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Construction on the Hill: Businesses are Open!

Development in and around downtown Seattle is booming, especially in the designated Capitol Hill construction hub where a total of 24 projects are currently in construction. One particularly concentrated area is around 10th and 11th avenues, near E Union Street. That’s where three active construction projects have been going for about two years including Seattle City Light underground work and Seattle Department of Transportation street restoration work along 10th Avenue. The combined impacts have created a number of challenges for businesses in the area, especially since another big project will soon break ground on the same street.

So what do businesses do when surrounded by seemingly continuous construction? That’s a question the Access Seattle Construction Hub team is looking to successfully answer. The team meets regularly with contractors and project managers of all public and private projects to reduce cumulative impacts. They also meet with business owners and residents to identify problems and seek solutions through project coordination. But, it’s still challenging. Take Sweatbox Yoga for instance. Located at 1417 10th Avenue, the cranes they’re surrounded with are forcing business owners into something of a crane pose themselves–difficult for even the most advanced yoga enthusiasts to hold for an extended time, much less for 24 months or so.


On the plus side, a huge project at the corner of E Union and 10th Avenue just wrapped up (see green on the map). Of course, another big project is set to start mid-December at 1427 11th Avenue, building 136 residential units and a 128-car parking garage below. Again, the progress creating housing and jobs and other improvements also creates hurdles. SDOT’s Access Seattle Construction Hub team wants to hear what those hurdles are, at stakeholder meetings held every other Friday at 10 a.m. at the Comet Tavern. The more we know, the more we can strive to coordinate for improved access.

Construction in cities is a necessary occurrence, but dwindling patronage shouldn’t be. Though they promote relaxation of sorts, Sweatbox Yoga isn’t taking it lying down. Owners Frankie and Laura have launched a campaign to weather the Capitol Hill construction and stay strong well into the future. Their creative idea is The SweatBox Small and Mighty Campaign, offering reward packages for donations as well as other thanks for showing support. We applaud their innovative business plan, as we too look at ways to keep businesses thriving during unprecedented development.   Let’s keep working to get the word out—businesses are open!