Author Archives: Queen Anne Scene

Family and Kid-Friendly Adventures in Queen Anne

by Kate Calamusa

STROLLER ALONG & SHOP HOP

The top of Queen Anne provides a walk-and-shop tour that’s short enough for little legs to keep up. Starting at the intersection of Queen Anne Avenue North and West Boston Street, head first into Blue Highway Games (see below). Filled with rare and unique games, the shop also offers snacks and playing tables, should you want to sit and play awhile. Take a quick detour across the street to Queen Anne Dispatch (2212 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206-286-1024) to check out its selection of shoes, accessories, and precious baby clothes.

From there head south, where the delights come one after the other. Queen Anne Book Company (1811 Queen Anne Ave. N.; 206-284-2427) is everything a neighborhood bookshop should be, staffed by friendly clerks and featuring the sweetest of children’s book sections. One more block brings you to Once Upon a Time (1622 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206-284-7260), a beloved children’s clothing and toy store that even offers classes like toddler yoga. And still one more block will bring you just rewards at the end of your exploration: the hearty, satisfying portions of all-American fare at the 5Spot.

SNACK BREAK

You can also satisfy the family sweet teeth on Queen Anne. Chocolopolis (1527 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206-282-0776) melts up one of the richest cups of hot cocoa around. (Choose any chocolate bar in the store to be made into your treat.) In a red house replete with a sweet garden patio, Le Rêve Bakery &Café (1805 Queen Anne Ave. N, Suite 100; 206-623-7383) offers amazing twice-baked chocolate croissants and fruit tarts to enjoy. Next door, El Diablo Coffee Co. (see below) serves Cuban coffee and food.

HIDDEN GEMS

Most likely you’ve seen a photo snapped at Kerry Park (211 W. Highland Dr.; 206-684-4075), which is tucked somewhat obscurely into a quiet QueenAnne neighborhood. Once you find it, you’ll be awestruck by the impressive view of the Space Needle, the downtown skyline, and Elliott Bay. Take a family photo, then head down the flight of stairs to Bayview-Kinnear Park (3rd Ave. W and W. Prospect St.; 206-684-4075), where the kids can run wild by making their way across the climbing wall or sliding down slides tucked into the hillside.

Blue Highway Games
2203 Queen Anne Ave.
206-282-0540
AGES 3–5 AGES 6–9 AGES 10–14

Tucked atop Queen Anne Hill, Blue Highway Games is devoted to board games and card games, with an extensive collection of both the rare and mainstream. With tables to try out new games, plus snacks and drinks for sale (and adults-only beer and-board game nights), this charming little shop encourages gamers to stay awhile.

El Diablo Coffee Co.
1811 Queen Anne Ave. N, Suite 101
206-285-0693

This charming coffeehouse, next door to the kid-friendly Queen Anne Book Company, specializes in Cuban coffee, offering up intense cubanos, cortaditos, and cafés con leche for the adults, plus several kinds of hot chocolate (the cinnamon-spiced Mexican variety is a favorite) and a sweet toy corner for the cuties.

*(c)2017 by Kate Calamusa. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Seattle Family Adventures by permission of Sasquatch Books.

KeyArena Revamp Bids to be Reviewed at May 11th Open House

By Joe Veyera

The two groups to respond to the city’s request for proposals to redevelop KeyArena will take part in an open house later this month just steps from the multipurpose venue.

Representatives from the Oak View Group and Seattle Partners (a group comprised of AEG and Hudson Pacific Partnership) will be on hand at KEXP (472 1st Ave. N. on May 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. to discuss their plans for the site, and answer questions.

Both proposals peg the cost of a KeyArena renovation to meet NBA and NHL standards at north of $500 million, while expanding the seating capacity to hold more than 17,000 spectators for hockey, and 18,000 for basketball, and preserving the iconic roofline designed by modernist architect Paul Thiry. Where the plans differ is how they each use the footprint, and how they address traffic and transit concerns.

The proposal from the Oak View Group would primarily consist of below-grade expansion, while the Seattle Partners bid calls for extending the existing arena roofline further to the south to add space.

The Oak View Group plan includes an 850-stall parking garage, and proposes offering bundled tickets to events with mass transit or rideshare programs, along with exploring the creation of designated drop-off and pick-up locations for services like Lyft and Uber. Renovation groups have additional strategies for dealing with concerns for parking and transportation.

Meanwhile, Seattle Partners would invest $5 million “to accelerate existing transportation strategies around the arena, and to create a shared mobility hub,” adjacent to it, while investing in the Lake2Bay Corridor.

Recommendations will be presented to the Mayor in June, with the input of the Arena Community Advisory Panel comprised of community leaders, and the City’s Executive Review Team. If the mayor moves forward with one of the two proposals, the City Council would then vote on a development and lease agreement with the winning bidder.

“This is the moment we have all been waiting for. We have two strong proposals to consider,” said Brian Surratt, Director of the Office of Economic Development in a press release last month. “We take this responsibility seriously and understand the sense of urgency for sports and music fans. The City remains committed to choosing the best possible path to bring back the NBA and to bring the NHL to Seattle.”

It’s currently unclear when construction could start. Last month, KeyArena was awarded first- and second-round NCAA men’s basketball tournament games in 2019, pushing the timeline past at least that March. The Oak View Group plan calls for a 19-month timeline to complete design drawings, and secure discretionary approvals and construction permits, along with a 20-month building timeline.

Syndicated from the QueenAnneNews.com. Photo source: The Seattle Times

City Announces Next Steps on Backyard Cottage Proposal

By Joe Veyera

Months after the hearing examiner ruled in favor of the Queen Anne Community Council in their appeal of a proposal to ease regulations on building backyard cottages and mother-in-law units, the city has announced its next steps on the issue.

In a blog post late last month, Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien wrote that after a “thorough examination” of the decision, the city will pursue a full environmental impact statement to look deeply into the potential impacts of code changes.

In the post, O’Brien said the EIS process will likely take a year to complete, and that there will be multiple opportunities for residents to voice their opinions during that period.

O’Brien originally introduced a proposal last year that would have allowed properties to have both an attached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU) on the same lot, removed the off-street parking requirement, removed the owner-occupancy requirement after one year, reduced the minimum lot size for a DADU to 3,200 sq. ft., and increased the allowable floor area for a DADU from 800 to 1,000 sq. ft. Opponents of the proposal raised concerns that the potential environmental impacts weren’t adequately studied, and the hearing examiner ruled that the city’s determination of non-significance in relation to the State Environmental Policy Act was not based on sufficient information to evaluate potential impacts. Meanwhile, proponents of the original effort labeled the Community Council’s efforts as obstructionist, something they firmly denied.

The hope, O’Brien wrote, is to bring legislation to the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee by the middle of the next year.

“I believe lowering the barriers to creating backyard cottages and in-law apartments is an important part of addressing affordability across the city, and am looking forward to continuing to pursue this legislation,” O’Brien wrote in the post.

Syndicated from QueenAnneNews.com. Photo source.

Expect Additional Traffic at the Seattle Center Today for Starbucks Shareholders Meeting

There will be lots of traffic around Seattle Center and McCaw Hall Wednesday morning when people start showing up for the Starbucks shareholders meeting.

The Seattle Department of Transportation said drivers should expect heavy traffic because of the meeting and on-going construction projects in the area.

Expect traffic volumes to be higher than usual heading into and around Lower Queen Anne.

The meeting starts at 10 a.m. Wednesday, but doors open at 8 a.m. About 2,700 people are expected to attend.

There will be extra traffic heading out of the neighborhood from noon to 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, Howard Schultz will attend his last shareholders meeting as the company’s CEO.

Schultz announced he was stepping down in December.

Starbucks chief operating officer Kevin Johnson will become the new CEO on April 3.

Schultz will move to the role of executive chairman.

Syndicated from KIRO 7 News. Featured photo source: Wikipedia Commons.