CAPITOL HILL HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING Capitol Hill Housing Improvement Program Board will hold a special meeting Monday September 16, 2013 at 6PM at the A&A Community room located Seattle University.
Capitol Hill Housing has long worked to support small businesses, which are part of any healthy community. A focus of our work on 12th Avenue has been raising the profile of small businesses, and the neighborhood has thrived. We encourage you to consider joining City Council President Sally Clark’s symposium in September.
Friday, September 20, 2013, 8:00am – Noon
Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room, First Floor Lobby
Seattle City Council President Sally J. Clark invites you to a morning of information, networking and inspiration. The first ever Seattle Business Organizations Symposium will provide a variety of resources and advice on how to help business organizations grow and be more successful.
Whether you’re on the board or staff of a business organization or a business owner or manager concerned about your business district, this event is for you. Admission is free. Breakfast snacks, coffee and tea provided.
To RSVP or for more information contact David Yeaworth in the office of Seattle City Council President Sally J. Clark at 206-684-5328.
The Jefferson apartments, a CHH building that had its grand opening in October 2012, has been nominated by Affordable Housing Finance Magazine as an Urban Design Finalist in its annual Readers’ Choice Awards. The Jefferson is the only project in the Pacific Northwest to be nominated in any category.
View more photos of the Jefferson on our facebook page.
Perhaps the single most exciting aspect of the campaign for 12th Avenue Arts has been the support of neighborhood businesses. In January ArtPlace America was in Seattle to celebrate Pike/Pine as a top ArtPlace neighborhood. This distinction was given both because of the concentration of arts groups and the vibrant community small businesses.
These are restaurants, coffee shops, newspapers, bars and barbershops that have grown up with the neighborhood, and are generously giving back to the community. This support of the arts is particularly moving – when these businesses make a three year pledge, you know they will have to get up every morning to earn that money.
At a recent gathering of small businesses, Tim Keck, founding publisher of the Stranger alternative weekly, spoke about the changes happening in Pike/Pine. “While I welcome all the new bars and restaurants,” said Tim, “it’s important to preserve other uses in the neighborhood.” That’s why he’s supporting the mixed-use 12th Avenue Arts project.
Another example of local business support is the Capitol Hill Block Party, who is supporting 12th Avenue Arts in an inventive way. With every ticket purchased, you’re invited to make a donation – and they’ll match all donations up to $5,000.
There is much documentation about the arts helping to revitalize a neighborhood. From galleries occupying vacant storefronts to artists moving into commercial lofts, the arts can thrive in spaces where few businesses could. This is assisted by the fact that Seattle has supported the nonprofit arts through grants, incentives and tax abatements. Without them, few organizations could survive.
It’s equally well known that for profit businesses, particularly restaurants, can draw resources to underinvested communities. With rising rents, particularly in new construction, and continuing pressure from internet retail, small neighborhood businesses can struggle to survive. It’s common to hear that healthy neighborhoods require a mix of arts, restaurants and strong retail. Is some system of retail subsidy needed to preserve these uses? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Capitol Hill’s beloved Egyptian Theatre
After breaking ground in February, construction is underway and on schedule at the 12th Avenue Arts site. Last month Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn declared “Capitol Hill Housing Day” – in recognition of our work, particularly on the 12th Avenue Arts project, which will create new space for arts and culture as well as affordable housing.
During the development of 12th Avenue Arts, the question has been raised many times: Do we really need more arts space? Occasionally a theater closes, and the question is asked even more loudly. Last week, the big news is that the Landmark Theatres chain, the nation’s largest collection of art house movie screens, is not renewing the lease on Capitol Hill’s beloved Egyptian Theatre.
When we set out to develop 12th Avenue Arts, we had a general idea of performing arts space – likely a 300-seat theater. Convening a group of artists, arts administrators and funders, we received a much more concrete answer. The most pressing need was for smaller theaters, well designed and equipped, and configurable to multiple uses. We took this feedback and designed two modern black box spaces of 150 and 80 seats. The theater companies that will occupy the building are thrilled – the capacities are more appropriate to their audiences, and it allowed the inclusion of scene shop space, dressing rooms and storage.
At 600 seats, the Egyptian is way too large for most theatre produced on Capitol Hill. But the demand for the space remains. The word on the street is that five groups have already expressed interest in leasing the Egyptian.
Go by the construction site of 12th Avenue Arts — 12th and Pine on Capitol Hill — and you’ll see that big hole starting to get filled up with re-bar and concrete!
See more photos on our Facebook page. We will continue posting photos there monthly as we track construction progress on this landmark building that will provide 88 new affordable homes, performing arts space and local retail — all under one roof.
See more photos on our Facebook page.
On June 11, Capitol Hill Housing hosted its 8th annual community forum at Broadway Performance Hall. The focus of this year’s forum was the massive amount of development happening on Capitol Hill and how it is changing the neighborhood.
CEO Christopher Persons showed that there are over 30 proposed developments with more than 2,800 apartments and more than 250,000 square feet of commercial space coming to the Hill. Yet currently, the only affordable housing being developed on Capitol Hill is our 12th Avenue Arts building.
Panelists Knute Berger, Sally Clark, Elizabeth Dunn, A-P Hurd, Stephen O’Connor, and moderator Michael Wells talked about the increasing demand for development in the area and discussed possible ways to maintain affordability.
So how do we preserve affordability and diversity on Capitol Hill? Follow us on facebook and join the conversation.
Watch video of the forum here at the Seattle Channel.
Read an interesting run-down of numbers from the forum here at the Capitol Hill Seattle blog.
A team of cheerful volunteers recently helped out with some maintenance projects at a “Day of Caring” at our historic Devonshire apartments in Belltown.
We love our volunteers!
We are thrilled to announce that Capitol Hill Housing has received a $150,000 grant from ArtPlace America for 12th Avenue Arts. Our project was chosen from over 1,200 applications as an exceptional example of creative placemaking.
“12th Avenue Arts shows the arts working as both placemaking and economic development. Arts, community space, affordable apartments and the Police department under one roof – 12th Avenue Arts is a project unique in the nation. Capitol Hill Housing is thrilled to have been selected by ArtPlace America for this grant.”
–Christopher Persons, CEO, Capitol Hill Housing
12th Avenue Arts will bring new life to an underutilized lot in an up-and-coming commercial corridor. The Pike/Pine area was named one of America’s Top ArtPlaces earlier this year for successfully combining art, artists and venues for creativity and expression with independent businesses, retail shops and restaurants, and a walkable lifestyle to make a vibrant neighborhood.
“I thank ArtPlace America for recognizing and supporting the exceptional work that Capitol Hill Housing is doing on the 12th Avenue Arts project. This community development will bring together artists, diverse residents and businesses in one of our city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. It is projects like this that make Seattle a special place.”
–Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn
ArtPlace America is a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies committed to accelerating creative placemaking – putting art at the heart of a portfolio of strategies designed to revitalize communities. With this round of grants, in total ArtPlace America has awarded 134 grants to 124 organizations in 79 communities for a total of $42.1 million.
In conjunction with the award, Capitol Hill Housing received a proclamation from Mayor McGinn declaring today “Capitol Hill Housing Day!”