Press Release: SCIDpda leads new development for 158 apartments for Yesler family housing

March 25 – The Seattle Housing Authority (SHA), Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda), and Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) announced a joint venture to develop 158 apartments of affordable homes for working families in a location near Yesler, Little Saigon, and the Central District.

The majority of the residential units in the development will be two- to four-bedroom units in order to address the growing need for housing for medium- and large-sized families. Additionally, the development will include an 8,000 square-foot child care/early-learning center to be operated by the Denise Louie Education Center. It will also feature units that can be licensed for in-residence operation of childcare. Other amenities will include common areas for resident gathering and activities; exterior courtyards for the child care/early learning center and community gardens. One thousand square feet of the portion of the building facing Yesler Avenue will be dedicated to community-based commercial/retail services. Thirty-nine parking stalls will serve housing residents and childcare center staff. The project is expected to be completed in 2021, and is the first new construction developed by SCIDpda since 2004.

Read more in our joint press release.

Press Release: Liberty Bank Building Ribbon Cutting March 23rd

Three more days before our Ribbon Cutting Celebration at the Liberty Bank Building!

Click here for our joint press release out (external link to Liberty Bank Building website) on the Ribbon Cutting Event for the newly-open building this Saturday March 23rd 11AM-2PM. See the press release for particulars on the village that helped make this building happen, and other exciting details.

RSVP for the event at http://bit.ly/lbb-2019.

That Brown Girl Cooks! at LBB

Kristi Brown and Damon Bomar of That Brown Girl Cooks! Photo courtesy of Kristi Brown

Kristi Brown, Chef Goddess of That Brown Girl Cooks!, alongside her son and business partner Damon Bomar, will open their first restaurant at the newly minted Liberty Bank Building (LBB) in just a few short months. How are they feeling about that? Elated.

“This is not going to be your typical restaurant. With so many expectations from such a huge spectrum of Seattle communities, we’re finding our middle ground,” she explains. Chef Kristi spends a lot of time thinking about what she wants people to experience from her expansive history in cooking. In a community that used to be 75% African American and is now 80% White, she plans to honor an ancestry of women who cooked in the Central District while also carving out a space for herself.

“The Liberty Bank Building is a pilgrimage back home,” she reflects. She’s not just speaking about herself coming back to the Central District but of LBB residents, as well. Having been a long time CD resident, Chef understands. She currently lives in affordable housing at Plaza Roberto Maestas on the El Centro de La Raza campus and recognizes the impact of living in intentionally equitable communities here in Seattle.

Chef Kristi wants to use the significance of the Liberty Bank Building, her skill as a chef, and her ties to the African American community to “bring everyone to a table!” particularly in a time of political upheaval.

To perform these miracles, she knows that she and her team have to be ready for this great responsibility. In order to put her talk about community into action, Chef Kristi is collaborating with Trisha Arcaro and has enrolled her entire company in boxing classes at Arcaro Boxing, a long standing tenant in the Jefferson apartments, a Capitol Hill Housing building. Trisha suggested the exercise as self-care, strengthening, and meditation for the upcoming task. Chef Kristi knows she’ll need it – her entire focus is on manifesting this long-awaited dream and building the next level of the That Brown Girl Cooks! empire.

Winter Storm Office Closure

Due to snow, the Capitol Hill Housing office is closed on Monday, February 11.

As possible, site staff are working at the apartment buildings and clearing snow from walkways. Many office staff are working remotely, so you may be able to contact them via email.

For CHH residents, please see this letter from Capitol Hill Housing’s Property Management for building information and winter weather tips.

For emergencies, please call the emergency line at: 206-204-8777.

Meeting Change Notice

Due to inclement weather, Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) might change the Board meeting originally scheduled to be held in the Pike Pine Conference Room at the CHH Main Office at 1620 12th Ave, Suite 206, Seattle, WA 98122 on Monday, February 11th from 5:30-7:30 pm.

This meeting might occur telephonically, at the same time, in which case the conference line below may be used to participate in the meeting.  

Dial:   862-902-0241      Access code:   5271708#

Thank you,

Capitol Hill Housing


Meeting Change Notice

Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) has changed the date of the Property Development Committee meeting originally scheduled to be held in the Belmont Conference Room at the CHH Main Office at 1620 12th Ave, Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98122 on Tuesday, February 5th from 5:30-6:30pm.

This meeting is now scheduled for Wednesday, February 6th from Noon-1pm in the same location.

Thank you,Capitol Hill Housing

Q&A with Senior Design Manager Jess Blanch

CHH Staffer Jess Blanch. Photo courtesy of Harry Connolly.

1. Congratulations on your recent promotion to Senior Design Manager. As a Rose Fellow at CHH, you’ve been instrumental in guiding our internal environmental work – greening our building portfolio. What does that work entail and how do you foresee it continuing under this new role?

Thank you! I am thrilled to continue my work with the team here at Capitol Hill Housing. Greening CHH’s portfolio includes not only ensuring our new buildings are designed to be as sustainable as they can be, but also finding opportunities to improve the energy and water efficiency in our existing properties which span building types, time periods, and sizes. The first step is called benchmarking–understanding how well our buildings perform, and then analyzing that performance to identify places where we could upgrade systems to reduce energy and water use. We have been working with a number of partners to do this work, and many of their recommendations are being wrapped into building renovations that will be happening over the next few years. These retrofits–things like toilets that use less water, low-energy LED light fixtures, or more efficient heating systems–will ultimately make our residents’ homes more comfortable and less expensive to operate with lower utility bills for both residents and CHH.

Beyond efficient buildings, we are also focusing on healthy materials. We are proud to partner with the Healthy Building Network’s HomeFree Initiative, which helps affordable housing organizations improve resident health outcomes by using less toxic products in our buildings. The Liberty Bank Building is the Pacific Northwest Demonstration Project for HomeFree, and we’re taking what we’ve learned from that project to develop design and operations standards that will reduce staff and resident exposure to toxic products. This work is being supported by the Washington State Department of Ecology and includes resident education and outreach. 

2. Your background is in architecture – what drives your passion for working in affordable housing?

For me, pursuing a career in architecture has always gone hand in hand with a commitment to helping others. The built environment plays a huge role in social, economic, and environmental justice, diversity, and equity. I strongly believe not only that housing is a human right, but that everyone deserves an affordable, well-designed, sustainable, and healthy home. Working in affordable housing development means I can affect decisions earlier in the process and ensure these priorities are baked into our work from the start.

3. In addition to driving environmental goals at CHH, you will be extensively involved in moving our pipeline of building projects forward. What there are you most excited about? 

I am really excited about some new developments I led during my Rose Fellowship and will continue to contribute to in the future: the White Center Community Hub and Jazz House. Both projects are collaborations with community organizations to build affordable housing co-located with social services and education opportunities in neighborhoods with high risk of displacement as our region continues to grow.  For the Hub we are partnering with Southwest Youth & Family Services, the White Center Community Development Association and King County to build affordable homes as well as social and community services in White Center. Jazz House is a partnership with local nonprofit Seattle JazzED, which will create an iconic new home for JazzED’s music education program for kids along with affordable homes in Rainier Valley. 

An Interview with Site Manager Joah Snowden

Photo courtesy of Joah Snowden

Joah Snowden is looking forward to becoming the site manager for the Liberty Bank Building (LBB). Currently, he is the site manager for Squire Park Plaza at 1710 South Jackson Street, owned and operated by Capitol Hill Housing. When LBB with its 115 apartments and three storefronts opens its doors in 2019, Joah expects to be busy.
The Liberty Bank Building stands as a legacy to the community that surrounds it, and Joah takes that responsibility seriously.

“There will be an eye on LBB because of the significance of the space,” he says. “I hope to be a part of the community outside of the building, not just within it.”

Though, within it, he plans to set a welcoming tone so that residents know him to be available, understanding, and willing to help. He would like to create an atmosphere where residents feel that they are part of a community within the building and looks forward to hosting events on the rooftop deck and in the community room so that residents can meet one another. We’re glad to have Joah on our team!

CHH Leads Effort to Revitalize Local Alley as Pedestrian Zone

Capitol Cider held a benefit on July 20-21 for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. Credit: Capitol Cider

Public space isn’t limited to parks. It includes streets, sidewalks, and other outdoor places where we as a community can connect. Alleys such as Seattle’s Post Alley are important thoroughfares, casting a spotlight on businesses and creating pedestrian zones that avoid traffic. Several communities have taken on other projects of this nature, such as Nord Alley, created by the Alliance for Pioneer Square, and Canton Alley, spearheaded by the Seattle Chinatown International District Planning and Development Authority (SCIDpda).

With funding support from the Office of Economic Development and the Seattle Department of Transportation, Capitol Hill Housing is excited to help lead an effort to revitalize such a space nearby – one where neighbors can meet. The alley runs behind CHH’s own Broadway Crossing and also touches Capitol Cider, Neighbours Nightclub, the Erickson and Egyptian theaters, part of Seattle Central College, several local businesses, and a forthcoming affordable housing project.

In addition to answering a desire for more active, open spaces in our community, a restored alley (boarded up doors and windows are visible from outside) could help address existing challenges such as safety and cleanliness for nearby residents and customers and the dumping of trash.  The alley is also currently used by members of our community facing addiction and homelessness and we are exploring ways to integrate harm reduction services and other supports into the project.

“This is a great opportunity for the college and the Capitol Hill community. As an urban campus, we enjoy an eclectic student body and a vibrant, 24-hour neighborhood. Activating this alley will benefit the college and our neighbors,” says Lincoln Ferris, Consultant to the President at Seattle Central College.

We are committed to engaging community members in a process that respects and strives to meet the needs of everyone who currently uses and might use the alley. Public space belongs to everyone, and everyone should feel welcome. We have created a convening group that will help guide the community engagement process.

We are seeking other members for this group.  If you have a connection to the alley and are interested in getting involved please contact project manager Alex Brennan at abrennan@capitolhillhousing.org.

This group currently includes the following individuals:

Julie Tall, Owner of Capitol Cider
Lincoln Ferris, Seattle Central College
Brian Steen, Building Manager for Broadway Crossing Apartments
Andrew Niece, SIFF/Egyptian
Ana Klisara, Starbucks
Joshua Wallace, Seattle Area Support Groups
Curtis Walton, Central Seattle Greenways