest 3% of businesses in Seattle that would raise $300 million annually for housing and environmental initiatives. Organizers from the Tax Amazon campaign say their protest at a legislative town hall held Saturday on First Hill forced at least one key concession as Rep. Frank Chopp “was met with loud applause by community members” when he reportedly said he would “publicly oppose pre-emption.” Continue reading →
Swatting away ethics concerns, Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant unveiled her proposal Wednesday morning that would raise $300 million for housing and environmental initiatives with a tax on Amazon and Seattle’s largest payrolls.
“On behalf of our movement, I’m excited to put forward this bold, transformative proposal,” Sawant said. “We know that big business, the wealthy, and the political establishment will staunchly oppose this, and that we will need a powerful movement. If we win, this will not only transform the lives of Seattle’s working people, it will set a historical marker for cities around the nation.”
The online giant remains in Sawant’s crosshairs. Sawant’s official Seattle City Council press release on the announcement calls her proposal the “Amazon Tax Legislation.” Continue reading →
Kshama Sawant’s January inauguration for her third term on the Seattle City Council was also the launch of a new “Tax Amazon” movement in Seattle. It may have also violated city ordinances and state laws.
Monday, the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission charged Sawant with ethics violations for using her office to promote a potential ballot measure.
Sawant has made a revived “Tax Amazon” movement a key component of her third term at City Hall. Sawant’s office says her plan for a Seattle tax on large companies would would raise between $200 million and $500 million annually for homelessness services and housing.
The campaign has a web site registered to Calvin Priest, a Socialist Alternative employee and Sawant’s husband, and has held a string of organizing meetings. At their January 25th meeting, the group passed a resolution establishing its intent to put a voter initiative on the November 2020 ballot to impose a new head tax on large companies in Seattle. The campaign is also gathering names on a petition opposing a preemption clause in HB 2907, the bill currently pending in the state legislature that would authorize King County to impose a payroll tax. The Tax Amazon campaign is also fundraising, soliciting donations on its web site. Continue reading →
Kshama Sawant’s legislation to ban winter evictions in Seattle was approved by the City Council Monday but not before a few holes were poked in the socialist council member’s attempt to restrict landlords from evicting tenants during winter months.
The 7-0 vote adds a new restriction to Seattle’s Just Cause Eviction Ordinance, a roster of “16 just causes” Seattle landlords are allowed to use to end month-by-month rental agreements. Seattle will now restrict evictions during the period from December 1st to March 1st. The rules could be in place for a short period if Mayor Jenny Durkan backs off veto threats. Continue reading →