Low Income Housing Institute and New Hope Community Development Institute team to purchase S Jackson apartment building

(Image: Low Income Housing Institute)

The New Hope Community Development Institute’s work to preserve affordable housing and prevent displacement in the Central District will include the acquisition of a S Jackson development in a $15.3 million deal.

The Low Income Housing Institute and New Hope Community Development Institute announced the acquisition of Squire Park Plaza late last month from Jonathan Rose Companies.

“The purchase of Squire Park Plaza will ensure that it’s 60 apartments are preserved for long-term affordability. Currently many of the existing households are struggling to pay their rent during the pandemic,” LIHI executive director Sharon Lee said in the announcement.

According to the announcement, more than 75% of the residents at Squire Park Plaza are people of color.

“We are delighted to partner with the Low Income Housing Institute to purchase Squire Park Plaza as affordable housing,” New Hope’s Rev. Robert Jeffrey said. “The goal of New Hope Community Development Institute is to prevent the displacement of people of color from Seattle’s Central Area and to acquire properties to preserve long-term.” Continue reading

With queso and tacos, Oaky’s Tex-Mex hopes to blur the lines of Central District BBQ

(Image: Oaky’s Tex-Mex)

Oaky’s Tex-Mex is coming to the Central District. That means Tex-Mex ‘queso’, the hot, melted cheese made for dipping tortilla chips or drizzling on dishes, is soon to satisfy that comfort food craving. If queso isn’t your thing (yet) Matt Davis, co-owner of Wood Shop BBQ just across S Jackson, is bringing his passion for food to each of his menu items.

With a rotating taco menu, meaty burritos, queso, and cocktails, Oaky’s expects to open any day now.

“The connection to comfort food is pretty intense for us,” Davis says.

“We found next level BBQ in Texas, and we fell in love with Austin too, the standard of food quality there is awesome.” Davis said. Co-owner James Barrington and Davis would take trips down to Texas during the early years of Wood Shop for BBQ tours.

“We would go down there in February because the weather was better there. In doing that, we fell in love with the place and got more into Tex-Mex. People give a shit about what they do there.” A few years back, Davis and Barrington went to pick up their “Snoop Dogg” smoker in Texas and while driving from Austin to El Paso they “ate their faces off,” trying all the Mexican food they could find.

Sometimes it was a small-town restaurant with 4,000 Yelp reviews like Mi Casa Restaurante in Arizona where you could taste how much care is put into the food. On occasion, it’s the people who stand out. Continue reading

‘Intertwined’ banners above Central District connect Seattle to Portland via 23rd Ave, MLK

(Image: Wa Na Wari)

A new Central District project that connects Black art creativity and community across the Pacific Northwest can be seen fluttering in the breeze above 23rd Ave, E Union, S Jackson, and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

The banners of Intertwined, a new temporary public project from art center Wa Na Wari and the Seattle Art Museum, will hang above these Central District streets through April 2022 and continues an installation that first began in the Rose City featuring the work of artist Hank Willis Thomas and Portland-based artist and storyteller Intisar Abioto. Continue reading

Miss Little Uncle? Chef Wiley Frank is back in kitchen at Central District’s Standard Brewing

Crispy Duck Wrap and Dip with 5-Spice Broth now at Standard Brewing (Image: Standard Brewing)

The flavors and spirit of Little Uncle, probably one of the most missed neighborhood food and drink venues to leave us in recent years, are back on the menu with the chef behind the much-missed E Madison restaurant now pairing his work with Central District-crafted beer.

For eight years, the Central District’s Standard Brewing has maintained a far above standard food menu to pair with its S Jackson-made beers. New chef Wiley Frank is continuing that run with some surprises and flavors from the Little Uncle past. Continue reading

Amazon Fresh hopes at 23rd and Jackson: Neighborhood hires, human cashiers, cheaper groceries, and local business neighbors

Yes, the Vulcan development home to Jackson Apartments is shaped like a 12. Founder Paul Allen, who passed away in 2018, also owned the Seattle Seahawks (Image: Vulcan Real Estate)

(Image: Amazon Fresh)

Plans for the new Vulcan development at 23rd and Jackson are shaping up with new business tenants coming in and Amazon Fresh working on plans for its first of its kind grocery stores in Washington. The companies discussed details of the new development and soon to open store in a community meeting Thursday night.

QueenCare, a body-care company, became the first of three 500-square-foot retail tenants to open facing S Jackson and comfort food cafe Simply Soulful is set to expand with a 1,900-square-foot space this summer. Currently based in Madison Valley, Simply Soulful plans to reserve some of its space for local artists to display and sell their work.

The signature anchor tenant of the apartment development, however, is Amazon Fresh, which the company’s senior external affairs manager Taylor Hoang likened to conventional grocers like Safeway and QFC. Unlike the nearly employee-less and checkout-less Amazon Go, which opened on E Pike in early 2020, the store will still have human cashiers and unlike Whole Foods, also owned by the tech giant, it is expected to be more affordable.

“Anything that you can expect from a grocery store, this is what this is,” Hoang said at a Thursday evening meeting of the Central Area Neighborhoods District Council. She said they could possibly try a socially distanced walkthrough of the store before it opens. Continue reading

Celebrate the Central District’s jazz legacy as this weekend’s 2021 Jackson Street Jazz Walk goes virtual

The Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio

South Jackson’s celebration of its jazz legacy returns this weekend with a virtual version of the annual Jackson Street Jazz Walk.

“One of the hottest jazz spots in the country in the 1940s was along Seattle’s Jackson Street, with clubs that saw early performances from then-local stars Ray Charles, Quincy Jones and Ernestine Anderson,” KNXK says about the street’s history.

Saturday and Sunday, you can enjoy the Jackson Street Jazz Walk from home as the event returns following its 2020 postponement. 2021’s performances will include the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Eugenie Jones Jazz Band, a Lewis vs. Lewis Drum-off with David Lewis, D’Vonne Lewis, and Donovon Lewis), Alex Dugdale, Julio Jáuregui, Rafael Tranquilino, and the Darrius Willrich Trio. Continue reading

Plans cooked up for new Central Seattle baked good goodness with Temple Pastries ready soon in the Central District and Sea Wolf Bakers a slower bake in Montlake

(Image: Sea Wolf Bakers)

(Image: Temple Pastries)

By Vivian Cheung, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

The recipes for two projects to bring new baked goods and pastries to Central Seattle neighborhoods that came together before the pandemic have been — if you’ll pardon the metaphor — baking.

One in the Central District is ready to come out of the oven where Temple Pastries is set to debut its new Jackson St. cafe in a collaboration with Broadcast Coffee.

While in Montlake, it’s a slower bake on a big new addition to the neighborhood.

Sea Wolf Bakers is set to expand to 24th Ave with a new bakery and cafe to take over the space left empty when Capitol Hill gay bar ex pat Purr shuttered in Montlake two years ago.

Sea Wolf’s Jesse Schumann tells CHS the 24th Ave location is an expansion for the company set to debut next year after a buildout of a new bakery and cafe designed by Heliotrope to achieve the openness and light of the Stone Way original. Continue reading

23rd Ave Vision Zero work not complete but street getting back to *new* normal in the Central District

(Image: SDOT)

After more than a year of construction as part of the overhaul of 23rd Ave from Montlake to the Central District, the southern end of the route is back open to vehicular traffic and the long project is moving into its final phases.

The Seattle Department of Transportation announced that 23rd Ave south of Jackson has been re-opened to two-way motor vehicle traffic though construction is still being wrapped up.

The so-called Phase 2 of the 23rd Ave Vision Zero plan began last spring to continue the effort of slimming down the corridor and adding sidewalk improvements including new paving, crosswalks, and upgraded pedestrian crossing signals, new landscaping and trees, and transit improvements including real-time arrival information and bus pullouts between Jackson and S Hill. Continue reading

Dozens of shots but no reported injuries in shootout near 23rd and Jackson

There were no reported injuries as bursts of gunfire rattled the area around 23rd and Jackson and put nearby schools in lockdown Wednesday afternoon.

Seattle Police rushed to the reported shooting scene near 23rd and Main just after 2 PM after a report of dozens of gunshots. According to East Precinct radio dispatches, police were searching for two to three suspects reportedly armed with handguns seen by witnesses as the melee broke out. Some witnesses reported that the shooters appeared to be juveniles and at least one possible suspect was reportedly riding a bicycle as he fled the scene. Police were also looking for vehicles possibly involved in the shootout. Continue reading

Tired of baking French pastries on the Hill, Mariela Camacho brings pan dulce to the people

“It’s also about food justice,” Mariela Camacho says. “I want to give this to a community that doesn’t have a lot of food that is healthy and accessible to them.” (Image: Margo Vansynghel for CHS)

The sky is invariably dark, the atmosphere eerily quiet when Mariela Camacho gets to the commissary kitchen at 3 AM. No buzzing of mixers yet. No butter sizzling in pans, radio in the background, or cooks chopping onions, or bakers kneading dough. Usually, it’s just her and her diablitos (smoked paprika croissants), conchas (sweet bread rolls with crunchy toppings) and roles de canela (cinnamon rolls). One by one, Camacho loads them onto trays that go on top of the warm oven for proofing, the final rise before the final bake.

While the pastries rise, Camacho mixes the dough for sweet buns and bread, assembles pink cakes and alfajores, and chops up queso oaxaca for empanadas.

“And that’s just a regular day,” Camacho says. It’s 11 AM, and she’s worn out after a Sunday morning of baking. Her cheeks rosy from the work and oven heat, she’s loading up big boxes with bread, sweet buns and pastries to be whisked off to her wholesalers across the city: La Marzocco Cafe, Elm Coffee Roasters, Resistencia, Little Neon Taco, Addo, Bait Shop and Damn The Weather. Her wholesaler’s list has been growing quickly since she started her on-demand and pop-up bakery Comadre Panadería last spring.

Her pastry pop-ups, at Little Neon Taco, Dorothea Coffee or Broadcast Coffee, are increasingly popular as well. During her next pop-up, planned for Sunday, January 27th at Broadcast Coffee’s Jackson roasting house, Camacho will be selling cardamom orange conchas and a raspberry/beet niño envueltos.

Comadre Panaderia Pop-up

Continue reading