A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Entries from November 2008

Don’t forget ‘Wacktastic’ starts Dec. 1

November 30th, 2008 by Doree

As we wrote about a few days ago, the Greenwood Phinney Wacktastic Light Show begins Monday, Dec. 1. Organizers are hoping to start a holiday light tradition in the area with a contest and prizes for the most “wacktastic” home or business.

Contest categories include scariest, sexiest, most artsy-fartsy, most political, best kid made, and a whole lot more. Contestants should keep their lights up for the entire month of December. Judging will take place Dec. 17, and on Dec. 21, you can join the judging ceremony party at the Greenwood Collective.

Click here for more information and a map of the boundaries for the contest.

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How’s this for a real estate sales pitch?

November 28th, 2008 by Dale

This is an excerpt from the real estate listing for the 16-unit Pullington apartment building at 509 N. 85th St.:

The rule of thumb is to find the worst building in the best area! Well here it is and the best part is the building is in great shape and is surrounded by new construction from commercial shops to highrise apartments. 16-unit building steps to Green Lake and Greenwood…

It’s listed at $1,649,500 and while it doesn’t mention the possibility, the $1,295,000 listing for the neighboring building pitches both properties as “prime development property that is ideal for a mixed use building or a townhome development.”

Use the embedded image below to explore the location.

If it’s not working, try this link.

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Supernova still not super

November 28th, 2008 by Dale

For anyone who’s been following the Supernova saga, it came as good news this week that the Seattle Parks Department put a new ring on the popular piece of playground equipment at Greenwood Park.

So Bruce and his son checked it out on Thanksgiving morning and this is what they found:

While there is less of a tendency to “stick” at certain spots, it is no where near as free running as it was originally.  There is just too much friction.  My son was able to walk completely around on it (over the top) without it starting to turn at all.

Closer examination showed that 2 small wheel like parts with the Kompani logo on them had fallen out and were lying on the wood chips below.  (See attached picture).

The SuperNovas at other parks work fine.  Hopefully this one can be returned to its original smooth running operation…

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PNA Winter Festival returns Dec. 6-7

November 27th, 2008 by Doree

The annual Winter Festival at the Phinney Neighborhood Association is one of the biggest neighborhood events of the year – and it’s a major fundraiser for the PNA, which supports a number of local non-profit endeavors.

You can get all your Christmas shopping done during this two-day event, with vendors selling everything from photos and paintings to furniture and housewares, children’s clothing, jewelry and skin care products.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6-7, with 115 juried crafts booths, live entertainment on two stages, food, baked goods and a quilt raffle. Baked goods will be available in both buildings; lunch and Starbucks coffee drinks will be available in Community Hall.

Photos courtesy of the Phinney Neighborhood Association.

The Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band, Anzanga Marimba, the Eclectic Cloggers and the Phinney Community Chorus will entertain festival-goers. Admission is $2 for PNA members and $4 for the general public; children 12 and under are free. Please brig a can of food for the food bank.

Tickets for this year’s quilt, donated by the Stashbusters Quilt Group, are $1 each or six for $5. The raffle drawing will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7. Winners need not be present to win.

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PNA Giving Tree covered with requests

November 26th, 2008 by Doree

The Phinney Neighborhood Center’s annual Giving Tree project kicked off this week. Stop by the lobby at Phinney Avenue and 67th St. to select a gift request for either a child or adult. The tree will have about 400 requests from families through FamilyWorks Food Bank, Greenwood House, Whitman Middle School, Broadview Emergency Shelter, and Childhaven Therapeutic Child Care.


Some tags ask for Fred Meyer gift cards,  and you can even buy $25 gift cards at the Phinney Center office so you don’t have to go to the store. A portion of the proceeds from gift cards sold at the PNA will support their preschool co-ops.

Drop off your wrapped gifts at the Phinney Center by Dec. 13.

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Post-Thanksgiving Salmon celebration at Piper’s Creek on Friday

November 25th, 2008 by Doree

Work off that Thanksgiving dinner with a walk and scavenger hunt around Piper’s Creek in Carkeek Park from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Friday for the Piper’s Creek Annual Salmon Celebration.

Trained volunteers will walk along Piper’s Creek teaching about the amazing lifecycle of the salmon and how our urban landscape affects them. There may even be some spawning salmon. Families also can participate in a scavenger hunt to receive beads for a salmon bracelet.

Local students have decorated reusable shopping bags, which will be on display at the park’s Environmental Learning Center. Hot drinks and treats will be served.

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Name that lane at Piper Village

November 25th, 2008 by Doree

Lots of news coming out of the under-construction Piper Village these days, which we wrote about just two days ago when we got a sneak peek inside the building.

The new mixed-use development behind Blockbuster and Bartell Drugs on 85th Street will have a European style walking and driving lane through it, and the developers want the neighborhood to name that lane. The lane is designed in the Woonerf style, which primarily emphasizes walking and bicycles, but allows cars. The one-way lane will have water features and run next to a plaza to promote gathering and community.

The lane with adjacent water features under construction as seen from apartment above.

The name should reflect the past and future of the neighborhood. The winner of the contest will receive a $300 gift certificate to Top Ten Toys, which is part of the larger Piper Village.

Judges for the contest include: Kate Martin, president of the Greenwood Community Council; Michael McGinn, past president of the Greenwood Community Council and executive director of the Seattle Great City Initiative; Ed Medeiros, executive director of the Phinney Neighborhood Association; Allen Rickert of Top Ten Toys; and Agnes Jacobson, principal of St. John School.

Entries are due Jan. 5, 2009 and can be emailed. Complete rules and background information are available here.

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Pay-what-you-can at Taproot Theatre on Wednesday

November 24th, 2008 by Doree

Taproot Theatre on 85th and Palatine is having a pay-what-you-can performance of “The Christmas Foundling” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Pay-what-you-can tickets go on sale at 5 p.m. the day of show at the box office. Plus, a limited supply of $10 tickets will be offered from 12-5 p.m. for that evening’s performance, with a limit of six tickets per person.

Grant Goodeve and Jake Lund. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.

“The Christmas Foundling” tells the story of rough-and-tumble miners during the California Gold Rush, who suddenly find an infant on their doorstep on Christmas Eve. The play is filled with traditional folk music and carols, and stars Northwest actor Grant Goodeve, of “Eight is Enough” fame. “The Christmas Foundling” runs Nov. 21-Dec. 27.

Taproot has one pay-what-you-can performance for every mainstage show they produce, to allow everyone to enjoy live theatre.

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An inside look at Piper Village under construction

November 24th, 2008 by Doree

Last week we wrote about the pervious asphalt being used at the new Piper Village mixed-use development behind Blockbuster on 85th between 1st and Palatine. A few days later, we were invited on a tour of the first phase of the development, The Sedges at Piper Village.

This 46-unit apartment building with 12,000-square-feet of retail space on the ground floor is on track to open next spring. The apartments range from 325-square-foot studios to 1,200-square-foot units with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a small den. Rent will range from $800-$2,100. Here’s a view to the southeast looking towards 85th St. and the parking lot behind Taproot Theatre:

The largest of the five retail spaces is about 4,000 square feet, which would be suitable for a restaurant. They’re targeting small-scale, neighborhood businesses. They don’t want – or have room for – big box retailers.

The pervious asphalt reduces storm water runoff, but it’s just one part of a layered drainage system, which includes three feet of crushed rock and drainage pipes. Megan Hilfer of Parsons Public Relations says the pervious asphalt can take 80 percent of the runoff out of the storm drain system. The asphalt is used on the large parking lot on the north end and on the driving/walking lane on the south side. “The pervious asphalt will let the water go into the earth and then the overflow will go into the drain system,” Project Manager Gary Brunt says. The large parking lot will have 161 parking spaces, but some of those will be reserved for the apartments.

Because the development – and a good chunk of Greenwood – is built on a bog, they’ve incorporated a native bog representation. In the photo below you can see one large and one smaller pool of water, which will have plantings around them; the area to the right (east) of the bogs will eventually be town homes (around 2012-2014):

Brunt’s family’s corporation owns a lot of property in Greenwood, including the old McDonald’s building, which will eventually be demolished in a later phase of the five-phase development. Brunt says he’ll rent out that building if anyone wants it, but he didn’t want to demolish it now because he didn’t want a big empty lot.

The lane on the south side will have water features and sidewalks with pavers with spaces between for water runoff. “This whole lane is designed in the European style call Woonerf,” Hilfer explains. “We’re calling it Woonerf-esque. It’s designed to promote walking.” She compares it to the cobblestone streets around Pike Place Market, which are designed for pedestrians first, but also allow cars. Here’s the view of the lane and the concrete water features on the sides from an apartment above:

The lane will be one way going east, and will eventually go all the way to Greenwood Avenue where the old McDonald’s building is. That lane will be right turn only onto Greenwood Avenue. There will be a plaza area between Top Ten Toys and The Sedges. A new stairwell was installed on the hillside next to Top Ten Toys down to The Sedges lane, and the orange fenced area you see on the right in the photo below will be native planting areas, with a sidewalk:

The building housing Top Ten Toys, Blockbuster and Bartell Drugs will not be demolished, but the lower level is being remodeled for more retail.

Brunt’s grand vision for Piper Village is for it to be “The center of Greenwood, maybe the heart of Greenwood,” he says. “I think it will be something the community can support and enjoy for a long time.”

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