Public Meeting to Discuss Proposed Neighborhood Housing and Social Services Project

Next Monday, August 29, at 6:00 P.M. at 824 12th Avenue (Seattle U. A. and A. Bldg.) a public meeting will be held to discuss the plans of Catholic Community Services for a neighborhood site.

At the meeting Catholic Community Services representatives will present their plans for renovating the building and providing housing and services at the SE corner of E. Spring and 13th Avenue (formerly a day care center). The plan is to create eighteen units of housing for homeless persons.

From a CCS letter describing the proposed project:

“We are working in partnership with the Veterans Administration to provide 18 units of housing for homeless veterans. … Veterans will be referred by the Veterans Administration and will receive coordinated case management services through both organizations.”

Among the criteria for eligibility for housing in the project, CCS lists the following:

“desire to lead a clean and sober lifestyle, willing to undergo a criminal background check, desire to make meaningful life changes leading to independent living.” CCS says that “case management services will be provided onsite.”

The major portion of the funds required to turn the former day care center into housing for eighteen is to be provided by the federal government. CCS is in the process of raising the remaining money. According to the CCS Web site, the Veterans Administration awarded CCS $1.1 million for the project.

As the Web site describes,

“the program will serve homeless Veterans who have unstable social networks, are unemployed or underemployed, may suffer from mental illness and/or substance abuse. These men will have little or no resources to fall back on and will be in dire need of help and support to get back on their feet. Veterans may have acquired job skills while in the military, but many of those skills are not transferable to the jobs available in their community.

The program is designed to support each Veteran as they progress at their own pace. Resident progress will be closely monitored through ongoing assessments of individual goals. Monitored outcomes will include; improved residential stability, greater self-determination and increased income and/or job skills. These Veterans will be encouraged to participate in educational and vocational programs. Residents will be required to maintain sobriety while engaged in case management services designed to help them obtain and maintain permanent housing. Upon successful completion of the program, at least 6 months of aftercare case management and support will be provided to the independently housed Veteran ”

CCS anticipates starting construction in spring 2012 and the beginning of service in early 2013.. The contact person at CCS is Dan Wise, [email protected] Telephone: 206.324.5401.

Youth Services Site Due for Change — Or Not?

Representatives of King County attending last night’s 12th Avenue Neighborhood Stewardship Committee meeting were able to say very little about the reported possibility that the Youth Services campus could be transferred to a private developer. Facility Projects Manager Jim Burt and Alan Painter of the Executive’s Office acknowledged that the top-ranked candidate in response to the County’s request for proposals and concepts for a strategy to produce a new courtroom and office space had proposed a plan to move the Youth Services functions elsewhere. A report published in the “Seattle Times” suggests that a Wright Runstad plan would involve moving the courtroom and detention facilities to the Beacon Hill hospital building most recently identified as the home of However, citing confidentiality constraints, County officials could only confirm that the evaluation process continues. Painter was asked about the reliability of published reports that the Executive could announce by this Thursday or Friday a yes or no decision regarding the proposal to move the Youth Services functions. He said that was a likely schedule for such a decision.

The County’s stated goals require that any strategy resulting in a new courthouse or a new courthouse and detention facility not cost more than the revenue produced by a sale or lease of all or part of the County-owned real estate that is the current Youth Services Center campus. Painter did say, without indicating a decision has been made, it is proving difficult to find that the move to the building would meet the financial requirements.

For close to ten years 12th Avenue Neighborhood stakeholders have been meeting with county officials urging them to move forward with plans to turn the large surface parking lot into a mixed-use development that includes housing and neighborhood-serving retail space. The neighborhood also has repeatedly asked that the County stop providing hundreds of free parking spaces to County employees and, instead, vigorously promote transit use, including a transit route on 12th Avenue.

The County has produced several conceptual plans that would make way for mixed-use development fronting 12th Avenue and would reintroduce, at least at pedestrian routes, some of the public rights of way through the 8+ acres campus. Those plans would go some way to allowing the County-owned site to contribute to the revitalization of the “12th Avenue Urban Village” as identified in the City’s comprehensive plan.

Over the last ten years and more the City has devoted substantial resources to improve the streetscape on 12th Avenue and has supported private development on land formerly owned by the City. Many believe that the County, as property owner, is an obstacle to further neighborhood revitalization.

The 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee has pointed out that dozens of homes, and several streets were destroyed when the Youth Services site was built decades ago. Now, even if the Juvenile Court and Detention Center remains, the County could more creatively use its land to support long time goals of its Central Area neighborhood.

Squire Park Community Council Quarterly Meeting to Feature CADA and SHA Update

George Staggers, Executive Director of the Central Area Development Association (CADA) and Anne Fisk-Zuniga of the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) will attend the quarterly Squire Park Community Council meeting on Saturday, July 9, to give updates and take questions on important neighborhood topics.

CADA, along with the Union Street Business Group and the Jackson Street Corridor Associaiton have been awarded a City Office of Economic Development grant of $100,000 to support efforts to organize and revitalize the two business corridors. In addition, the Promenade 23 Shopping Center at 23rd and Jackson has recently been sold to new owners with possible major changes to that site. Staggers will tell us more.

SHA is planning a major redevelopment of Yesler Terrace, including expansion into Squire Park along and east of 12th Avenue. Fisk Zuniga will explain.

The meeting will begin at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, July 9, at the Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP) Firehouse, 722 18th Avenue. Around 11:30 the meeting will wrap up and all are invited to gather in the Firehouse Park for the annual community bbq with food, music, and a chance for neighbors to socialize.

For more information about the Squire Park Community Council and the meeting, along with the current edition of the SPCC Newsletter, see While at the site, take advantage of the opporunity to give feedback about tne Newsletter and SPCC meetings and projects. (Follow the link to “feedback” at the Web site.)

12th Avenue Stewardship Meeting Tuesday, June 14

All with an interest in the 12th Avenue Neighborhood are encouraged to join the meeting Tuesday, June 14, at 5:30 P.M. at the S.U. Admissions and Alumni Building, 824 12th Avenue (corner of E. Marion).

Meet Michael Willis of Ankrom Moisan Architects the designer of a new seven story mixed-use building planned for the intersection of E. James Way and Broadway. 

Also, the long-postponed mixed-use project at E. Jefferson and Broadway is proceeding again.  Joe Nydahl of Gerding Edlen Development will attend to discuss any changes from the previously discussed plan for that development.

King County has requested ideas/proposals from developers for the replacement of the Juvenile Court and Office Building and the possible development of part or all of the 8 acre Youth Services Center site on 12th Avenue with housing and commercial uses.  Representatives of King County will attend to provide an update on the process for considering the proposals received from developers.

Seattle Housing Authority will provide a brief update on the Yesler Terrace redevelopment and expansion project.

Seattle U. has resumed the process to develop a new Major Institution Master Plan (MIMP), which includes expansion of the campus boundaries and increases in zone-height limits in some areas.  S.U. reps will provide a brief update on the process (the next Seattle U. MIMP Citizens Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for June 30.)

New way to enjoy New City Theater, an underappreciated C.D. treasure

Poetry and Hot Toddies In new Art Bar   APRIL 1 & 2, Friday & Saturday @ 8PM



And enjoy hot toddies and other goodies in an informal setting.

Tickets $8 at or call 800-838-3006

Remaining tiks sold at the door, $8 cash only


“Poets are damned but they are not blind,

they see with the eyes of angels.”

William Carlos Williams

James Court as Woonerf?

Last  Monday night the Parks and Green Space Levy Opportunity Fund Committee took public testimony about projects from neighborhood groups competing for Opportunity Fund dollars.  A project in the 12th Avenue neighborhood is one of about fifteen (out of more than eighty applicants) that’s received preliminary recommendation for funding.  This is cause for optimism, but the Committee will continue to consider the choices before it makes its final recommendation in December.

The neighborhood proposal for James Ct. has received one of the highest rankings by the Parks Department staff applying the Parks and Green Space Levy Opportunity Fund criteria.  However, the Opportunity Fund Committee, which will make the final recommendation, will take many factors into consideration.  It’s important for our neighborhood to make sure that the Committee continues to understand the value of the James Ct. woonerf project.
If the final recommendation includes the woonerf, there’ll be funding to develop James Court., a one-block street from 12th Avenue to 13th Avenue just south of E. Cherry Street, into a place that will enhance and expand the small city park being developed to the south of  James Court. 
The City recognizes that the 12th Avenue “urban village” had one of the fastest growth rates in the City after the adoption of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan.  Also we’re a neighborhood seriously “underserved” by city parks.  (The only park in the 12th Avenue urban village is Horiuchi Park.)  But, because land in our neighborhood is zoned for lowrise or midrise development, acquiring land for a new park is expensive.  By developing the public right-of-way in James Court as a woonerf, it would be possible to provide a needed public space without having to come up with the cost of acquiring land.
The criteria for Parks and Green Space Levy Opportunity Fund give preference to projects that “demonstrate new and creative methods to meet the community’s needs for parks, green spaces and green infrastructure.”  The James Court woonerf does that. 
As of yet, there’s no detailed design for the woonerf.  If the Opportunity Fund dollars are approved, design for a street that will enhance and complement the adjacent park will begin.  Instead of pavement, and use by vehicles only, there will be a permeable surface, and landscaping and other features to encourage use by people not in cars. (However, the street will not be vacated and vehicles will still be able to use the street in its altered form.)  Also, as the Seneca Group completes the construction of the mixed-use building on the north side of James Court., that developer will pay for enhanced landscaping and storm water management systems on the portion of its property that faces James Court.  With the contribution and cooperation of the private developer it will be possible to develop a woonerf with much greater impact than would be possible with City Parks funding only.
(For a longer explanation of “woonerf” you may consult — what else? —  “Woonerf” is a Dutch word that has come to be used for this kind of idea in Seattle and other places in the U.S.  What is envisioned for James Court  might be closer to the wikipedia definition of what is called in Britain, “home zone”.)
There is hope that the new park and adjacent woonerf can become an outdoor gathering place that is the community focal point the 12th Avenue neighborhood lacks. And, for the future, there’s a thought that asnearby Barclay Court and Remington Court are developed there can be a similar treatment of those streets to create three unique street environments that will be a signature of the neighborhood. This could be particularly important as King County moves forward in its development of the Juvenile Court site south of Remington Court. (This could happen soon if the sales tax-increase measure on this November’s ballot is approved.)
An important criterion for the Parks and Green Space Levy Opportunity Fund is a demonstrated high degree of neighborhood involvement and support .   If you are able to send to the Parks Department a short (or long) message stating your support, with a few reasons why, that would be most helpful.
E-mails regarding the Opportunity Fund can be send to the Parks Department in care of  [email protected] 


For more information on the Parks and Green Space Levy Opportunity Fund:
To read more about the adjacent park that is in the process of being designed:  and  (The park, as opposed to the woonerf, is funded and construction will commence some time in 2011.  The Opportunity Fund application that’s being considered by the Opportunity Fund Committee at this time is only for the development of the woonerf in the street.)

Lee Center for the Arts Panel Discussion

Intended Consequences: A special panel discussion Thursday, May 6  6:30-9 p.m.

Pigott Auditorium

Since late March, Intended Consequences has appeared at Seattle University. The exhibit, consisting of 25 documentary images, movingly depicts the daily challenge and inner conflict experienced by Rwandan women who were raped during the 1994 genocide and had children as a result.

Related to that exhibit, will be a panel discussion including:


  • Jonathan Torgovnik, the exhibit’s creator and internationally acclaimed Newsweek photographer, as well as co-founder of Foundation Rwanda;
  • Howard Schultz, chairman, president, and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, who is working with Rwandan coffee growers to improve their economy;
  • Jean-Baptiste Ganza, S.J., visiting professor and MBA student at SU, restorative justice scholar, and priest at the Centre Christus, a Jesuit cultural and spiritual center in Kigali; and
  • Janet Nkubana, co-founder and president of Gahaya Links, a Rwandan handicrafts organization that empowers local rural women to achieve economic stability.


This thought-provoking evening, hosted by Dean David Powers of the College of Arts and Sciences, is free and open to the public. A dessert reception will follow.

In the days leading up to the presentation, the exhibit will be on view during regular hours (Wednesday-Saturday, 1:30-6 p.m. in the Hedreen Gallery of the Lee Center for the Arts). On the day of the event, the gallery will be open to the public until 5 p.m. and will reopen for viewing immediately following the event until 10 p.m

12th Avenue Stewardship Meeting

On Thursday, February 25th, at 7:00 P.M.,  at 824 12th Avenue there will be an opportunity to hear from and talk to Ethan Melone of the Seattle Department of Transportation about the First Hill Streetcar which will connect the Capitol Hill light rail station and the Union Station (5th/Jackson) light rail station.  Many have advocated for a route that includes 12th Avenue and early studies published by SDOT indicate a couplet (northbound on Broadway and southbound on 12th Ave.) is comparable in cost and ridership potential to another possible route — two-way on Broadway.

Some have questioned the impact on potential ridership numbers if two of the streetcar route’s northbound and southbound stops are separated by as much as three blocks — the distance between 12th and Broadway.  It’s feared that casual users will be discouraged from becoming riders by the separation.  Also, there is concern that those whose destination or place of origin is one of the two separated stops (these would be the stops on Broadway or12th at about Alder and Marion) would be discouraged from using the streetcar by the additional time that would be required if their travel goal is in the opposite direction from the direction of the streetcar on their street.  (That is, for example, if you were at Broadway and Marion and wanted to go to the Internation District on the streetcar, a couplet would require you to either take the streetcar northbound and stay on while it reversed its route southbound on 12th, or to walk to the stop at 12th and Marion.)  Come to the meeting and talk more about the pros and cons of the different streetcar route alternatives.

Also, Capitol Hill Community Council will present its impressive vision and plan for a “complete” street on Broadway north of E. Union Street to accommodate the streetcar.

And, there will be discussions about a proposed woonerf for E.James Ct. next to the park to be developed at James Ct. and 12th Ave.

Finally, the Parks Department will soon be looking for land to buy for another new park to serve the neighborhood.  Where should they look?  Which parts of the neighborhood are most in need of a park, or where are the best opportunities for acquisition?  Some possible ideas will be discussed, and your ideas are needed.

95 Apartments Planned for Jefferson and Broadway: Update

CD News reported earlier that the Department of Planning and Development is holding an Early Design Guidance meeting for a proposed new building at the Southeast corner of Broadway and Jefferson.  The developer’s proposal for the EDG meeting is now available on the DPD Web site:

The requested rezone is to request greater height than allowed by the current zoning on part of the site.  The zoning is now split between a Neighborhood Commerical zone which allows 65 foot height, and the Midrise zone which allows 60 foot height.  The contract rezone request is for up to 74 foot height for the proposed building.

The most important reason for the rezone request stated by the developer, Lorig Associates, is to allow the greater floor height appropriate for retail use on the Broadway and Jefferson street levels.  The design scheme proposed by the developer notably includes street level retail spaces not only on Broadway but also for the the length of 65 feet on Jefferson (about 65% of the Jefferson Street total).  Rather than devoting the Jefferson street level to the parking garage entrance, parking would be accessed from the alley that runs along the west side of the building. (The impressive excavation will accommodate a parking garage, but was necessary in order to remove contaminated soil.)

At the rear (west side), the building would provide a greater setback at the ground level, but the developer is asking for permission to have less setback at upper levels than the Land Use Code would require. This could impact the current and future buildings west of the alley.

The Early Design Guidance meeting, (July 15 at 6:30 P.M. at the Capitol Hill Library) is an important opportunity to learn more about the building and rezone proposal and to let the developer and DPD know what neighborhood folks think is important for this site.