The Greenest Commercial Building on Earth

The Bullitt Center, the world’s only fully self-sustained office building.  Photo: Joe Mabel

To be called the world’s greenest office building is no easy feat, but the 6-story Bullitt Center at 1501 East Madison Street between Capitol Hill and the Central District has attained that status. Completed in 2013, it has won numerous environmental awards and received much media coverage since then, due to being completely self-sustaining, like a forest, thus not contributing to global warming. It’s considered a “Living Building”, mimicking how nature reuses, stores, and filters materials in a productive way. The Bullitt Center was built to last 250 years, and is so effective at generating energy that it has an excess during the summer months.

Created as part of the Living Building Challenge, this building produces its own energy through solar panels on the roof, processing its own rainwater for reuse, composting toilets, a bike garage + showers, rare triple-pane windows, completely non-toxic and locally-sourced building materials, automatic blinds adjustment according to sun position, heat pumps processing at 400 feet below the soil, and lots of natural light and wood throughout. The building is purposely situated near various public transit and has the best walking score possible: 100 out of 100. Tenants are given an energy allotment according to how much space (ranging from 2,000 to 8,000 square feet) they occupy in the building. If they stay within those parameters, they receive a financial incentive at the end of the year.

Denis Hayes, who has an incredible environmental resume (including being the organizer for the very first Earth Day in the 1970s, then bringing it to the global stage) is now president of the Bullitt Foundation, which owns the building. In critical upcoming years, as urban populations continue to grow, Hayes hopes that the Bullitt Center will serve as an example of what’s possible, and will promote future construction of other living, sustainable buildings.

Photo: Joe Mabel

Tips for Spring Sellers!

 

The flowers are starting to bud, and the sun is peaking through the clouds (on some days); Spring is in the air and For Sale signs are emerging around Seattle. How do you stay ahead of the game? As the housing market begins to heat up, sellers can take these extra steps to help stand out among the rest. At first glance, potential buyers are scrutinizing your property before they even step foot in the door, and having a clean entrance and yard can make a big difference for first impressions.  Adding a beautiful potted plant to the front porch, or staining the front deck could be relatively small projects that could add generous appeal to your home.

Staging your home is another great way to entice buyers to choose your home. Hiring professionals to arrange your home to appeal to a broad array of buyers could be the difference between a buyer choosing your home, or choosing one just down the street. Removing personal belongings helps buyers envision themselves living on the property- not you. Also remember to give your home a good cleaning before showings; a clean home feels bigger and more inviting.

For more information on Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

JOSEPHINE: Homemade Takeout Food

Traci, Josephine cook, prepares to roast brussel sprouts with preserved lemon.                                 Video: Rustic studio in L.A. /posted on Josephine site

A made-in-the-kitchen small business revolution is occurring in Capitol Hill and neighborhoods across Seattle. Josephine, an Oakland, CA-based startup which recently expanded to Seattle in 2016, believes in empowering home chefs to reach their local community, while supplying good meals to neighbors. This blog post happened because of a glowing comment from a current Josephine customer, Jordan L., in Capitol Hill. He enthusiastically recommended their service (see his referral below).

From customer Jordan L.

The two who started this business, Charley and Tal, named it after meeting initially at the warm, welcome home of a mutual friend’s mother Josephine, who invited them over regularly. This spawned discussions over meals about the value of home-cooking and whether we were losing that connection in our world.

 

A reoccurring comment about the Josephine service is that it connects neighbors to other neighbors; sometimes people you wouldn’t meet in your day-to-day, busy life. Customers come pick their food up in a chef’s warm, welcome (and safety-certified) kitchen, after signing up for free at the Josephine site.  After entering your zip code on the site, you will be able to see where chefs are located in your area. Once a week, members receive a newsletter showing the week’s food offerings from different kitchens, and how far they are away from your location.

Weekly Food Offerings near Capitol Hill (varies weekly). Photo: Josephine

This method requires meal planning on your part, since it’s not a delivery service, but many people say the homemade food quality is excellent. Chefs often have repeat customers. The choices are vast: ethnic dishes (that might not be available at restaurants in that neighborhood), vegan, gluten-free, baked goods and American comfort food, to name a few.

Community at cook Akiko’s home. Photo: Josephine / The Seattle Times

“We provide healthy food options, where the money stays in the community,” says Simone Stolzoff, Director of Communications, at Josephine. “You can buy food that reflects individual cooks’ culture; the most authentic representation of what they would feed to their own families.” Dishes are served a la carte, and cooks set their own prices, typically ranging between $8-12 per full meal, according to Stolzoff. In the Seattle area, including Capitol Hill, the local network extends as far north as Lynnwood and as far south as Tacoma.

Cook Shui Zhu’s creations. Photo: The Seattle Times / Josephine

Those approved to cook for Josephine decide what they want to cook and how often, and carry a WA food handlers licence as certification. They pass a safety inspection from Josephine, and two Masters of Public Health are on staff to check-in with new cooks before ever posting their offerings. Mark Bittman, of PBS and cookbook fame, also sits on Josephine’s board. Small business owners receive 90% of the revenue, while 10% goes to Josephine for maintaining the website, marketing home cooks’ meals, and creating a credit payment process for them.

It isn’t always smooth sailing. Although meeting standards for food safety, they have run into problems with government regulation, previously receiving “Cease-and-Desist” orders in California. But legislation continues to be developed and proposed.

A May 19th, 2016 NPR article mentions that Willard Middle School in Berkeley, Calif., has a student-run operation (with supervision) which has partnered with Josephine for the past 3 years. To date, it has brought in over $100,000 in revenue to the school, and is very popular with the locals.

Willard Middle School uses the produce from its school garden to create meals through Josephine.  Photo: Teresa Chin/Youth Radio on NPR.org

As Simone Stolzoff commented upon Josephine’s mission, “More than anything, it’s about connecting people and bringing them together.

 

“Little Big” Yum Headed To Capitol Hill

A Portland favorite is heading our way this Spring!

Portland’s native Little Big Burger has big plans for its sister city to the north, with intentions to open several locations in the greater Seattle area, including one right here in Capitol Hill.

The Oregon chain intends to keep its delicious reputation in tact when it expands up north, featuring root beer floats made with creamy Tillamook ice cream, scrumptious truffle oil fries and their signature burgers made with 100% natural Cascade Natural Beef, stacked high and full of flavor.

All this locally sourced goodness, and with prices to boot! If you haven’t made the trip to one of the original locations in Portland, you’ve been missing out on some grade A taste and quality at incredible prices, with a savory cheeseburger coming in at under $5, including your choice of cheese, brioche bun, ¼ lb of natural beef and all the traditional toppings, Not to mention a generous portion of truffle fries for under $3!

In case you’re not sold on the exceptional quality and value of LBB, read this from their website:

“lbb burgers are made with a 1/4 lb. of cascade natural beef, brioche buns, local cheeses, fresh veggies and camden’s catsup.  everything is delivered fresh daily, and cooked to order in an open kitchen. please note that all burgers are cooked to traditional medium unless otherwise requested”!  

That’s right, not only are these burgers affordable and tasty, they are made fresh to order, with locally sourced ingredients delivered fresh daily. Unlike most burger joints, LBB offers you choices to really customize your burger, many available at no additional charge. Not a fan of cheddar? That’s cool, they’ve got swiss, chèvre, bleu or pepper jack on deck to make your burger just the way you like it. Watch the crew make your burger fresh, right in front of you in an open kitchen, well within view of the dining area. With quality, fresh ingredients, they’ve got nothing to hide.

Little Big Burger will be a perfect addition to the Capitol Hill scene, joining other burger biggies such as 8oz Burger Bar, Lil’ Woodies and LBB will be just up the street from the Japanese Burger Phenomenon Katsu Burger. The Hill seems like the perfect location for LBB to land, as it has become kind of the center of trendy dining in the city of late. But, as mentioned previously, they will be putting in locations across Seattle. They’ve even signed a lease in Green Lake, making that 2 LBB sites slated to open here this spring.

Most of the details pertaining to the Green Lake LBB location remain to be seen, but the Capitol Hill location is expected to be the PDX exports Seattle Flagship location. Coming in at about 2,500 square feet and located right on the corner of 12th and Pike (in the New Beryl Apartments) the Cap Hill location is set to be one of LBB’s biggest locations to date.

Look forward to more information about PDX’s Seattle take over and learn more about Little Big Burger here

“Heart” On Her Sleeve

Do you like to laugh?

Are you a child of the 80’s or 90’s (or you at least feel/think like one)?

Does watching someone snarkily slur and ramble their way through hilarious fictionalized confessionals, musical numbers and mildly inappropriate subject matter pique your interest?

Then the fantastic, original and brilliantly crafted “Ms. Pakman: On My Last Heart” is the show for you!

Brought to life by local comedic sensation Scott Shoemaker, Ms. Pakman is a big, round, sparkly yellow mess with an over-sized pink bow on her head, what some may deem to be too much makeup, and an arsenal of anecdotal stories, confessions, songs and one-liners to have you rolling with laughter in the aisle all night.

Enjoy stories from the 80’s icon’s sordid and somewhat sketchy past, candid celebrity confessions, quips about almost anything and songs ranging from delirious to soulful and everywhere in between, all told by this big, beautiful, probably intoxicated video-game starlet of yesteryear.

Her life, her loves, her “power” pills…her stories (glitches and all) come to life in this limited time run of a one of a kind show.

She’ll sing, dance and drink her way to a high score and the bottom of your heart!

“Ms. Pakman: On My Last Heart” is the third installment in Shoemaker’s highly acclaimed “Ms. Pakman” series, and is sure to deliver the same thrills, chills and scandal that made its predecessors such a hit.

Be sure to bring plenty of quarters and level up for this fun-filled, bizarre and boozy show.  With 6 opportunities to catch her before she’s gone, you’ll want to get tickets now. This show is sure to be one you’ll remember…even if its star can’t…

Ms. Pakman: On My Last Heart

Live at Re-bar theater
114 Howell St, Seattle, WA 98101

6 Performances only:

8:00-10:00 PM Thursday-Saturday March 2nd, 3rd & 4th
8:00-10:00 PM Thursday-Saturday March 9th, 10th & 11th

Tickets- $20.00 (General Admission
$75.00 (V.I.P. Table)

Get tickets here

Capitol Hill Real Estate – 2016 in Review

Capitol Hill HomesCapitol hill real estate, like Seattle real estate, continued to be strong in 2016.  Capitol Hill home market in 2016 seemed uninterrupted from 2015.  Prices were up in total ($983,591 average vs $981,161) and cost per square feet ($460 average vs $439), days on marketed decreased (25 vs 32), and the number of sales increased (221 vs 204).

Capitol Hill condos still attracted Seattle buyers in 2016 like they did in 2015.  While the number of condos sold reduced (349 vs 365) nearly all other numbers improved. Median sales price ($399,000 vs $355,000) and average price per square foot ($552 vs $492) went up.  The numbers of days on market tightened with condos staying on for only 18 days in 2016 versus 23 days in 2015.

Maybe the most astonish number for the previous two years is both the Capitol Hill homes and Capitol Hill condos on average sells for over list price.  In 2016, the average Seattle home on Capitol Hill sold for 103.1% of list price in 2016 and 103.6% in 2015 and the average Seattle condo on Capitol Hill sold for 104.2% of list price in 2016 and in 2015 it was 102.7%.

The Capitol Hill real estate market is similar to Seattle and the surrounding counties.  The overall real estate market in the region (area covered by Northwest Multiple Listing Service which serves 23 Washington State counties) saw an 8.1 increase of sales in 2016 when compared to 2015 with inventory at a record low for most of the year.  For the 23 counties, the median sales price increased 8.9 percent from $310,000 in 2015 to $337,500 in 2016.  Condos, which make up a smaller share of the market, were actually up 12.6% while single-family homes increased 8.7%.

Inventory was tight throughout the year, there was an average of 1.86 months of inventory in 2016, compared to 2.4 months in 2015.  King County was the tightest with only 1.1 months of supply.  A balanced market is generally considered to be between 4 and 6 months of inventory.

2017 seems to be taking over where 2016 left off.  Low inventory remains and prices remain strong.  As always, to maneuver the market, reach out to your local real estate agent to navigating the Seattle real estate market.

These statistics were gathered from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, but were not compiled or published by that organization.

Pictured: Capitol Hill Home sold in August 2015 for $2,550,000.

November Real Estate Report!

Like the rest of Seattle, Capitol Hill real estate market continues to be very strong. This past month (November), Capitol Hill had 37 sales. While not a lot of sales, the details are interesting. Last month, the traditional Seattle home was listed for $849,880 and sold above asking price: $1,136,000. Another home was listed for $1,375,000 and sold for $1,510,000. With limited inventory, buyers are competing and raising the prices even higher than asking.  The median average sale price has gone from $447,500 (November 2015) to $567,500 (November 2016). The average highest price has jumped by $204,000 and lowest going up by $55,000. A couple sales can change the average quite a bit, for example Capitol Hill had several small condos sell in, what a difference a year makes!

 

Capitol Hill Real Estate Report – October 2016

capitol hill real estateAs with the rest of Seattle, Capitol Hill real estate continues to perform well.  In October of this year, there were 13 Capitol Hill homes sold for an average of $926,000 and 28 Capitol Hill condos for an average of just over $446,000.  The highest price in October was $1,500,000 for a home on 16th and Republican and $1,150,000 for a condominium on the 700 block of Belmont Ave.

The Central Seattle area (between I-90 and the Montlake cut and I-5 and Lake Washington) saw the average price of homes up from October 2015 of $882,720 to $990,258 in October 2016 while condos rose from $507,567 last October to $593,872 in October this year.  The number of sales of area’s homes decreased from 83 in October last year to 64 this year, whereas the number of condos sold rose from 52 to 79.

While prices of real estate on Capitol Hill and in Central Seattle are significant, they are still dwarfed by other local areas.  For example, the average price on Mercer Island this October was just under $1.5 million and the Bellevue area west of 405 was nearly $2 million.

North Capitol Hill Home New to the Market!

klosh1115-60

This quintessential North Capitol Hill Tudor sits privately above the street on coveted 22nd Avenue East, one of Seattle’s finest blocks. Generosity and flow of space are the key elements making this home both luxurious and functional.

The expansive but private front porch is a room of its own–a great spot for breakfast or an evening read. The large, sun-filled living room boasts classic Tudor-style details: original stained glass and leaded windows, beamed ceilings, and a wood burning fireplace framed by a substantial mantel and built-ins. Off the living room is a cozy study with a gas fireplace.

Perfect for entertaining, the spacious dining room is conveniently open to the living area, kitchen, and breakfast room. The chef’s kitchen is well equipped with a commercial range combo–6 burner gas cooktop, double oven, broiler, and griddle–plus ample counter and storage space, counter eating, and a cook’s desk. Just off the kitchen and breakfast room, a decked garden space is lush with mature shrubs, trees, and vines.

The 2nd level features the bright and spacious master suite with walk-in closet, finished sunporch, and full bath; two more bedrooms, one with in-suite bathroom; a stately office with gas fireplace; a 3rd full bath; and hall closet space.

The 3rd level is complete with two large bedrooms, both with a pair of built-in single beds; a full bathroom; craft/work room; large storage room; and another large closet. In keeping with this home’s spacious overall feel, the basement level hosts a sizeable recreation room warmed by a wood burning fireplace; a huge, open laundry area with laundry chute and closet; and, of course, plenty of additional storage space.

Nearby shops and restaurants, parks, excellent schools (both private and public), 10 minutes to downtown, this home meets all your needs and more. Make this your forever home.

99-Year Deal Advances Plans for Multi-Use Light Rail Complex

Gerdling plaza

Sound Transit recently agreed to sign Portland-based Gerding Edlen to a 99-year contract to develop the area around the Capitol Hill Transit Link Light rail station, according to Curbed Seattle. The area will be multi-use with a strong community-based approach, including apartment living, Broadway Farmers Market, daycare center, and other smaller businesses. A larger anchor store has yet to be determined.

A large appeal for the complex is easy access to popular areas of Seattle, due to the complex’s location over the new 8-story underground Capitol Hill Transit train station, which opened on March 19th, 2016, and is located at 140 Broadway East. In under 4 minutes, riders are able to reach the University of WA. During rush hour, trains leave the station every 6 minutes, and every 10-15 minutes during non-rush hours. Seattle Central Community College, Group Health Medical Center and other locations are also accessible.

Developer Gerding Edlen plans to move ahead with construction in spring of 2018 and potentially will be completed in late 2019.