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Archive for September, 2009

12th Avenue Merchant Meet Up

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009


12th Avenue Merchant Association

Merchants from 12th Avenue and the surrounding business area gathered at Osteria La Spiga on Monday night to meet each other, enjoy great appetizers and discuss 12th Avenue business issues. The agenda included discussions on whether to form a 12th Avenue Merchant Assocation and the possibility of hosting a summer street festival for 12th Avenue businesses.  Generally, Merchant Associations are  more ad hoc and focused on one event or issue rather than 501c3 organizations like Chambers of Commerce.  Rob Mohn from the Columbia City Business Association attended and highlighted best practices from their neighborhood.  DeCharlene Williams attended representing the Central Area Chamber of Commerce and highlighted their focus on community events.  The 12th Avenue Street Festival gained support at this initial meeting and many agreed that it should be family-oriented and focused on local businesses.

Small Business Assistance

Nita Conlan from Community Capital Development and Greg Scully from the Seattle University Albers School of Business were also on hand to answer questions about small business loans and technical assistance. For more information on their services, please visit their websites.

Community Capital Development: www.seattleccd.com
Seattle University Small Business Institute:  http://www.seattleu.edu/asbe/ec/sbi

First Hill Streetcar

Other topics included a discussion about the possible 12th Avenue loop alignment of the First Hill Streetcar. Interested businesses were encouraged to sign-up to stay connected with streetcar issues. The Streetcar Group is also represented on Facebook here .

For more information on any of these topics or if you want to get involved, please feel free to contact Cecelia Gunn at Capitol Hill Housing: cgunn at chhip dot org

We also want to send a big Thank You! to La Spiga for hosting and to Cupcake Royale for bringing dessert!

Plum Now Serves Breakfast

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Plum Bistro at 12th Avenue and E Pike Street has been open since July and I hope everyone has been by to enjoy their delightful vegan lunch and dinner offerings. Plum has recently started serving breakfast which includes a small selection of crepes, scrambles and pastries. Since Crave closed, 12th Avenue has been missing a sit-down breakfast spot so thanks Plum for filling the gap!

Personal note from the author: However, I know I am still waiting for a good, old-fashioned, greasy spoon, eggs and bacon breakfast option in the neighborhood.

Park(ing) Day is Friday, September 18th

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Park(ing) Day is a global event where communities transform existing parking spaces along the street into temporary parks. Capitol Hill has some exciting park(ing) spaces in the works that you should check out, including one on 12th Avenue at E Pine Street. Click here for a map of Capitol Hill park locations.

You should also check out the People’s Parking Lot Central Park at 500 E Pine Street for a collection of a dozen parks by different groups including the Seltzerman, several architecture/design firms, Seattle Arts & Lectures, and our very own Capitol Hill Housing where you can get creative building affordable housing out of Legos!

There’s more info over here at the People’s Parking Lot blog .

12th Avenue Merchant Meet-Up!

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009


Later this month there will be a great opportunity for merchants on and around 12th Avenue to get together and discuss some exciting things on the horizon in the business district.  La Spiga has generously offered to host this gathering. Light appetizers and drinks will be provided. If you are a business owner in the district please come out and join the conversation…

12th Avenue Merchant Meet-Up

When : Monday, September 21st @ 4:30pm

Where : Osteria La Spiga (1429 12th Avenue btw Pike and Madison)

Why : To discuss great things happening in the 12th Ave Business District such as:

  • The 2010 12th Ave Summer Street Festival
  • Forming a 12th Avenue Merchants Association
  • First Hill Streetcar Information
  • How and where to get business and technical assistance

If you have any questions about this event please call Kate Stineback at 206-329-7303 ext 1021 or contact me via e-mail at kstineback@chhip.org.

Do you want a gym at 12th & Madison?

Friday, September 4th, 2009

One of the things that the 12th Avenue Initiative has been tracking in the business district is vacancy rates. So far this year we have more new businesses opening on and around 12th than those that haved moved and/or closed shop. In general, this is pretty healthy, especially since we are in the midst of a national recession.

There are some spaces on 12th, however, that have been empty for a really long time. Like 2+ years empty. The biggest and most glaring vacancy is the corner space in the old Trace Lofts building at the corner of 12th & Madison:

corner retail at trace lofts

corner retail at trace lofts

According to Laura Miller, commercial leasing agent for the space, the Owner of the building is holding out for a gym to occupy the space. Because of the size of the corner retail (almost 8,000 square feet!) and its configuration with only one entrance and lots of structural supports throughout the space (20 of them!) it has been hard to market to anyone else, such as a restaurant. Check out the floor plan here to see what I am talking about.

Anyway, today I stumbled upon this blog discussion of whether people actually want a gym in this space? Urbnlvn is a condo blog authored by someone who lives above this space.  It is an old post, but I think that the conversation is relevant and important, since the space continues to sit and sit empty, a gaping hole in a growing business district. Most of the comments here indicate that a quality gym is missing from the neighborhood and would be welcome in this space.

So, do you want a gym at this location?

Do you think a gym would be good for the neighborhood?

If not, what else should go here?

Please weigh in. As it will help us target retailers who may be interested in occupying this space.

Top Chef Season Six, Episode 2: Where is Robin?

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
photo courtesy of bravo tv

photo courtesy of bravo tv

I have a hard time wacthing Top Chef so early in the competition. There are still too many chefs competing and some get lost in the mix.  So this is all that I learned about Robin on the last episode of Top Chef – she can make an appetizer called, "Duck Mole with Cocoa Nibs and Apricot". The judges didn’t hate it, but they weren’t particularly enthusiastic about it either. The ladies team also lost the team challenge in a BIG way, and luckily Robin was not one of the bottom four competitors. I am really looking forward to learning more about her cooking – maybe even seeing some of my favorite Crave dishes appear at some point!

UPDATE: Apparently there are rumors swirling about the other Seattle chef (Ashley Merriman of Belltown’s Branzino) making it to the final round. Read all about it here.