Redfin says 30% want to live ‘somewhere else’ because of protests

In a new study, Seattle-based real estate service Redfin really gets to the heart of the matter of the summer’s Capitol Hill occupied protest zone — condo prices:

“Seattle’s condo market has really struggled in general during the pandemic, but the units that are closest to the CHOP have typically been selling even more slowly than other condos in Capitol Hill,” said local Redfin real estate agent Forrest Moody.

“I had one listing that was a block away from the CHOP and across the street from a Ferrari dealership that had its windows smashed,” Moody goes on to say. “The condo actually sold within five days, but that’s likely because we listed it for $25,000 less than we had planned to back in February.” Continue reading

A Broadway development more than 20 years in the making, the process to fill Capitol Hill Station’s new apartments has begun — UPDATE

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

Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park Cafe says goodbye… for now?

(Image: Volunteer Park Cafe)

Nearly 14 years of baking and cafe goodness has come to an end at 17th and Galer where there is also an uncertain future for the 117-year-old house that stands there.

The Volunteer Park Cafe served its final batch of muffins, scones, and breakfast sandwiches over the weekend under owner Ericka Burke who announced the restaurant’s closure with a post celebrating the Biden-Harris victory while bidding a bittersweet farewell to the home and business:

It is a HAPPY SAD day. We have new president in the house and tomorrow will be our last day in this #littleyellowhouse. It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye- it’s been a wild ride. Our hearts are filled with optimism about the future. It’s been 15 years of #alwaysfreshgoodness. We are excited as we move forward to find goodness in everything that crosses our paths. On this little corner we have experienced so much- joy, challenges, life, death, but most of all LOVE and FRIENDSHIP. For that we are immensely GRATEFUL. Thank you. To my VPC ride or die crew-thank you from the bottom of my heart. You all made VPC happen. I could have never done it without your talents, huge hearts, your scrappy determination. You are my family and you always will be. I LOVE you. We will see you on the flip side. Peace out and thank you for so many years of support!

The closure comes following the 17th and Galer’s cafe’s reopening in May after a temporary shutdown under COVID-19 restrictions that also threw a planned sale of the house and business into limbo. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Goodwill lined up for mixed-use development

Plans have been filed with the city to replace the Capitol Hill Goodwill with a mixed-use development that would add around 170 new apartment units to Belmont Ave E just off E Olive Way.

The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce reports the planning could be part of the first steps in a sale of the 1926-built building by longtime ownership.

In the early filings, the development is being planned by VIA Architecture as a seven-story structure with 171 apartment units on the sloping lot. Continue reading

Capitol Hill auto garage in CHOP 911 controversy leaving 12th Ave as development moves forward

(Image: CHS)

With reporting by Gabrielle Locke

A longtime 12th Ave small business that ended up playing an outsized role in the summer’s Capitol Hill occupied protest zone is closing shop and leaving the neighborhood — a move that will be viewed through the prism of months of protests but that has been in the works for years as part of a multimillion dollar land and development deal.

In 1999, John McDermott and Russell Kimble bought Car Tender, a Capitol Hill auto repair garage on 12th Ave at E Olive St.

“We have our craft and we do enjoy that but, like everything, it has its challenges. What we enjoy the most is helping people,” Kimble tells CHS. After 49 years of serving the Capitol Hill community, Car Tender is relocating to Shoreline. “Our move has been coming for a long time because our property sold, so moving has always been the plan,” Kimble said.

The business has been servicing European cars including BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, and others, in the city since 1971.

In 2016, the garage partners bought the property where their business was located in a $7.6 million deal. Two years later with early development planning in place, the property was sold to developer Mack Real Estate Group for $10.2 million. Continue reading

Return of the Volunteer Park Cafe

Volunteer Park Cafe is set to return — with pizza… and more (Image: Volunteer Park Cafe)

The deal to buy the Volunteer Park Cafe and the old house turned neighborhood market it calls home is on hold. But it is not exactly back on the market, either. Here’s what is certain.

After weeks of a COVID-19 restrictions-forced shutdown at 17th and Galer, the cafe is being readied for a Mother’s Day return to business and a renewed effort to serve its northern Capitol Hill neighborhood with baked goods, to go meals, and provisions.

“The deal not going through made me put my boxing gloves back on,” owner Ericka Burke tells CHS. “I’m trying to make it work.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill neighbors, meet the new owners of the Volunteer Park Cafe

The Capitol Hill real estate market remains hot enough that any transaction can create a buzz as neighbors wait to find out who will be moving in. At 17th and Galer, the excitement is even tastier — it comes with scones.

Volunteer Park Cafe has new owners after one of the more interesting transactions in Capitol HIll food and drink history. Andria Millie, Alisha Chou, and James DeSarno announced Monday they are the winning bidders for the much loved cafe:

Millie and Chou, who met in 2005 while working at Dahlia Lounge, reunited to buy VPC from chef Ericka Burke. DeSarno, principal at Seattle-based D3 Architects and owner of Freehand Cellars in the Yakima Valley, purchased the property and holds a minority stake in the cafe.

CHS reported in January on the real estate listing for the $1.7 million 1904-built, two-story market and apartment at 17th and Galer as co-founder Ericka Burke decided it was time to move on from the 13-year-old business. A sale price for the property is not yet publicly available and was not included in the announcement of the new ownership. Continue reading

Amid wave of development around Capitol Hill Station, 115-year-old Broadway building wins a landmark reprieve

A 1905-built Broadway building home to neighborhood restaurants and 14 upstairs apartment units might just have won a reprieve that will keep it standing amid a wave of housing and retail redevelopment around Capitol Hill Station.

The city’s landmarks board voted to extend protections Wednesday to the Capitol Crest building, the auto row-era home to Annapurna and Albacha restaurants, the Ace Barber Shop, as well as the handful of apartment units planned to be demolished to make way for a planned mixed-use project from Champion Development. Continue reading

Six-story development planned for 23rd Ave church property

There is more change coming to 23rd and Union with another Black church a step closer to its exit from the neighborhood so its land can be developed. A developer “dedicated to partnership and community growth” is making early plans for a new mixed-use project on 23rd Ave on Mount Calvary Christian Center’s properties across the street from its house of worship.

Early filings with the city for The Calvary Apartments 23Calvary project from Seattle-based developer Gardner Global show a six-story building rising across the church’s three parcels at 23rd and E Pike. The church’s teen center structure would be demolished.

The new plans come after Mount Calvary last spring put its third of an acre property home to its house of worship and a surface parking lot on the market for $4.5 million in a listing boasting a “rare opportunity for land in the Central District commercial corridor.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill LGBTQ landmark the Gaslight Inn hits market for $3.5M

(Image: NWMLS)

A Capitol Hill landmark and a temporary home away from home for hundreds of travelers every year who visit the neighborhood, The Gaslight Inn is on the market.

A listing for the 15th Ave property went up this week. The price? $3.5 million — a small price for a 108-year-old piece of Capitol Hill history, no?

Here’s the marketing pitch:

The GASLIGHT INN(Circa 1910), a beautifully maintained Historic Landmark 8 suite (plus lower level owner’s floor w/3 bedrooms + office) in-city Boutique is ready for its next proprietor. Interior public spaces are graced by magnificent Oak millwork, stained & beveled glass windows, built-in cabinetry, & 3 gas fireplaces. The exterior is centered around the pool; a wisteria draped arbor and Koi pond. Strong book of clientele provides a stable base with the opportunity to grow.

In 2015, the house was approved for landmarks protections. Gaslight owner Stephen Bennett, who nominated the building, told CHS at the time he was elated at the board’s decision and recognition of the building’s important place in Capitol Hill’s LGBTQ history. Back then, Bennett said he’s looking forward to living out his retirement with the house and his bed and breakfast business. “I don’t have any family or children, so I would like to leave it to a civic organization,” he said. “I want it kept in the community.” We’ll follow up to learn more about the decision to list the property. Continue reading