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neighborhood in the news


Columbia Citizens got lots of media love last week:

NW Asian Weekly

Northwest Asian Weekly: 98118: the most diverse zip code in the country ...

"[The Rainier Valley area] has the best selection of foods, music, and culture I think you can find in any neighborhood. It's got a level of tolerance for difference that I've not seen anywhere else in the city [or] anywhere else I've lived," said Jeffrey Taylor of State Farm Insurance in Columbia City.

"I grew up here. This is where the core of the Filipino community is," said Gerold Castro, owner and operator of Kawali Grill. "That's why I have my business here."

The 98118 zip code, which encompasses Columbia City and the surrounding Rainier Valley neighborhoods, has been cited by the U.S. Census as the most diverse region in the nation. Refugees and immigrants from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and many other countries are included in this demographic area.


P-I link

P-I: Seattle Night Out August 3rd

New neighbor Constance BrownConstance Brown is looking forward to Seattle Night Out.

As soon as we bought this place in C-City, my nomadic life came to an end (at least for a few years) and I started to fantasize about lending cups of sugar and condo-wide cookouts. Over the last year, we have met and chatted with some of our neighbors (and they're all cool, whew!) but we haven't yet graduated to partying together.

Enter Seattle Night Out. (Da da da daaa!) America's Night Out is a national crime prevention event that invites citizens, law enforcement, and businesses to celebrate their community and heighten crime awareness. Last year, 1200 Seattle neighborhoods participated, with 36 million people participating nation-wide.


DJC link

Daily Journal of Commerce: Homebuyers look outside the urban core

Our strategy meant first considering the viability of the area, specifically the Rainier Vista community, which is located along Martin Luther King Jr. Way parallel to the light-rail line where we have been building homes. With the coming of this mass transit option, MLK Jr. Way has experienced a significant transformation that connects it to the rest of the city via light rail. New construction quickly followed.

Other factors also played an important role in our decision to invest in this area. Columbia City over the past decade has grown into a vibrant neighborhood with restaurants, shops and a cinema, and provides a much-needed community hub. Also, the Seattle Housing Authority made a significant commitment by developing a master plan, purchasing land and then selling it to developers with the promise to create affordable communities.


DJC link

Daily Journal of Commerce: Extended-stay hotel opens in Columbia City

Seattle's Columbia City area has a new extended-stay hotel, the Shirley Marvin, 3815 S. Edmunds St.


Puget Sound Business Journal: Harbor Properties plans Columbia City apartments

Despite a sour economy and sliding rents, Harbor Properties is moving ahead with its plans to build a apartment complex in Seattle’s Columbia City aimed at middle-income workers.

Harbor paid the Schlamp Family LLC $3.45 million for a 1.2-acre parcel located on a portion of the St. Gobain plastics factory site. The property is situated on South Hudson Street near Rainier Avenue South in Columbia City’s historic district, a few blocks from Sound Transit’s new light rail system.

The purchase includes a 14,000-square-foot historic building that was once an auto showroom. Seattle-based Harbor plans to lease the 1920s-era building as office or retail space, said Steve Orser, Harbor’s director of development.


Times: Come to Mawadda Cafe for a deal and a dream

In Seattle's Hillman City, Mawadda Cafe owner Rami Al-Jebori greets patrons with a genuinely warm welcome and an array of dishes that range from satisfying to sensational.

Mawadda Cafe serves up big platters of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food with a side of the American dream.

The dreamer is owner Rami Al- Jebori, who studied to be a chef in New York City and worked in the food industry for years before buying a dilapidated sandwich shop on South Graham Street a few years ago.

"For a year and a half, I worked 14 hours a day, open to close, just by myself," he says. "Every penny I made I put back in the place." He upgraded the kitchen, put in new tile, painted the walls cinnamon and mocha, and bought new furniture. Now he has three employees and nurtures a hope of one day opening a fine-dining restaurant.


Times link

Times: Columbia City Theater grand re-opening 06/25/10

As previously reported, the recently re-worked Columbia City Theater is beautiful, with exposed brick walls, a chest-high stage, and three stories of headroom. The theater's grand re-opening party is free and happens Friday, June 25, with DJ Suspence, Capitol Hill b-boy rap group Mash Hall and Beacon Hill rap crew Cloud Nice performing.

Mash Hall should bring its usual aggro-cartoony energy, and perhaps some new songs, and Suspence is a name Seattle hasn't seen in a while, perhaps not since the producer/DJ performed last summer with his now-defunct local punk/rap/pop group The Saturday Knights. It'll be fun to see what oddities he pulls out of his record bin, or hard drive as the case may be.


P-I: Light Rail in Rainier Valley: What's the verdict?

A number of people have discovered destinations near the line, particularly in the historic Columbia City retail blocks where merchants have aggressively marketed their services since the rail line was completed. "It has generated a lot of new customers, especially around the soccer games and the baseball games," said Theo Martin, owner of Island Soul Restaurant and president of the Columbia City Business Association. "People stop and eat before they take it downtown."

Economy still a drag
Other developments along the line have been scaled back, however, or are still on hold until the economy improves.

Harbor Properties has reduced its planned Columbia City apartment development from 370 units to 125 because "we just didn't think the market was ready," said Denny Onslow, the company's chief development officer. Onslow predicted the economy and the market will return but it will be several months before his company's development can break ground. "I think we will," he said. But the Eagle Rock Ventures housing development, also in Columbia City, remains "on hold until the market improves," said Scott Shapiro, Eagle Rock's managing director.



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