James Court Woonerf Community Meeting

example of a woonerf


Please join the 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee and the Seattle Parks Department for the first community meeting for the James Court woonerf project. 

A woonerf (a Dutch term) is a street where pedestrians and bicycles have equal priority of the street, along with cars.  A woonerf will usually also have a different paving pattern, low or no curbs, and more greenery than a typical street.  The James Court woonerf was a community-initiated project that will create a woonerf on James Court between 12th and 13th Avenues.  The redesigned street will create shared spaces, increase the feeling of openness and connection with the adjacent James Court Park (which will be constructed at the same time), and slow down traffic on James Court.  This will be one of the first streets of this kind in the city. 

Please join us for the first community meeting where Parks staff will outline the project scope and schedule, and we can share community priorities for the project. 

Tuesday, May 10th
5:30 – 7:00pm
Seattle University Alumni & Admissions Building
824 12th Avenue (corner of 12th and E Marion Street)

Questions:  Please contact Susanne Rockwell at Seattle Parks and Recreation 206-684-0902 or [email protected]

Correction: No parks discussion at upcoming 12th Avenue meeting

For those of you in the neighborhood that received the quarterly Squire Park newsletter (which is probably everyone  since the Squire Park folks are awesome and drop the newsletters off door-to-door!), I have a correction on the upcoming 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee Meeting.  We will not have the Parks Department attending the April 12th meeting.  The Parks Department had originally planned to be there and hold the first community meeting on the James Court woonerf project.  They have had some delays though and aren’t ready for that first meeting so stay tuned to CD News (or the 12th Ave blog) for details on the official woonerf meeting.  (We’re hoping it happens in May.)

The 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee will still meet on April 12th and we hope to have a lively conversation about the King County Youth Detention Center redevelopment and talk about the shape of the Stewardship Committee (bylaws, elected leadership, annual goal-setting, etc.)

Please join us!  We have food and get stuff done!

12th Avenue Stewardship Committee

Tuesday, April 12th at 5:30pm

Seattle University Alumni & Admissions building (corner of 12th and E Marion Street)

Gathering Places Project – call for proposals!

The Pomegranate Center, an organization from Issaquah that works with communities to create gathering spaces, public art, etc. is partnering with Tully’s to help fund neighborhood projects around Seattle. 

They are currently seeking proposals from community groups for projects that create gathering spaces for their neighborhoods.  This includes projects like community gardens, shelters, kiosks, or whatever you think your community needs.  The grant will provide design help, money for materials, and project management support.  We, the community, must provide volunteers to help build the project, in-kind services or goods, and a group of folks to lead the project through the process.

Information and application materials are here.  The deadline is April 15th.

Irish pub coming to 12th Avenue!

The vacant building and former speakeasy next to Dixon’s Furniture on 12th Avenue will soon be home to an Irish pub called the Chieftain. The folks opening the Chieftain own McGilvra’s in Madison Park and Finn MacCool’s in the U District.

Expect pizza, games, quiz nights, an outdoor deck, and of course Guinness at the Chieftain. The owners hope to open the space by early summer.

Check out more info here.

New mural at 12th and E Fir Street (in progress)

There’s a new mural in progress by the empty lot at the corner of 12th Avenue and E Fir Street.  It is being painted by students from Pratt Fine Arts and should be finished (weather pending) this weekend.  Special thanks to Umpqua Bank, owners of the lot, for helping to make it look better!


12th Avenue Stewardship Committee Meeting – Feb 8th

1313 E Columbia Street


Interested in getting more involved in the community?

Do you live or work in or near  the 12th Avenue Urban Village? (see map to the bottom)

Then the 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee is the community group for you!!

Please join us at the next meeting. 
Tuesday, February 8th
Seattle University Facilities Building
1313 E Columbia Street (corner of 14th and E Columbia)

Here’s the agenda for the upcoming meeting:


Park Space
  • James Court woonerf plans (what’s a woonerf?  Find out here!)
  • Future woonerf development on Barclay?
  • Update on other new park options in the area
What’s happening at the King County Youth Detention Site
Future plans for Union Street between 12th and 13th
Future of 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee…bylaws?  elected officers?


Please join us!  Food and beverages will be provided.


The 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee meets monthly and is a great place to get engaged in neighborhood activities and issues.  A couple things the group has been involved in include:

  • Two new city parks for the neighborhood
  • Traffic and street modifications
  • Major institution development
  • Seattle Housing Authority expansion
  • New housing and retail development
  • Big changes at the King County Youth Services site
  • The future of the landmark Washington Hall
  • Much, much, more!!

For more information on 12th Avenue in general, including past meeting minutes, please check out www.12thaveseattle.com

12th Avenue Urban Village boundary

New retail at 12th and Jefferson – what do you want to see?


As reported earlier, Capitol Hill Housing is planning to start construction on their mixed-use development at 12th and E Jefferson this spring.

There will be 5,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor, broken up into 5 spaces (although some can be combined to create larger spaces). The commercial space ranges from 550 sq ft to 2,500 sq ft.

What do you want to see at this location?  We want to hear from you!

To take the super short, 2 question poll, click HERE.  (The poll didn’t want to embed directly in this blog post.)

If you are interested in leasing any of these spaces, or know someone that is, please contact Capitol Hill Housing’s Betsy Hunter at 206-204-3830 or bhunter (at) capitolhillhousing (dot) org.

Here’s more information on the building:  12th & Jefferson Information Sheet

12th Avenue park needs a name

The future park at 12th Avenue and E James Court is fully designed and awaiting construction.  It is also looking for a name!

The Parks Department gives a few rules for the naming of parks but this leaves a lot of room for creativity!

  • Consider geographical location, historical/cultural significance, distinctive natural features, and the wishes of the community in which it is located
  • If naming the park after a person, the person must have been deceased for at least three years

Name suggestions must be made in writing by March 3rd and should include your reasons for choosing the name.

Send suggestions to:

Seattle Parks and Recreation

Naming Committee

100 Dexter Avenue North

Seattle, WA 98109

or via email to paula.hoff (at) seattle (dot) gov

More info here on the naming.  More info on the park design here.  

12th Avenue: A Year in Review

Capitol Hill Housing has been closely involved with 12th Avenue (spanning south Capitol Hill and the Central Area) through our 12th Avenue Initiative and we’d like to take this opportunity to share the cool stuff happening on and around 12th this past year.

High Five Pies coming soon

We’ve had a bunch of great new businesses open and/or make the move to the 12th Avenue corridor including Chungee’s, Octo Sushi, Velocity Dance, Unicorn, Grim’s, Barre3, Local Vine, High Five Pie, Eltana Bagels, Phoenix Art Restoration, Thai Curry Simple, Cobra Lounge, Dixon’s Used Furniture, and Jolie Nails. Of course, this also comes with the loss of some favorite local places like WaterTown, Grey Gallery, Balagan Theatre, Dawson’s Plumbing, and the Color Store. But it is hard to deny the exciting energy behind the new restaurants opening up on 12th near Madison.

12th Avenue Neighborhood Festival

The 12th Avenue Initiative can also celebrate our successful support of the neighborhood business district, especially after the fantastic 12th Avenue Neighborhood Festival back in August.  Neighborhood communication and publicity, through this website and 12th Avenue walking map, the Pike Pine Triangle walking map and the 12th Avenue Facebook page have helped us spread the word about events and happenings in the neighborhood.

Future James Court Park

The 12th Avenue neighborhood has been a busy place over the past year, with designs for a new park at 12th and E James Court completed and ready to start construction early this spring.  We’re also just waiting for final word on funding for the proposed James Court woonerf ( Woonerf Background Info), which could be the first official woonerf in the city and a valuable public space for the neighborhood.  12th Avenue is also home to 5 benches along the corridor, helping to create a more pedestrian-friendly streetscape.

Rendering of 12th and Jefferson future development


Struggling through the rough economy, 12th is now showing signs of activity in the real estate market with the construction of the Douglas at 12th and E Cherry (a partnership between the Seneca Group and Seattle University).  Capitol Hill Housing recently took one giant step closer to making our 12th and E Jefferson (12th & Jefferson Summary Sheet) project a reality with a successful rezone (from 40 feet to 65 feet) from the Seattle City Council and funding commitment from Washington Works!  Look for a great new development to start construction at that corner in 2011!  Future redevelopment of Yesler Terrace and the King County Youth Detention Facility are also on the horizon and will create big changes and fantastic opportunities for the 12th Avenue community.

Although the City did not choose the 12th Avenue loop option for the First Hill Streetcar route, we are still involved in streetcar station planning, mitigation, and, as always, advocating for a bus route for 12th Avenue.

Keep an eye out in 2011 for more activity on 12th Avenue and in the neighborhood business district as we partner with the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, celebrate neighborhood businesses with great events and promotions, and continue to engage on community issues.

Things look good for Capitol Hill Housing’s 12th and E Jefferson project

Corner of 12th and E Jefferson

After a year-long wait and much City process, Capitol Hill Housing’s 12th and E Jefferson project successfully received a rezone from the Seattle City Council on December 13th!! On December 15th, we were notified of funding from Washington Works through the WA State Housing Finance Commission. More great news!!

Things are looking good for construction to start at this key intersection in the coming year! 

Project details:

  • 40 affordable apartments for neighborhood workers earning up to 60% of area median ($36,000 for a single person, $41,000 for 2-person family)
  • 5 stories of one- and two-bedroom apartments
  • One level (5,000 sq feet) of commercial spaces designed for local businesses
  • Building design and program supported by the local community