Here they come to snuff the Rooster (crane)

Aww yeah*.

One of the two large cranes gracing the downtown Roosevelt skyline is moving on.

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The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association has received word from the developer of the Rooster Apartments (902 NE 65th Street) that their contractor’s large construction crane is coming down on Saturday, February 28th. “NE 65th street will be shut down in front of the Rooster from 6am to 6pm. Traffic control will be on site detouring traffic around the site.”

Occupancy of the approximately 195-unit apartment building is still scheduled for the first week of August, says the developer (Lake Union Partners), with one of the first floor tenants, a fourth Portage Bay Cafe, opening this summer as well.

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*Headline and first sentence by Alice in Chains, of course. Probably the last time we’ll use it. Probably.

Shop local, get a chance at touring new UW Light Rail Station

In February 2014, when Capitol Hill Light Rail Station construction started severely disrupting Annapurna Cafe  — a business which choose to remain in place and open while others around it shuttered or relocated due to the station construction — Sound Transit cooked up a contest with Annapurna to encourage diners to drop in.

Banner near the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station construction site advertising the Sound Transit/Annapurna  contest in February 2014. (Photo courtesy Capitol Hill Seattle)

Banner near the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station construction site advertising the Sound Transit/Annapurna contest in February 2014. (Photo courtesy Capitol Hill Seattle, used with permission)

From the contest details by Sound Transit:

When you eat at Annapurna Café, 1833 Broadway, you can enter to win a Sound Transit walking tour of the U-Link tunnel-from Capitol Hill to the University of Washington.

To be eligible, you must spend at least $10 at the Annapurna Café and fill out an entry form at the restaurant. You can enter every time you visit. You must be at least 18 and able to walk the entire 3-mile concrete-lined tunnel.

The fine folks at Capitol Hill Seattle also went along on the tour, and you can watch some footage of their travels below.

What does all this have to do with Northeast Seattle in the year 2015?

Lucky us, Sound Transit is holding another contest involving businesses located near our Roosevelt and University District light rail construction zones. This time, the prize is a tour of the University of Washington Station — open to all in early 2016, but open for winner(s) (sans trains) in the second half of 2015.

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Also, lucky us, entries can be found not at just one local business but two dozen: 10 near the future University District Station, and 14 near the future Roosevelt Station. And we only need to spend $5 at these businesses to receive an entry form.

More details from Sound Transit:

To be eligible, you must spend at least $5 and complete an entry form at one of the participating businesses. You can enter every time you visit. You must be at least 18 years old.

A drawing will be held in May 2015 to select the winners. You will be notified by email or phone. No entry form information will be sold to an outside party and this prize has no cash value.

You can see the full list of participating local businesses here (Cedars! Pies and Pints! Toronado! Brooklyn Avenue Dental!).

If you win, you can compare the current, finished University of Washington Station to these pictures we took in a 60% finished station, back in January 2013.

90% design open house time for Roosevelt Station (UPDATES, LIVE COVERAGE)

It’s been a good while since the last Roosevelt Light Rail Station meeting — October 2014 for the last construction open house, April 2012 for the 60% design open house. But that certainly doesn’t mean the station construction site hasn’t been busy.

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One of the plexiglass viewing windows on the south side of the Roosevelt Station construction area. The walls of the station box were formed first, underground. Since then, the soil in the box has been steadily removed. The two tunnel boring machines put in at the Maple Leaf Portal to the north will emerge from the far side of this pit.

The Roosevelt Station box excavation has come a long way since those meetings, and both tunnel boring machines are steadily making their way south from the Maple Leaf Portal. The first of the two, Brenda, is due to arrive in Roosevelt sometime this spring*.

And just what is this station going to look like in the future, when the boring machines are long gone and all this construction is over? We’ll find that out soon.

Sound Transit is holding the 90% design open house on Wednesday, February 25, in the Roosevelt High School commons (1410 NE 66th Street). Open house time is 6-8 PM, with a presentation starting at 6:30 PM.

From the open house press release:

At the meeting, you’ll see:

  • Updated station design graphics
  • Latest designs for station art
  • Station and tunneling construction update
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The view west from Roosevelt High School’s “front porch.”

In the past, we’ve provided live coverage of these meetings, usually  the same post as the meeting announcement. We plan on doing the same for this meeting as well, if the smart phone reception strength permits; however, our current provider seems to have trouble getting through the thick walls of Roosevelt High School, so live coverage might not be possible.

Whatever happens with cellular service, we will be taking notes during the meeting (just as if we were doing our usual live coverage) and readers will find our observations available here, once we get back home to HQ.

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*We’re waiting for a more exact date from Sound Transit, and we’ll update “spring” when we’ve got it. Early 2015 for sure, though.

UPDATE (7:08 PM): We’ve heard from Kimberly Reason with Sound Transit who says the agency isn’t saying boo about an arrival time right now, “not even general windows.” Hopefully it’s safe to say that Brenda will likely arrive before 2021, though.

UPDATE (Tuesday, February 24): An update on the project from Sound Transit today contained the following tunnel boring machine location information:

The first of two tunnel boring machines is expected to arrive at the Roosevelt Station site within the next few weeks. Launched in July, it’s currently working its way through the ground just a couple blocks north of the excavation site. It’s already traveled more than 7,400 feet from the Maple Leaf portal.

The other tunnel boring machine is following a parallel path for a future southbound tunnel. It was launched November 2014 and has traveled more than 1,500 feet to just north of NE 85th Street.

UPDATE (Friday, February 27): The slides from Wednesday’s presentation have been posted. Click the image below to download the 14.9 MB PDF.

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South entrance of the Roosevelt Light Rail Station, as seen from the SE corner of NE 65th Street and 12th Avenue NE (Toronado corner). Click to download the 14.9 MB PDF of the presentation.

 

NE 65th Street bakery location to rise again as Sod House Bakery

Not long after the Ravenna Blog was born, the front doors to Morning Star Bakery (2114 NE 65th Street) closed and the business went full wholesale. If one wanted one of their soft pretzels bespeckled with salt, one had to trek away from the business district location to the nearest PCC.

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The old Morning Star Bakery double Dutch doors will swing open once again to customers in April.

We’re pleased to report that these doors will once again open to customers this spring.

Sod House Bakery and Bonniecake (also known as New Renaissance Cakes) will be sharing the space, and hope to open their joint retail venture the first week of April.

Sod House Bakery

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A peek inside the Sod House Bakery farmers market case (photo courtesy Sod House Bakery).

Evan Radick and Nina Faccone got their start selling their wares at local farmers markets, including the nearby University District Farmers Market and the more distant West Seattle Farmers Market*. They have now ceased their market stand for the time being while their first brick and mortar operation is completed.

Evan tells us that the Ravenna bakery will be open five days a week to start (Wednesday-Sunday, 6 AM-2 PM) with plans to work up to seven days a week with additional staff. Along with the usual farmers market selection, Sod House Bakery will have challah and brioche breads available. A full selection of breads will become available as proper equipment is acquired and recipes are tested.

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Tables (tables!) being assembled inside the new Sod House Bakery space.

Alongside the sweet stuff, espresso and drip coffee will also be available, made with Seven Coffee Roasters beans.

Bonniecakes

Bonnie Lyons has been making custom wedding cakes for some time now (as New Renaissance Cakes), working out of a commercial kitchen in Lower Queen Anne. But with the owners selling the kitchen’s building, it was time to move on. Rents being what they are these days, sharing a space was financially attractive, and with the lack of product overlap with Sod House Bakery’s offereings, the match feels like a good pairing.

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Detail of hand-made fondant Dogwood flowers on a custom wedding cake. Cakes in the case for the new bakery will not be so intricate. (Photo courtesy Bonniecakes.)

Bonnie tells us her cakes are “made from all ‘whole ingredients’ and baked from scratch. No margarine or canned frosting or cake mixes. The cakes are definitely not low calorie, but they are made from all ‘real food’ ingredients.” Flavors include:

Chocolate Ginger Cake – Chocolate cake layers filled with Dark Chocolate Ginger Mousse, ganache, and iced with ginger buttercream.

Coconut Cake – White Cake layers filled with coconut white chocolate mousse, pastry cream, and iced with buttercream.

Luscious Lemon Cake – Lemon Cake layers filled with lemon curd, lemon white chocolate mousse, and iced with cream cheese icing.

Hearty Carrot Cake – Carrot cake layers filled with cream cheese icing and iced with cream cheese buttercream.

Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Cake – White Cake layers filled with White Chocolate Mousse and pastry cream and iced with cream cheese icing.

Gluten-Free Dark Belgian Chocolate Cake – Gluten-Free chocolate cake layers filled with dark chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache and iced with chocolate buttercream.

Bonnie will be continuing her custom wedding cake business in the new Ravenna space, as well as providing 6-inch and 9-inch cakes to the bakery’s pastry case. Cake by the slice will also be available.

You can watch the interior transformation of the space on the Sod House Bakery Instagram feed.

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*Thank you to our friends over at the West Seattle Blog who first shared this tasty news with us.

Watch this space: Old Pied Piper/Eggnest space finally leased again?

Patty’s Eggnest and Turkey House (2404 65th Avenue NE), closed and empty since fall, has a couple subtle signs about it that may indicate the space has been leased once again.

For one, the large neon green FOR LEASE sign has been removed from the window.  The other sign is a small, partially torn sticker found on the inside of one of the doors.

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Even with the upper-righthand corner of the sticker missing, the phrase “that has been leased” is intact.

Unfortunately, no liquor license actions have popped up for the address —  one of the ways to catch a new restaurant in the making.

Here’s hoping something tasty moves in soon. (And that they accept debit cards again.)

When the wind blows, the power goes

Just after 9 PM on Thursday night, residents in the area started reporting power outages.

Also at that time, folks reported hearing booms and seeing flashes in the direction of the Northeast Branch of the library. A look at the Real-Time 911 page showed Engine 38 checking out a “transformer fire” at 3536 NE 70th Street at 9:03 PM.

Here’s a screen grab of the Seattle City Light outage map in our area, image taken at 9:19 PM:

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UPDATE: Power started coming back on in homes about an hour later (here at HQ, 10:09 PM).

Bank robbery suspect IN CUSTODY after Monday attempt

First there were reports of two SPD patrol cars heading east on NE 75th Street at 20th Avenue NE, then a sighting of four patrol cars “lined up” in the area of Top Pot Doughnuts (near NE 70 Street and 35th Avenue NE).

The next bit of information I’m usually looking for after a Wedgwood bank robbery is a notice from Seattle Public Schools that a shelter-in-place is occurring while officers search for the suspect.

Instead, the Seattle Police Department twitter feed shared this bit of happy news:

More info when we get it.

UPDATE (12:48 PM): News chopper spotted hovering in the area.

Another day, another bank robbery (UPDATES)

At 9:30 AM, UW Police Chief mentioned a bank robbery had occurred near University Village.

The Seattle Police Department’s later described the incident and the suspect:

Officers searching for bank robber after holdup in 4700 blk 25th NE. Susp: w/m, 30s, 6’2, heavy set, clean shaven, blu/green beanie&scarf

Suspect in 4700 blk 25th NE bank robbery displayed a handgun before fleeing bank. Police now searching area for suspect.

If you see anyone matching this description, call 911.

UPDATE (10:06 AM): Two local elementary schools are sheltering-in-place: Bryant and Laurelhurst.

By our count, this is the third shelter-in-place in three weeks for Bryant Elementary, all due to local bank robberies.

UPDATE (10:27 AM): The shelter-in-place has been lifted both schools as of 10:25 AM.

Another bank branch robbed, local schools shelter in place (UPDATES)

Just before noon on Thursday, October 30, a resident on NE 75th Street spotted three SPD vehicles high-tailing it east towards Wedgwood.

They were heading toward a bank robbery on the 7300 block of 35th Avenue NE.

Police are looking for a white male in his 50s, 5-feet, 4-inches tall, 135 pounds, wearing a black coat with a grey hoodie, jeans, and a cap (reads “Grizzly” in white stitching). The suspect is possibly armed.

Picture taken of the suspect inside the bank, via Seattle Police.

Picture taken of the suspect inside the bank, via Seattle Police.

If you see anyone matching this description, call 911 immediately.

UPDATE (12:13 PM): Schools in the vicinity of the bank robbery are sheltering in place (no one outside the buildings, outside doors locked, inside business as usual). These schools are: Eckstein Middle, Thornton Creek Elementary, View Ridge Elementary, Bryant Elementary, and Wedgwood Elementary (reported by Principal Doug Ouellette on twitter).

UPDATE (12:25 PM): Lockdowns at the previously mentioned schools was lifted at 12:15 PM.

UPDATE (12:32 PM): The previous bank robbery on 35th Avenue NE happened almost exactly two weeks ago, one block up the street from today’s. The descriptions of both suspects appear to be the same, but we have no confirmation from Seattle Police that this was the same individual in both cases.

UPDATE (2:36 PM): Seattle Schools has corrected their earlier list of schools that had sheltered in place this afternoon: View Ridge Elementary was not affected and did not shelter-in-place.

Bank robbery near NE 75th Street and 35th Avenue NE (UPDATES)

Just before noon on Thursday, neighbors reported seeing multiple Seattle Police Department patrol cars in the vicinity of NE 75 Street and 35th Avenue NE.

We have since learned that Seattle Police were responding to a bank robbery in the area.

Via the SPD Twitter feed:

Police searching for bank robber near
7500 blk 35th Ave NE. Susp is white male, 50s, 5’3, denim jacket/jeans, black hat, may be armed.

Seattle Public Schools had local schools in shelter-in-place mode around the same time as police arrived on the scene. The list of schools includes Eckstein, Bryant, Thornton Creek, View Ridge, and Wedgwood.

UPDATE (12:35 PM): Unconfirmed as of yet by SPD, but attention seems to be on the coin store Chase Bank on 35th Avenue NE just north of NE 75th Street.

Here is an image from KIRO’s Chopper 7 which could be heard hovering over our area earlier:

Also, the shelter-in-place was lifted at local schools moments ago.

UPDATE (2:18 PM): The Seattle Police Department Blotter has a post up now about the robbery. Unfortunately, it does not contain the words “in custody.”

If you have any information on today’s bank robbery (in the 7500 block of 35th Avenue NE), please call the police at 625-5011.

UPDATE (2:31 PM): University Prep (8000 25th Ave NE) was in “modified lockdown” from 12:15-12:35 PM.