Work Begins on Lake City Way, 24th Avenue Closed This Weekend

24thAs part of the Lake City Traffic Safety Project, the Seattle Department of Transportation will be closing 24th Avenue NE between Lake City Way and NE Northgate Way this weekend between 4 PM Friday June 5th until 7 PM Sunday June 7th. As work on nearby sewer and water lines begins this week, the bus stop along Lake City Way that was just north of the intersection was moved south just before NE 104th Place. When finished, the intersection of 24th Avenue and Lake City Way will feature a new sidewalk, curb bulb on the SW corner of 104th Place, crosswalk improvements and sewer work. All this is part of the greater Improvement Project along the entire length of Lake City Way from I-5 up to 145th Street.

Bob’s Liquor & Wine Opens on Lake City Way

After months of remodeling, but with more cladding still to be put on the outside, Bob’s Liquor & Wine opened for business today on Lake City Way.  The building, which formerly housed the defunct Italian Spaghetti House, had a new addition put on the north side, along with stairs and a wheelchair ramp.

If someone who knows about liquor goes shopping there, feel free to write a review of the place here.

Italian Spaghetti House Remodeling To Be Liquor Store

The old Italian Spaghetti House on Lake City Way which has been closed since 2011 is in the middle of a remodel to turn it into a liquor store. I had thought that after Initiative 1183 passed last year that stand-alone liquor stores (albeit state owned) would be something you’d tell your grandchildren once existed before the advent of grocery stores being able to sell hard liquor. Apparently someone thinks there is business to be had here, presumably catering to a market looking for a selection of alcoholic products not available at every Safeway or Costco. A new two-story addition is being added to the former restaurant on the north side of the building with an extended foundation.

Head Rush Espresso Opens As Bikini Stand

The new espresso stand in the parking lot of the former Italian Spaghetti House opened yesterday as a bikini stand. Business was brisk on a wet Thursday afternoon with two scantily-clad young women inside serving drinks to passing vehicles. The large window, which cannot be seen from the street side, affords a good view inside, although walk-up customers will not be served, per company policy.

Some local residents were less than pleased. In a comment on our original post, Alyssa Powers wrote today, “It’s too bad because I would go to it if it was a regular espresso stand.” It certainly doesn’t improve the image of Lake City Way, already the home of two strip clubs and a nearby adult video store.

However, it’s not illegal to wear a bikini in public, and a visit to any local beach on a sunny day affords similar views without having to even purchase an overpriced beverage.

Chime in with your comments, please. Is it the end of civilization as we know it, or life as usual in the 21st Century along a busy state highway?

Next Bill Pierre Development Meeting May 19th

Shammara Estrada, Victory Heights’ Community Council Representative, reports,

Not sure if you are aware of this – but Bill Pierre has begun plans for redevelopment of his vast property along Lake City Way. The family has contracted with the UW Urban Design and Planning Department to facilitate planning efforts and engage the community in the conversation for the future of this property. They are primarily looking at issues such as connectivity, uses, etc and not specifically what will be built there. There will be a blog up soon with updates and more information.  If you are interested in being a part of the process, they will be having some visioning sessions.

When: Saturday, May 19, 9am-4
Where: Nathan Hale High School
What: Broken into two segments, the morning half will focus on the general framework for the property and the second half will be more small group break out sessions. For those of you that want to be included but cannot commit to a full or half day, there will be an area set aside for those just wanting to leave their ideas and comments.
Though technically in Lake City (though the city seems to think Victory Heights extends to NE 125th), the Bill Pierre properties represent a large amount of land ripe for change. What would want/not want to see there: Big box stores? Supermarkets? More “adult entertainment” venues? Parks? Here’s your chance to have your say.

Then and Now: Lake City Way

Looking north at Lake City Way from NE 98th Street: 1955 & 2012

The “Then” photo (click to enlarge) was taken on August 22, 1955 by the City of Seattle to document the construction of the Victory Heights sewer in the newly annexed (one year earlier) part of the city. Note the crosswalk: it would take an extremely brave pedestrian to walk across a four-lane state highway at an uncontrolled intersection (or did people drive slower back then on Lake City Way?–doubtful).

The “Now” photo was taken from approximately the same spot, looking north at Lake City Way from NE 98th Street in front of what is a bus shelter on the west side. The Eagle gas station has been replaced by the Italian Spaghetti House on the east side; Les Schwab, Summa and the ActivSpace on the west side have replaced the sea of billboards along the highway.

Visit the Seattle Municipal Archives site for many fascinating period photos.

Do you have a historic photograph of Victory Heights or information about our neighborhood’s history? Please write and share with us.