Belltown Scene


By Chris Daniels

The City of Seattle may need to float a bond to pay for a KeyArena transportation fund to fulfill a $660 million proposal to renovate the site.

That was one of the key questions raised during a lengthy review of the tentative agreement, between the Oak View Group (OVG) and City of Seattle.

OVG agreed on the deal with Seattle’s Office of Economic Development to build a $600 million arena at the current KeyArena site last week. It still needs Seattle City Council approval to proceed.

The agreement, called a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), also lays out $20 million for a community fund and a $40 million transportation fund. OVG has agreed to pay for it all with private money.

But on Monday, upon questioning from Seattle City Councilmember Rob Johnson, the key negotiators mentioned a wrinkle: Seattle may have to bond against the fund.

City Budget Director Ben Noble acknowledged the MOU only calls for OVG to make payments of roughly $1 million a year over 39 years.

“We could, as a city, choose to bond against that,” Noble said. “So current present value basis, it’s 20 million dollars.”

Transportation questions ruled the long briefing. However, the council is expected to drill down on the financing as well.

OVG has offered to cover cost overruns and displacement bills for current tenants. It has also agreed to spend more than $168 million in capital improvement costs to vest two extensions at the site.

OVG believes it can open in the building in September of 2020.  That timeline works for a potential NHL franchise to call Seattle home.

Council chambers were packed with mostly supportive people, including groups who operate out of Seattle Center. Pottery Northwest, in particular, was initially worried about the development. However, their Executive Director James Lobb told the council he’d been encouraged by the discussions with OVG.  Pottery Northwest’s building was slated to be torn down in the arena development. However, OVG has agreed to temporarily relocate the business during construction and put it back in its historic building.

Only a pair of people testified in support of the SoDo Arena project, which, technically, has an agreement with the city that expires in December.

The council is slated to have at least three more meetings on the topic — October 10 and November 16.  The Council could vote on the MOU as early as December 4 or after the SoDo deal expires.

OVG’s Lance Lopes issued a statement after the meeting, expressing optimism.

“We applaud the City of Seattle for its open, collaborative and transparent approach to determining an exciting future for the New Arena at Seattle Center. Today’s meeting in City Council chambers reaffirmed our belief in the broad support for this project as evidenced by the strong turnout. Our team at OVG has been building arenas in communities around the world for nearly 40 years. We’ve seen a lot over four decades – and learned a lot too. We remain laser focused on our project and our partnership with the community, the Uptown, South Lake Union, Queen Anne and Belltown neighborhoods, and the City of Seattle. We will continue to aggressively pursue an NHL franchise, the return of the NBA, and through our close collaboration with Live Nation, make the New Arena at Seattle Center a globally-relevant live music destination.

“The path we’re on with the City, the community and each of our partners is the path we all want for Seattle: A future with a vibrant new arena that’s home to professional hockey, basketball and the biggest concerts and live events on earth. And today we’re one step closer to making that future a reality.”

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Each of these five Seattle spots is a multi-tasker’s paradise. Browse this list of favorite multi-use spaces and find the perfect one-stop shop in Belltown and beyond. Life gets a whole lot more convenient and enjoyable when you take advantage of nearby locations that serve more than one purpose!

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1. Drip City Coffee
2929 1st Ave B

Drip City knows a good coffee shop is about so much more than pulling perfect espresso shots (though they have that down pat). It’s also about building community, having some good conversation over the coffee bar, and creating a well-rounded space for guests to sit and stay awhile.

As part of the Workfrom network of work-friendly spaces, this Belltown joint provides the tools you need to finish that personal project or meet with coworkers over a casual cup of joe. After you order your favorite drink, head for the seating area, which offers a comfortable living room layout with professional, low-volume ambience for concentration.

Take a seat on a plush couch, pull your chair up to a table, or choose from a variety of individual or small group spaces that can easily double as workstations or meeting areas. Power up your laptop with access to plenty of power outlets, connect to Drip City’s high-speed Internet, and even take advantage of the printer for your important documents (let’s face it, these days it’s increasingly rare to have one at home).

Spend a productive afternoon refilling your cup and sipping that locally roasted nectar, and order up a bite for breakfast, a light lunch, or a snack (hint: they have Seattle-made Mighty-O Donuts!). Wrap up with a happy hour treat from on Monday through Friday (20% off coffee and tea from 2-4 p.m., plus $1 off all beers from 5-7 p.m.!).

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2. Wag ‘N Wash Natural Food & Bakery
1932 Queen Anne Avenue N

This is it: the one-stop shop for pet parents. Queen Anne is now the home of this popular national concept’s only Seattle location (there is also one in Redmond on the Eastside), so bring your pet and discover why Wag ‘N Wash has been awarded recognition for its brand concept and innovation.

First, get your pup squeaky clean at a self-service wash station with all the goods you need for reduced-hassle bathtime (if you prefer a full-service wash or grooming, schedule an appointment in advance). You’ll have access to professional-grade equipment (including high wash basins so you don’t need to kneel at your home tub), an apron to keep you dry and clean, pet-friendly shampoo, brushes and combs, soft towels, and dryers. Luxury items include pet conditioner, leave-in coat shiner and moisturizer, and more.

While you’re in, shop for your furry friend’s favorite natural pet foods, supplements, and treats. Reward your pet post-wash with a gourmet biscuit baked in-store or a meaty treat from the pet deli. You can even purchase toys, gear, or special order a birthday “cake” just for your pet!

Just wash, shop, and go! Any water or mud messes are handled by staff to eliminate the mess of at-home baths.

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3. Metrix Create:Space
623A Broadway E

This Capitol Hill “makerspace” is exactly that — a workshop-style location that aims to “encourage and accommodate creative community ventures from independent craftspeople to entrepreneurs to small local businesses.” Make an appointment to access art, design, and technology equipment; schedule a consultation with a Metrix Create:Space employee to kickstart your personal project; or sign up for a workshop focusing on everything from soapmaking to electronics and software tutorials.

Employees run a variety of machinery including 3D printers, specialty printers, a ceramics kiln, laser engraving machines, and more at rates that depend on time, labor required, and materials used. You may purchase a monthly membership for special pricing and discounts, and if your project is all ready to go, submit a work order.

Take advantage of community resources, hone your skills or learn new tricks at a workshop, and do it all right here.

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4. Dogwood Play Park and Bar
12568 33rd Ave NE

Dogwood isn’t your typical dog park; this Lake City indoor/outdoor playspace for pups has also got plenty of perks for human companions age 21 and over. Your best friend can run, play, and socialize in the 8,000 square-foot off-leash area while you have a drink and socialize with other dog owners. Sign up for a membership to take advantage of unlimited visits, discounted rentals, drink specials, and access to exclusive events, or swing by for a one-time entry to give the space a try! Simply provide vaccination records to ensure your pup is eligible.

Come by any day of the week and treat your dog to a romp in the active dog arena or some lighter socialization in the gentle dog zone. Show them some love with a goodie from the Seattle Barkery Treat Bar (you can even custom order a doggie “birthday cake”!), tap the tennis ball dispenser and play a round of fetch, or join Dogwood for community hangouts such as summertime outdoor movie night. Best of all, you can look on with a cold beer, cider, or wine in hand, a tasty snack, and access to TVs and board games.

The play park also doubles as a kennel-free doggie daycare. Drop your dog off for a daylong stay between Monday and Friday and ensure they stay entertained and exercised while you’re at work. It’s a Seattle dog owner’s dream!

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5. Flatstick Pub
240 2nd Ave S

Play, putt, and party with an ideal combination of mini golf and Washington beers. You’ll find two Flatstick Pub locations in the heart of Pioneer Square and on the Eastside in Kirkland, both serving an exclusively all-Washington taplist of rotating craft beers and ciders. It’s also dog-friendly, so bring your pup in for some action or receive $1 off pints when you come in for “Yappy Hour” on weekdays from 6-7 p.m.!

When you’ve found your perfect brew, tee up at the beginner-friendly 9-hole mini golf course (fun fact: it spells out “Seattle” from an aerial view!). Just be sure to book a tee time online to play for $7 per person. You’ll also find additional games, including a 12-hole tabletop “Duffleboard” course.

Come in with your crew, join in on a special event, or plan your own group gathering and rent a space inside. Outside food is allowed, or you can fuel your game with $3 street-style Manu’s Tacos from late afternoon through evening every day.

After Hula Hula had to relocate to Capitol Hill from its Uptown/Belltown location in March due to redevelopment, our ‘hood was going to miss its favorite tiki bar (and karaoke spot). Although its style is a bit more upscale and without the karaoke, Navy Strength is our new neighborhood tiki hotspot!

By AJ Rathbun

Anu and Chris Elford are slowly taking over Belltown. Following Anu’s venerable cocktail bar Rob Roy, the husband-and-wife team launched their James Beard-nominated beer bar/gastropub No Anchor just a few blocks down Second Avenue last fall. In late March, The Elfords introduced a third boozy sibling, dubbed Navy Strength, to the neighborhood. I recently sailed in to check out this tiki getaway neighboring No Anchor, and here are three impressions.

The Drinks: Browsing the bountiful and creative drink menu, split into three main sections, is like traveling across the Pacific Islands from past to present. The “classic tiki” section features impeccably made staples (none of that syrupy dreck that often passes for tiki drinks). The Mai Tai is lush and strong, and received hearty kudos from the man next to me at the bar who’d motorcycled up from Portland just to try it.

The “travel” section highlights drinks influenced by a particular region or country. It’s currently docked in India, and the Garam Masala Whisky Collins is not to be missed. It’s tasty and completely unique, with an under-a-palm-tree refreshing nature thanks to the addition of coconut soda.

The third “tropical” section, which features one of my favorite drinks, contains less-traditional tiki twists. Anchored with mezcal, the El Perro Grande includes butterfly pea flower, fresh lime and pineapple juices, and a little muddled jalapeno, all garnished with an orchid flower (Navy Strength’s garnishes are striking across the board). Chris worked on the drink for years before unveiling it. Its purple color, foaminess, citrus and smoke fit our Northwest spring like a grass skirt.

The Food: Chef Jeffrey Vance (also the chef for No Anchor, which earned a James Beard nomination) has developed a tight menu in keeping with Navy Strength’s island-and-ocean vibe. Our sage bartender says the rockfish ceviche is an early favorite among patrons, but the raw albacore tuna—served with cucumber yogurt and pickled red onions—has also garnered raves. A seafaring snacks menu features inspired creations like the Kumamoto oyster with passionfruit and black pepper granita. Sorry herbivores, but aside from two desserts there weren’t any veggie options during our visit.

The Space: Though they obviously revere tiki drinks and culture, the atmosphere at Navy Strength is subtly tiki, not veering anywhere near kitsch. A few paddles and masks, candles and shipboard lighting, and lots of wood (including beams from a 1940s prefab home) set the tone. The sizable U-shaped bar almost looks like a ship dry-docked on land. The space between the bar and the wood-and-subway-tiled back wall is huge (jellyfish tanks are on the way), giving the crack bar team plenty of room to mix complex cocktails quickly. I hear traditional flaming tiki drinks are coming, which will make that spacious setup even handier.

Instead of grabbing a window seat, moor yourself to one of the multicolored barstools and chat with the bartenders while they fill ceramic tiki mugs with tropical concoctions. You won’t regret it.

Syndicated from Photo source: Navy Strength’s Facebook Page.

By Stephen Cohen

Seattle real estate may be going through a sphere stage — a period of circular reasoning, if you will.

Amazon‘s Spheres workplace at Sixth Avenue and Lenora Street downtown certainly added some softer edges to the city’s landscape, but while “Bezos‘ balls” are dwarfed by the surrounding buildings, a proposed skyscraper would place its orb atop its 46 stories.

The proposed building at Third Avenue and Virginia Street is being designed by Vancouver, British Columbia firm Westbank to house 453 apartments above retail and office space in what is now a parking lot.

But the most apparent feature is a glass and steel sphere perched atop the building, roughly 500 feet above the city streets below.

The dome, at nearly 60 feet tall, will house amenities for the tower’s apartment dwellers, such as the pool, according to a GeekWire report.

And while it might look an awful lot like the spheres of Amazon’s new campus, the company said the dome was inspired by Buckminster Fuller and his work on geodesic domes.

At 499 feet tall, the tower would also include 103,480 square feet of office space spread across six floors below the 38 floors of apartments. The first two floors will be retail space, according to the report.

Westbank has two other active projects in Seattle, and was involved in an earlier project in Bellevue in years past.

The project is set for a design review meeting later this month, but details on when the project might break ground weren’t immediately available.

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By Kate Calamusa

Get the family out and enjoy a movie and snacks in Belltown at…

2100 4th Ave.
AGES 1014

Originally built in 1963, the Cinerama is a Seattle institution. Now owned by tech billionaire Paul Allen, it emerged from an extensive 2014 renovation with a state-of-the-art digital laser projector system, epic surround sound, and seats with more legroom. In keeping with its Seattle-centric focus, the concession stand is fully stocked with locally crafted treats, such as Full Tilt ice cream and Brave Horse Tavern’s warm soft pretzels.

Macrina Bakery
2408 1st Ave.

Owned by master bread-maker Leslie Mackie, Macrina Bakery offers an impressive selection of hand-formed loaves at each of its three outposts, from apricot-nut sourdough bread to chewy, salty pretzel rolls.


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