Apartments may come to Beacon Hill Station block

These lots have been empty for more than two years. The lot proposed for development is in the back of the photo, to the left. Photo by Wendi.
An apartment building may be the future of one of the empty lots around Beacon Hill Station. An early design guidance meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 25 to discuss a preliminary proposal to build a four-story commercial/residential structure at 2721 17th Ave. S., the southeast corner of the station block. Several lots on that block have been vacant and surrounded by chain-link fence since shortly after the opening of Beacon Hill Station in the summer of 2009. The lots were previously used for staging during the light rail station construction project.

Pacific Housing Northwest is proposing to build an apartment building with 30 housing units as well as 800 square feet of ground-floor retail. There would be underground parking. The Department of Planning and Development pages about the site and the associate permits are here and here. The site is currently owned by Alphonso Tucci-Grastello.

The early design guidance meeting will be held at the Wellspring Family Services community room, 1900 Rainier Avenue South, at 6:30 p.m. on October 25.

View Larger Map. This is the location of the proposed apartment building at the Beacon Hill Station block.

NBHC meetings move to new night

North Beacon Hill Council meetings have moved to a new night, the first Tuesday of each month. This frees people to attend First Thursday Art Walk events without a neighborhood conflict. October’s meeting is Tuesday, October 4 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Beacon Hill Library (2821 Beacon Ave. S.).

On the agenda of Tuesday’s meeting is the proposed Alcohol Impact Area for North Beacon Hill. The notice sent by the Council reads: “Please join us to learn more about the Alcohol Impact Area for N. Beacon—what it is, what it isn’t, and how you can be of help.”

Earlier this summer we wrote about the current Beacon Hill Alcohol Impact Area Initiative. The neighbors promoting the AIA also have a Facebook page.

Fleet of “art chairs” being readied for neighborhood use

by Sheba Burney-Jones

Art Chair #1, painted by Kathleen McHugh. Photo courtesy of ROCKiT space.
ROCKiT space, Beacon Hill’s home-grown music and arts organization, is launching a Community Art Chair project at their upcoming Harvest Fair on Saturday, October 22. The project converts 40 metal folding chairs, donated to ROCKiT by Peace Action, into a fleet of art chairs to be used at ROCKiT events and loaned to community groups for other public events. A prototype was painted by artist Kathleen McHugh and displayed at Beacon Rocks! during the summer.

The chairs are in need of some TLC before they can be decorated. Two volunteer work parties are scheduled to wash and prime them before the Harvest Fair. Join friends of ROCKiT on Sunday, October 2 from 2-5 p.m. to clean the chairs, and Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to prime them. Everyone is welcome! Snacks, supplies and camaraderie will be provided. Drop by 5919 Shaffer Avenue S. in Seattle to lend a hand. For further information, write or call 206-669-4574.

Mark your calendar for the ROCKiT Harvest Fair on Saturday, October 22, from 2 – 9 p.m., at the Garden House on Beacon Hill (2336 15th Ave. S.) for creative family fun featuring music and activities that reflect the Beacon Hill community. For more information,visit the ROCKiT space website.

Get your kicks in Jefferson Park

Photo by Jayel Aheram via Creative Commons.
Paul van Leynseele writes to tell us about a weekly pick-up soccer scrimmage starting this Saturday, October 1, from 9-11 a.m. at Jefferson Park. (You can also meet earlier at The Station, 2533 16th Ave. S., between 8-8:50 a.m.)

Paul says:

“This is pick-up soccer. Emphasis is on low-contact (no slide tackling), inclusive play (lots of passing, no ball hogs), getting some exercise, but still being able to get up and go to work on Monday. Teenage kids are welcome, if they can live with the pace/tone of the game; pre-teens probably aren’t a good fit (unless an adult wants to facilitate a separate kid scrimmage).

“Teams are formed on the fly. Please bring a white shirt and a dark shirt so it’s easy to tell teams apart. If you have a ball, please bring it.”

Foreclosure a possibility for PacMed building

The landmark PacMed building dominates the northern tip of Beacon Hill. Photo by Wendi.

Eric Pryne of the Seattle Times reports that developer Wright Runstad has defaulted on their loan on the PacMed building at the north tip of Beacon Hill, and that the building is now in the beginning of foreclosure proceedings.

Most recently, the building was occupied by, whose lease expired this spring. Amazon has moved their operations to the South Lake Union neighborhood, and the PacMed building is currently mostly vacant.

The PacMed building was in the news last month when Wright Runstad proposed that the King County juvenile court and jail complex move into the building. However, county officials determined that the proposal wouldn’t meet affordability criteria, and so it was scrapped.

Pryne suggests that the default and threatened foreclosure could be “saber-rattling”:

“Owners of other financially troubled buildings, such as downtown Seattle’s Columbia Center, have engaged in ‘strategic defaults’ to prod lenders to modify their loans.

“And there’s no evidence so far of any foreclosure filing involving the PacMed building in King County court or property records—although the first step in foreclosure in Washington, a ‘notice of default’ from lender to borrower, generally isn’t recorded.”

Pryne also notes that an appraisal last year valued the building at $11.3 million, a little more than half of the $20.5 million Wright Runstad owes on the loan. Monthly payments are about $181,000.

The owners of the building are the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority, who negotiated a 99-year lease with Wright Runstad in 1998. Wright Runstad then subleased the the building to Amazon.

The Preservation and Development Authority is a non-profit quasi-public organization whose mission is to promote health care for the vulnerable and disadvantaged. Find out more about the PHPDA here.

Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling Club to be featured on City Stream

Beacon Hill’s Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling Club will be featured this Thursday, September 29, in a segment on the City Stream television series. City Stream will air Thursday at 7 p.m. on the Seattle Channel, found at channel 21 on Broadstripe and Comcast cable systems. You will also be able to watch the show online after it airs.

The episode will show part of the recent National Lawn Bowling Championships that the JPLBC hosted in August, and will feature the club’s members and their love for the game.

Save the date: Rainier Valley Co-Op Preschool hosting Fall Festival 10/8

The Rainier Valley Co-Op Preschool (which, despite the name, is not in the Valley at all, but up on top of Beacon Hill) is holding their annual Fall Festival on Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festival will be held in the 1700 block of Forest Street, in front of Beacon Lutheran Church.

The family event will include a block party, a dj dance party, live music by Eli Rosenblatt, bike parades on the hour, hot dogs, a bake sale, games for kids, a recycled toy shop, a treasure hunt in the sandbox, face painting, and more!

Neighbors of all ages are welcome to have fun and help support the preschool. Bring your bicycle if you want to be part of the bike parades.

Big trucks busy on Beacon Hill

A sturdy tent is being constructed for fire trucks to park in during the seismic upgrades at Station 13. Photo by Melissa Jonas.
There’s lots of construction happening on the hill right now. Work on Beacon Mountain has begun in Jefferson Park. Fire Station 13 is getting a fancy temporary parking structure for the fire trucks in preparation for construction work to make the building more stable during an earthquake. The temporary public pay lot at El Centro is being graded and drainage installed; the goal is for the lot to be completed within a month.

Each project is noteworthy in its own way, but all Beacon Hill toddlers and preschoolers need to know is: BIG TRUCKS! Lots of big trucks! Please allow extra time on your next outing to appreciate them.

Construction of the Beacon Mountain Playground is underway. Photo by Melissa Jonas.

Mayor to host Town Hall in Georgetown on Tuesday

Mayor Mike McGinn at the recent dedication of Roberto Maestas Festival Street. Photo by Wendi.

Mayor Mike McGinn is hosting a Greater Duwamish Town Hall meeting this coming Tuesday, September 27, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Georgetown Campus of South Seattle Community College, 6737 Corson Ave. S.

Here’s the planned agenda:

  • 5:30-6:30 Meet and Greet: City Departments and local community organizations will host information tables, answer questions, and offer volunteer opportunities
  • 6:30-6:40 Youth performance
  • 6:40-8:00 Open question and answer session with the Mayor and City staff

Need further information? Contact James Bush at (206) 684-9288 or

Opinions wanted on BHIS public art project

Angela CastaƱeda writes to request public input on a new public artwork at Beacon Hill International School:

We’re launching a new public art project on the hill and we want your input! With funds from a City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods matching grant we will create a 6×8 tile mosaic to adorn the south-facing brick wall of the Beacon Hill School entryway. This spot is ideal for viewing by car or foot traveling along 14th Avenue South past the school. The mosaic will beautify a high traffic space that is frequented by Beacon Hill School parents, neighbors, students, staff, visitors, and community volunteers.

Did you know Beacon Hill International School’s mission is to inspire lifelong learners and global citizens? Check out the preliminary design outline for the mosaic, exploring the theme of “We All Belong, A World of Learners.” (The design outline was created by artist-in-residence Julie Maher, based on concept work by students and the project steering committee, a mix of neighbors and school community members who support art).

We want this to be an opportunity for the entire Beacon Hill community to come together as partners to create something special to be enjoyed by everyone. In order to do that BHIS will host tile-making workshops in the fall, open to the community (event dates will be announced in advance). In the meantime we hope you will take a moment to share your thoughts on the project and the design.

Post your comments on the fabulous Beacon Hill Blog.

Here’s the picture of the design. (Click the image to see a larger version.) What are your thoughts?