News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhoods

 

Light rail construction to begin at Maple Leaf Portal

September 30th, 2013 by Mike

Sound Transit announced today that work building a light trail tunnel from Roosevelt to Maple Leaf will begin as soon as this week.

Once construction begins, residents, local employees and drivers through the area will notice a series of short-term and long-term changes along First Avenue Northeast between Northeast 90th  and 100th streets.

The immediate work will continue until January, and will include bicycle detours and making First Avenue a one-way street. Details are here.

Trees and shrubs will be removed, and jackhammers will cut through concrete.

Long-term construction includes launching a tunnel boring machine from the Maple Leaf portal to drill two light rail tunnels to Sound Transit’s Roosevelt station, on 12th Avenue Northeast near Northeast 65th Street.

Other machines will tunnel between the underground Roosevelt station and the University District and Husky Stadium stations. North from the Maple Leaf Portal, the trains will run above ground along Interstate 5 to the Northgate station.

All this is predicted to take about four years and is the biggest chunk of the $2.1 billion Northgate Link Extension, set to fully open in 2021.

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Upcoming events in and around Maple Leaf

April 18th, 2013 by master

We’ve received a slew of emails about area events that we thought we’d share beyond just posting them on our events page:

  • Tomorrow, April 19, there’s a performance of The Wizard of Oz at 6 p.m. at St. Catherine Parish School, 8524 Eighth Ave. N.E. Admission is free with a canned food item or $5 per ticket.
  • Also tomorrow, there’s an “Evening in Italy” fundraiser for North Helpline from 5:30-9 p.m. at Lake City Community Center, 12531 28th Ave. N.E. There will be live music, a wine toss, raffles and a full spaghetti dinner for $10/adults, $5/children.
  • For the next two weekends, you’re invited to Northwest Puppet Center’s latest show: Chickens and Pigs and Bears … Oh My!” at 9123 15th Ave. N.E.:

    “Chickens and Pigs and Bears . . . Oh My!” is a celebration of some favorite stories presented in new and creative ways. Audiences will delight in the different styles of puppetry, live music, poetry and audience participation. Puppeteer Peter Allen performs “The Three Little Pigs” with marionettes, “The Little Red Hen” with shadow puppetry, and “The Three Bears” with rod-puppetry. A wonderful performance for audiences 3 years old and up.

    Curtain is at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sundays through April 28. Tickets cost $10.50 general admission, $8.50 for children up to age 16, and $9 for senior 65 and older, and they’re available at Brown Paper Tickets.

  • One of the neighborhood’s biggest events is coming up on Wednesday, April 24: The quarterly Maple Leaf General Community Meeting from 7-9 p.m. at Olympic View Elementary, 504 N.E. 95th St. Topics will include transportation issues, how the new Northgate urban center will affect Maple Leaf, and tree regulations.
  • Next Thursday, April 25, you can learn more about area construction at the Northgate Way Improvement Project Open House from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Northgate Library, 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E. The Seattle Department of Transportation in planning roadway improvements along North 105th Street and Northgate Way, from Greenwood Avenue North to Lake City Way Northeast. Improvements will include complete roadway repaving, new sidewalks and curb ramps, and drainage improvements from Greenwood Avenue North to Corliss Avenue North. SDOT will also upgrade signals, and street lighting from Greenwood to Lake City Way. This is your chance get in comments before final design by the second quarter of 2013; construction is scheduled to begin this summer, and is anticipated to continue through summer 2014.
  • Also on April 25, “Roads and Runoff” is the topic of the monthly Thornton Creek Alliance meeting from 7:15-9 p.m. at Meadowbrook Community Center, 10517 35th Ave. N.E. Art Brochet will discuss the Seattle Department of Transportation’s repaving project on Northeast 125th Street, as well as Seattle Public Utilities’ plans for Mayor Mike McGinn’s new stormwater goals. The group also will be talking about the past year’s accomplishments and goals for next year. For more information call, Judy Olson at 206-523-4384.
  • Fun for the whole family is planned from 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 26, at the “Magical Mac and Cheese” event at Northgate Community Center:

    Turn your macaroni and cheese into a magical evening of dinner and entertainment! We will have basic macaroni ‘n’ cheese and you add your favorite toppings. In addition, Xakary the Magician and his pet rabbit can mesmerize you with his magic. For ages 1 and older. Please register in advance at 206-386-4283. Cost is $5 per person or $20 for a family.

  • And of course, don’t forget about the 12th annual Olympic View Plant Sale from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 26-27. There will be vegetable and fruit starts, herbs, flowering annuals, premium perennials, pottery, garden art and more both days, as well as special children’s activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, as well as treats from Peaks Frozen Custard from noon to 5 p.m.

Spring Fever hits Maple Leaf!

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New 7-story building planned on Northgate Way

March 10th, 2013 by master

Before you head out the door in search of a few of Northgate’s favorite ethnic restaurants, you should take stock of what’s closed as plans develop for a seven-story building just east of the 24 Hour Fitness at the corner of Eighth Avenue Northeast and Northgate Way.

Of the businesses shown above, we know that Espresso Repair Experts has moved to Maple Leaf at 9522 Roosevelt Way N.E., Northgate Rare Coins & Precious Metals relocated to 11319 Pinehurst Way N.E., and Frame It also moved nearby to what is apparently now called the BevMo! Plaza at 10712 Fifth Ave. N.E. Masala of India Cuisine is still open for now, and isn’t moving far with a sign already up underneath the 24 Hour Fitness next door.

As for Kim Nails and Pho in the USA, the buildings are simply empty and vacant.

The situation is even more grim on the eastern half of the development. Although a sign at Indo Cafe indicates its moved to 13754 Aurora Ave. N.E., and that the Sprint has moved next to Masala, there are no moving signs at Scorecard Bar & Grill (which actually closed its doors in August), Sunny’s Hair Design, Cigar Land, International Salon, Savvy Mattress Outlet or Countryside Donut House, which we should note had boasted the No. 1 spot on our restaurants list.

As of Sunday, Supercuts at 543 N.E. Northgate Way was the only business still open, although the year-old BECU branch and SleepCountry in a separate building just to the north appear to be staying.

And what did all of these businesses close or move for? A seven-story building with 22,967-square-feet of commercial space, 262 residential units and 270 underground parking spaces.

As you can see above, if you don’t like it, it’s too late to say anything because the comment period ended nearly a year ago.

But you’ll have other opportunities as there are likely even more developments planned since the Gene Juarez Academy just south of that retail area also has relocated to 6007 A – 244th St. S.W. in Mountlake Terrace.

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Utility work on 1st tied to North Link

March 10th, 2013 by master

If you’re wondering how construction for the light rail station coming to Northgate will impact Maple Leaf residents in the next few years, you may have already noticed it beginning with utility work on First Avenue Northeast.

Sound Transit recently announced that utility work was set to begin in early March to relocate overhead power lines and poles where the trains will exit the underground tunnel in their approach to Northgate Station.

Power lines and poles on First Avenue, between Northeast 92nd and 97 streets, will be moved from west side of the street to the east side to accommodate the portal at Northeast 94th Street and First Avenue Northeast. 

That work is expected to be completed by July.

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Northgate construction complete; more planned

February 17th, 2013 by master

If you’ve been avoiding Northgate Way since construction began last summer, you may now resume your regular travel routes — but don’t get too used to it.

The Seattle Department of Transportation last week announced that all lanes again are open to traffic, and that all of the planned intersection and pedestrian improvements are completed at Northgate Way and Fifth Avenue Northeast. What it means for you: 

To help ease traffic congestion, two turn-lane improvements were made. The crews added a left-turn lane from westbound NE Northgate Way onto southbound Fifth Avenue NE, and also extended the right-hand turn lane from northbound Fifth Avenue NE onto eastbound NE Northgate Way. They also built a landscaped median with trees on NE Northgate Way just west of the intersection, created decorative crosswalks on all four sides of the intersection, installed a new traffic signal system, and improved drainage and water quality.

But this spring, SDOT is planning another Northgate construction project along North 105th Street and Northgate Way, all the way from from Greenwood Avenue to Lake City Way. Completion is expected in spring 2014. In a nutshell:

This project will improve the corridor along N 105th Street and N/NE Northgate Way from Greenwood Ave N to Lake City Way NE. Improvements will include roadway repaving, new sidewalks and curb ramps, drainage improvements, street lighting and traffic signals, and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) components.

But more importantly:

This project will have considerable impacts on traffic and the public.

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Family Terrace construction set to begin

September 27th, 2012 by master

The children’s play area at Maple Leaf Playground is about to get a serious makeover.

Starting this week, construction fences will go up at the park as work begins to build the new Maple Leaf Family Terrace, which will be part of the new Maple Leaf Reservoir Park.

Donna Hartmann-Miller, who heads Friends for a Greater Maple Leaf Park, writes on the committee’s Facebook page that construction could take from four to seven months, but that the new play area should be ready for kids to return by next spring.

Take a look at what you can expect to see at the new Family Terrace, and here is more general information about upcoming work at the park.

UPDATE: In an email newsletter (which you can sign up for on the Community Council website), Hartmann-Miller notes a few nearby playgrounds for parents to visit while Maple Leaf Playground is under construction:

  • Foula Park — 7200 12th Ave NE, 98115
  • Ravenna-Eckstein Park — 6535 Ravenna Ave NE, 98115
  • Dahl Playfield — 7700 25th Ave NE, 98115 (also has a skateboard feature)
  • Victory Heights Playground — 1737 NE 106th St, 98125
  • Victory Creek Park — 1059 NE Northgate Way, 98125 (this is the one behind the QFC parking lot)
  • Northgate Park — 10510 5th Ave NE, 98125 (next to the library and community center)
  • Licton Spring Park — 9536 Ashworth Ave N, 98103
  • Green Lake Park — 9536 Ashworth Ave N, 98103
  • Cowen Park — 5849 15th Ave NE, 98105 (this one has a Zip Line, so you can get in some practice and be a Zip Line expert once ours is installed)

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Banner Way overpass, I-5 exit closed this weekend

August 24th, 2012 by master

Take heed when you’re driving home this weekend. Starting at 10 tonight, the northbound I-5 off-ramp and Banner Way NE overpass at N 85th Street will be closed until 5 a.m. Monday.

According to the news release from the Seattle Department of Transportation, the closures are related to the road work that has been under way on 85th all summer:

These closures are necessary to complete roadway grinding and asphalt paving work on N 85th Street between Densmore Avenue N and I-5. Paving activities are scheduled to occur Friday night through Saturday morning (weather permitting) and will intermittently impact north/south access across N 85th Street at Wallingford Avenue N.

Drivers traveling on I-5 should use the NE 50th Street or N Northgate Way exits during the weekend closures. SDOT encourages drivers to continue following signed detour routes, plan ahead, expect delays, use alternate routes to and from I-5 and SR 99, and ride the bus, bike or walk when possible.

This weekend’s closures will occur simultaneously with other N 85th Street lane and I-5 on- and off-ramp closures that began earlier this month.

Metro bus routes will be affected by this work. Look for Rider Alert notices at the bus stops, see reroute information later this week on Metro Onlinewww.kingcounty.gov/metro or call (206) 553-3000.

The entire N/NW 85th Street Paving Project is scheduled to be complete by the end of October. This project is funded by the 2006 Bridging the Gap levy passed by voters, and makes much-needed repairs to the two-mile stretch of N/NW 85th Street between 15th Avenue NW and I-5, and Greenwood Avenue N.

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Phase 2 of Northgate construction begins

August 15th, 2012 by master

You’ve probably figured out by now that avoiding Northgate is your best way to avoid major traffic woes this summer because of the NE Northgate Way and Fifth Avenue NE Intersection and Pedestrian Improvements Project. That’s not ending anytime soon.

Tomorrow the second phase begins, as the Seattle Department of Transportation builds a second left-hand turn lane for westbound traffic on Northgate Way turning onto southbound Fifth Avenue Northeast. This phase also includes extending the right-hand turn lane for northbound traffic on Fifth Avenue turning eastbound onto Northgate Way. Which means, one-lane travel will continue through mid-September as follows:

  • Eastbound NE Northgate Way from Third to Eighth avenues
  • Westbound NE Northgate Way from Third to Eighth avenues
  • Northbound Fifth Avenue NE from just south of Key Bank through the intersection
  • Southbound Fifth Avenue NE from NE Northgate Way to just south of Key Bank

Eastbound Northgate Way will remain one lane until project completion, which is scheduled before Thanksgiving. A news release from SDOT continues: [Read more →]

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More construction on Northgate Way

August 3rd, 2012 by master

In addition to Seafair traffic this weekend, brace yourself for the start of more construction on Northgate Way as the NE Northgate Way and Fifth Avenue NE Intersection and Pedestrian Improvements Project continues.

The gist of it is to simply stay off of Northgate Way, at least for the next two weeks while the Seattle Department of Transportation builds a new landscaped median on Northgate Way, and possibly until Thanksgiving when the entire project is scheduled for completion.

Here are the details from the project page: [Read more →]

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Olympic View gets a heat pump construction project this summer – and a new principal, too

May 27th, 2012 by Mike

Neighbors are invited to a meeting Wednesday night to learn about construction that will take place at Olympic View Elementary School this summer.

The school is one of three in Seattle getting a ground-source heat pump system, funded by levy money.

This system takes advantage of the moderate temperatures in the ground to boost efficiency and reduce operating costs of heating and cooling systems. This will also be a learning opportunity for students.

The public meeting is at the school, 504 N.E. 95th St., on Wednesday May 30 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Construction will be outdoors this summer and move indoors in summer 2013.

In addition, Seattle Schools earlier this month announced that Sandra Powell will become the school’s new principal on July 1.

Powell, most recently assistant principal at Nathan Hale High School, comes to Olympic View with 27 years of experience as an educator. She began her career in education as an elementary school teacher in New York City and a teacher mentor for the United Federation of Teachers/ Teacher Centers. She moved to Baltimore and served as the lead teacher at Moravia Park Pre K-8 Campus School.

Ms. Powell has also worked as the International Studies Coordinator/Director of Social Studies at Community School District 13 in Brooklyn, New York; English foreign language teacher at Suzhou Middle School, Suzhou, Peoples Republic of China; and a social studies lead teacher/global studies teacher at Benjamin Banneker High School in New York. Ms. Powell was a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey.

She holds a Master of Science in Education, School Administration and Supervision from Johns Hopkins University and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has a Washington State Administrative Certification.

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