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Traffic Alert: Aurora/99 closed this Friday night til next Wednesday morning

August 18th, 2014 by Laura

Aurora Ave N/SR 99 will be closed starting this Friday night, August 22nd, and running through Wednesday morning, August 27th. There’s a Seahawks preseason game on Friday night; WSDOT will keep 99 around CenturyLink open until midnight Friday, Aug. 22, for game traffic.

Here’s the information you need to know from WSDOT:

In late August, crews building the future north portal of the SR 99 tunnel will close SR 99/Aurora Avenue North near South Lake Union for four days. During this closure, crews will demolish and replace the section of SR 99 that crosses above Broad Street.

To minimize the need for additional closures, separate crews will complete the following work elsewhere along the SR 99 corridor during this time:

  • Utility work at Harrison Street
  • Concrete panel replacement in SODO
  • Expansion joint repairs on the Alaskan Way Viaduct near the Seneca Street off-ramp
  • Ivy removal from the viaduct

Closure information

  • From 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22 to 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25, SR 99 will be closed in both directions from the West Seattle Bridge to Valley Street.
  • Northbound SR 99 will be open from South Royal Brougham Way until midnight on Friday, Aug. 22 for exiting Seahawks traffic.
  • From 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25 to 5 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, SR 99 will be closed in both directions from the south end of the Battery Street tunnel to Valley Street.

99 Closure maps

99 Closure QA map

Know before you go and have a backup plan
Those who must drive are encouraged to stay engaged and check traffic conditions frequently via WSDOT’s web, mobile and phone-based traveler information systems.

  • The Seattle traffic page contains updated road information including links to traffic cameras.
  • The travel alerts website provides real-time information about blocking incidents.
  • WSDOT’s mobile app offers information for travelers on the go.
  • @wsdot_traffic provides Twitter updates about travel issues.
  • 5-1-1 offers traffic updates.
  • The What’s Happening Now page chronicles closures and issues affecting travelers.

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Yes, there is parking at the new Trader Joe’s

August 17th, 2014 by Laura

TJs courtyardWe’ve had a lot of readers ask about parking at the new Trader Joe’s location at 1920 Queen Anne Ave N. The street parking outside the new location fills up fast, and I’ve seen people toting Trader Joe’s bags around the corner near Menchie’s and the Queen Anne Pool to cars parked on the street.

But, fear not, street parking is not the only option. The Towne complex has an underground parking garage.

Trader Joes parking entrance

If you’ve ever been in the Eden Hill garage across the street (the Bartell Drug building), you may have some understandable reservations. That particular garage is small and tricky to navigate.

I walked through the new Trader Joe’s garage today and it’s huge. Plus, it was practically empty on a Sunday afternoon. Trader Joes 2 hour parkingParking is limited to 2 hours and there are special priority parking spots for low-emission vehicles.

The entrance to the parking garage is off Crockett St, right across from Safeway. One could argue that the parking situation in the garage is far better than the old location’s parking lot.

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Tree removal becomes part of Boston Street sidewalk replacement

August 17th, 2014 by Laura

Boston Sidewalk Repair 1

Trees on Boston prior to SDOT work

Late last week we received several emails from readers who saw SDOT removing the trees along the side of Starbucks on Boston St. The crew was working on the sidewalk replacement project that we wrote about in mid-July. The project did not originally include tree removal. The sidewalk was slated for replacement and the tree pits were to be enlarged.

When the trees were ripped out last week, QAV reader Geoff Saunders sent us the photo of the SDOT crew in action (thanks, Geoff!). By the time I got up to Boston and Queen Anne Ave N, the trees were completely gone. As of this weekend, the construction area is prepped for the sidewalk, with no hint that there were ever trees in the space.

Boston Tree removal

Boston St tree removal,
photo courtesy of QAV reader Geoff Saunders

We contacted both SDOT and Picture Perfect Queen Anne (PPQA) about the tree removal. According to PPQA, tree removal was not originally included in the project plan, so we contacted SDOT about the removal of the trees.

SDOT prepared a statement for QAV readers, to explain their justification for tree removal and plans for the future.

Here’s the statement from SDOT – it’s lengthy, but explains their rationale:

During a sidewalk repair project, SDOT removes the old sidewalk, examines the tree roots, and evaluates tree health and structure.  Root pruning is routinely performed as part of this process as a means to preserve both tree and sidewalk.  In some cases, the amount of root pruning necessary to construct a new sidewalk exceeds the threshold that could sustain a healthy tree.

In this case, the westernmost tree and easternmost tree required extensive root pruning, which would have severely affected their health, jeopardized their structural stability and caused safety risks.  Therefore, SDOT determined the best plan is to replace them.

The center tree (the smallest one) did not require such extensive root pruning, so it could have been preserved for the time being. However, all three trees were Ash, which adapt poorly to – and often decline after – root pruning. Given that this smaller tree was impacted by root loss, the decision was made to replace all three trees to support the community’s desire for uniformity along the block, while adding diversity to the street tree population. There is the potential future threat of Emerald Ash Borer finding its way to Seattle, and SDOT  weighs that risk when considering opportunities to replace Ash trees in the street tree population. The replacement Gingko trees are extremely insect and disease resistant and have demonstrated excellent health and vigor in other business districts where we have recently planted them.

Boston Sidewalk prep

Boston St sans trees, prepped for sidewalk

The bad news: the old trees are gone, and it’ll be a while before the new trees provide the benefits of mature trees. The good news: Gingko trees will replace them.

However, let’s hope the Gingkos are male trees, as a Seattle Times article from 2009 notes that the female trees can be very smelly and drop “sticky, slimy” seeds:

“Female ginkgoes produce the troublesome seeds, which are covered in a fleshy coating that contains butyric acid, also found in rancid butter.”

According to the article, many cities have decided to remove their Gingko trees or replace the female trees with male trees. The city of Seattle has Gingko trees listed on their approved Street Tree List, so they’ve been used elsewhere in the city – hopefully without too much olfactory impact!

UPDATE: It’s a boy! SDOT has confirmed that the Gingko trees are all males, so no stinky, messy trees.

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New CVS design accommodates community, becomes more than just a one-story, one-use box

August 16th, 2014 by Laura

The proposed CVS at the corner of Mercer and Queen Anne Ave N has been through several changes. Originally planned as a one-story pharmacy-only building replicated in other locations, the new design takes into account the unique location in Lower Queen Anne/Uptown, and the urban village concept.

CVS Proposed Design

Single-use CVS design from July 2013 by Norr Architects

It was a close call. Wallingford residents fought against a CVS in their neighborhood. The single-box concept, the CVS had no housing above it and was a clone of generic CVS stores across the country. In the end, not much changed. The Wallingford CVS remained stuck at one-story and single-use.

However, we’ve been lucky on Queen Anne. Thanks to active residents and community groups like the Uptown Alliance and Queen Anne Community Council, the plans for the Queen Anne CVS were sent back to the drawing board. In addition to general design principles, the Uptown Framework provided additional guidance to ultimately create a building that fits into the neighborhood – and is more than just a one-story, one-use building.

CVS Final Plan

New multi-use CVS design by Schemata Workshop

The current design by Schemata Workshop is a big departure from the first, standard cookie-cutter CVS Pharmacy design. Instead, the Queen Anne CVS building is proposed as a three-story structure with 16,200 square feet of commercial use at street-level and 31 residential units above the first floor. A 62 stall below-grade parking will be accessed from an alley on the west side of the building.

The design guidelines incorporate the specific Uptown considerations. Among the many points in a 33-page pdf, key Uptown considerations that helped guide the new design address elements such as:

  • site characteristics
  • streetscape compatibility
  • entrance visibility
  • respect for adjacent sites
  • parking/vehicle access
  • corner lot considerations
  • height, bulk, and scale
  • architectural context
  • exterior finish
  • pedestrian open spaces and entrances

All of the above, plus more, help guide the design of Uptown buildings and ensure they are in keeping with the character of the neighborhood. One overriding principle that carries across all of the considerations is how people interact with and live with the buildings.

In the case of the Queen Anne CVS, the guidelines and feedback from the community have impacted a significant change. Whether you want a CVS in the neighborhood or not, the final building structure goes beyond just a pharmacy. It adds new living space to a key corner, and the street space will be much more pedestrian friendly – not a bad outcome for what was once a plain suburban box. If you’ve ever been pessimistic about the impact Queen Anne and Uptown residents and community groups can have, think again!

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Seattle Animal Shelter Pet of the Week: Casanova

August 15th, 2014 by Laura

On Fridays we feature an adoptable pet from the Seattle Animal Shelter (SAS). SAS is located at 2061 15th Ave W, just north of Whole Foods, at the corner of W. Armory Way. SAS is open Wednesday – Sunday, noon-6pm.

Queen Anne View has not met any of these pets – SAS is providing us with the description, as they know them well. We encourage potential adopters to get in touch with SAS and work with them to evaluate the compatibility of your home and a new pet.

Updates on previous pets:
Pria (pug-corgi mix) – available for adoption
Cosmo (yellow lab mix) – available for adoption
Bella (dilute torti kitty with loads of personality) – available for adoption
Mama (lap cat) – available for adoption
Dove Family (Bubbles, Promise & Picasso) – available for adoption
Houdini (Quaker Parakeet) – available for adoption
Archimedes (red-eared slider turtle) – adopted!
Bunnies (Bella, Luna & Roscoe) – available for adoption
Chinchillas – seven currently available for adoption

Meet Casanova!

Casanova 2014-8-13 2Casanova is all about amore! He is an independent fellow seeking a special, cat experienced, family who will be patient, kind and affectionate. He will thrive in a home where he has time and space to learn to trust and love again.

Initially shy of commitment, given his time and space, he comes out from under his blanket, and has love to spare! Hugs, purrs, headbutts, and bedroom eyes are just a few of the moves he’ll use to get onto your lap and into your heart!

Casanova 2014-8-13 1Casanova is treat motivated and an all-around loverboy. If you are looking for a special feline friend, he may be your purr-fect match.

Casanova (SAS ID #14-14327) is hanging out at the Seattle Animal Shelter while his foster parents are out of town. He’d love for you to come meet him! Cat Adoption Applications are available in the Shelter lobby, or you may download the application and bring it with you to the Shelter or follow the directions to submit it via email or fax.

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Queen Anne Beer Hall coming in 2015

August 15th, 2014 by Laura

203 W Thomas Exterior

Exterior of building – interior is larger than it looks

In October, we posted about new plans for the Cotton Caboodle building at 203 W Thomas St. At the time, developer Scott Shapiro envisioned the 6,700 square foot space becoming a Melrose Market-like collection of eateries and shops.

Finding tenants proved difficult. The space would have housed up to 9 businesses, plus an outdoor deck. However, according to Seattle Magazine, the space has found a tenant – the huge warehouse-like space will become Queen Anne Beer Hall, and the adjoining 400 square foot outdoor space an attached biergarten.

The concept belongs to Andrej Ivanov, an East coast name in beer halls – he opened Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Brooklyn 2007 and Pilsener Haus in New Jersey in 2010. Queen Anne Beer Hall will be his first beer hall on the West coast.

Ivanov spoke to Seattle Magazine, and said:

“As soon as I walked in, I knew this was going to be the spot… I’m quite confident we can do a great job. We can enhance your beer I.Q., so to speak, in Seattle.”

Beer Hall interior

Interior of the site, photo by Bill Thornton, Seattle DJC

According to Seattle Magazine, Ivanov credits himself with opening the most authentic beer halls on the East coast, saying: “We started the whole beer hall revolution in 2007 and then just watched these places mushroom everywhere.”

The Queen Anne Beer Hall will serve both craft and imported beers – and with nearly 7,000 square feet, there’ll be room for a wide range of beer options.

If all goes as planned, Queen Anne Beer Hall will open in February 2015.

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Weekend Roundup – On & Around Queen Anne

August 15th, 2014 by Laura

Kerry 0613 web

Happy Friday! Hempfest begins today, so heads up on traffic around Lower Queen Anne/Uptown. A mix of free and paid events round out the weekend, enjoy!

If you have anything to submit to the Weekend Roundup, email us. You can also add your event to our calendar.

Multi-Day Events

  • Hempfest, Myrtle Edwards Park, Aug 15-17
  • Viking Days, Nordic Heritage Museum, Aug 16-17 FREE
  • Beatles Week, Seattle Center, Aug 18-Aug 23 (some events FREE)

Friday, August 15

Saturday, August 16

Sunday, August 17

  • BrasilFest, Seattle Center Mural and Armory, noon FREE

Have an event that you would like us to report on? Drop us an email at tips@queenanneview.com

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Shotgun fired on Queen Anne Wednesday night

August 13th, 2014 by Laura

Earlier tonight, per SPD:

SPDMan With Shotgun Draws Large Police Response on Queen Anne
Written by  on 

Seattle police arrested an armed man Wednesday night after he opened fire outside a Queen Anne apartment following a dispute with a neighbor.

Officers received a report around 9:30 PM that an argument between neighbors in the 1000 block of 6th Avenue N had spilled out onto the street.

When officers arrived, they found the suspect was carrying a shotgun. The suspect then fired off at least one round from his gun.

Officers radioed for backup and reported the gunfire, drawing police from across the city.

Police were able to get the 26-year-old suspect to surrender, and take him into custody.

SWAT and patrol officers are searching the suspect’s apartment to see if anyone else involved in the incident may be inside.

No one was injured in the shooting.

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One decade to rule them all; it’s 80s vs 90s at Targy’s this Saturday

August 13th, 2014 by Laura

80sV90sTargy’s Tavern has hosted 80s dance parties in the past, but this Saturday they’re taking it to a new level with a Summer House Party. Pick your poison, 80s vs 90s is the theme of the evening.

The local DJs that have spun tunes in the past are back as Spacestation206. They’ll be playing songs from the 80s and 90s to fuel an “epic dance party” at Targy’s.

Fans age 21+ of either or both decades are welcome to join the party on Saturday. The music starts at 9pm and runs til closing time.

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Spic ‘n Span Cleaners closes abruptly – pick up your clothes now, cash only

August 13th, 2014 by Laura

Spic n Span closed

UPDATE: Spic ‘n Span will be open on Friday, August 15, and Saturday, August 16 for clothes pick-up. Cash only. Clothes not picked up will be taken to Best Cleaners in Fife for pick-up after August 16.

*****

Via Twitter, it appears that Spic ‘n Span Cleaners on Mercer Street has not only closed up shop, they’ve also taken the cash registers with them. But, customer clothes are still in the building.

Earlier today, there was no way to get them, but as of 1pm today, a manager opened up the shop to allow customers to claim their garments. If you have dry cleaning at this location, get there pronto and bring cash.

No confirmation on if this sudden move is due to the purchase of the building by the Republic of Korean for a new Consulate location. Businesses were originally given until December to vacate the block of buildings that also houses Streamline Tavern, Radio Shack, and Michael Reed Black Antiques.

KOMO’s Kristen Drew has been tracking the story on Twitter, so stay tuned for more info.

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Queen Anne Greenways helps bring four-way stop to W McGraw and 7th Ave W

August 11th, 2014 by Laura

If you’ve been following the activities of Queen Anne Greenways, then you know that they’ve been advocating a 4-way stop at W McGraw and 7th Ave W. Located just a block away from Coe Elementary on a busy arterial, the intersection poses risks to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike.

Thanks to the efforts of Queen Anne Greenways, SDOT has proposed 3 options for the intersection – all result in a 4-way stop. According to Queen Anne Greenways, “elements in the three concepts can be mixed and matched based on community preference”.

The 3 preliminary options are all preliminary and subject to change. The proposed changes are listed below:

Option 1: the Plaza:

McGraw Option 1

  • extends the curb on the southwest corner
  • creates a small area for shrubs and plantings
  • maintains two of the three street trees at the corner
  • installs a mini plaza with decorative paving and a bench for seating
  • maintains the existing sidewalk in its current alignment
  • adds sidewalk extensions to the new corner

Option 2, the Nature Spot:

McGraw Option 2

  • extends the curb on the southwest corner
  • maintains two of the three street trees at the corner
  • creates a larger area for plantings and additional street trees
  • installs boulder/granite seating within the nature spot
  • removes the existing sidewalk and replaces with vegetation / bio swale
  • extends the sidewalk to meet the new corner

Option 3:

McGraw Option 3

  • all of the Nature Spot options at the southwest corner, plus the following at the southeast corner:
  • extends the curb
  • creates space for new plantings / bio swale
  • creates a new mini plaza with decorative paving and benches
  • creates space that could be used for bike parking
  • may displace two car parking spaces

Queen Anne Greenways has grown from a small meeting in a Queen Anne living room to a community group that is impacting change in the neighborhood. The group is happy with SDOT’s proposed changes and points out that SDOT is proposing greenery and a potential green storm-water infrastructure (GSI), at the corners rather than concrete, a more environmentally friendly approach.

This particular arterial crossing is on the planned Queen Anne Crown Greenway, which is noted in Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan. It’s one step closer to Queen Anne Greenways goal, and an improvement that will increase safety for both residents and visitors.

Stay tuned for more news from Queen Anne Greenways on the option chosen and progress in the future. If you’d like to get involved, check out the QAG Facebook page or attend one of their regular monthly meetings, all are welcome.

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Trader Joe’s opens new Queen Anne Ave N location this Friday

August 9th, 2014 by Laura

TJs courtyard

Back in 2012, we broke the news that the Upper Queen Anne Met Market would be closed and demolished, making room for a mixed-use space on Queen Anne Ave N. Shortly after the announcement, Trader Joe’s was announced as the anchor tenant for the new space.

Fast forward 2 years and The Towne is now completed and tenants (both residential and retail) are moving in.

Trader Joe’s is set to move from its 211 W Galer St location to its new digs at The Towne complex at 1920 Queen Anne Ave N. Over the past week, Trader Joe’s workers have been busy stocking the new space for a grand opening on Friday, August 15th.

TJs entrance preopenThe new space is much larger than the old spot on Galer. In addition to much more floor space (roughly 3 times as much square footage), the new Trader Joe’s has a liquor section that’s impressive in scale. More room between registers and taller ceiling height make for a space that feels not only new, but also more contemporary.

TJs liquor sectionTrader Joe’s will be celebrating its move into the spacious new spot at The Towne next Friday. According to Trader Joe’s workers, in addition to giveaways, there will be a steel band on hand and more to for the grand opening celebration.

Get ready to shift your Trader Joe’s experience from Galer St to Queen Anne Ave N this Friday.

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