Monday, February 11, 2008

What's Happening at the Christian Restoration Center

A few of you have e-mailed me to ask if I know what's up with the increasingly graffiti-covered Christian Restoration Center at 15th and Oregon.

OK, so I just looked up the sales records and DPD permits for that address, and here's what I found.

The property, which also includes the little shop next door, was sold last summer to Rudeen Development LLC, of Spokane, Washington. Their website explains the project this way:

Beacon Hill Mixed-Use:

This project is located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle, WA, just minutes from the downtown are. Currently in the planning stages, this project will be a mix of 30 studio, one and two bedroom condominiums, with over 6,000 sq ft of retail and two level's of garage parking. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2008

Project Manager: Kyle Kappen
Construction Period: Summer 2008
Size/SF/Units: 30 condominiums and 6,000 sq ft retail space
Location: Beacon Hill in Seattle, WA

I'm not super-impressed with their other projects. Here's a commercial project from 2006:


And a residential one from 2007:


Oh, God, you guys, I think I am going to cry. I hate to think of the site-appropriate Roman brick building getting replaced with a monstrosity like that.

Of course, they don't really sound like the type of company whose main objective is to improve the communities they enter:

Rudeen Development, LLC. specializes in multi-family housing unit development, and management. We also conceive light commercial, light industrial properties in the northwest. Now in our twentieth year, we seek to further characterize our illustrious endeavors in the development industry. Finally, our ability to streamline the construction industry through vertical integration permits us the capacity to facilitate cost-effective building solutions.

("Cost-effective building solutions" do not sound that pretty to me. Eek.)

No one has filed any permits with the DPD yet. The last permits for this property date back to 2003, when the space was remodeled to house the church.

Since they're out-of-town developers, they probably don't know what an eyesore their building is becoming. Does someone want to file a graffiti complaint on them and get that process started? Let me know in the comments; otherwise, I'll do it.

Are you community activist folks ready to deal with this? I know you had some luck influencing the design of the Delite Bakery. The magnitude of this project is much larger; we'll definitely need to let them know we don't want to see the images above in our neighborhood.


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Anonymous said...

I wish they'd leave the building as-is and put in a Trader Joe's.

LM said...

I agree about the Trader Joe's. I believe that development is slow on the hill due to the sensitivity around the El Centro del la Raza development. Beacon Hill has a development design plan, maybe we need to send it onto the developer.

Thanks for the informative Post- I haven't driven by the Christian Restoration Center for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

Wow I go by this every day and am always wishing something useful was housed there. I'd hate to see it end up like another ugly apt. building with underutilized retail on the bottom floor like we already have down the street at 15th and Lucile. Please keep us informed of how we can get involved - I hope it makes a difference. And I too would love a grocery store, especially something that compliments McPherson's across the street.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. We live in that neighborhood and walk to McPherson's all the time. Needless to say it would be a huge bummer if the developer built anything resembling the enclosed photos. Please keep me informed on what I can do.

uppergeorgetowner said...

I live about three blocks from this corner and will fight anything that looks like either of these two pathetically low aspiration things. I'd rather look at graffiti and garbage. Seriously.

uppergeorgetowner said...

Ok, I sent the developer an email asking for a citizen design review step to provide feedback on their design concepts. Let me know if anyone wants to see what I sent.
I work for a green buidling consulting firm, so my interest is that this thing be sustainable from a community, environmental and financial point of view, and that the design be attractive and compatible with the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

How do we get rid of the overflowed garbabe bin at the Bus stop at 15thS and Oregon?
It's been an eyesore for too long.

Quynh-Chi said...

To uppergeorgetowner - I would love to hear feedback from your email regarding the space bought by Rudeen Development!

Thanks for sending an email out and for taking steps to keeping Beacon Hill beautiful and green!

Anonymous said...

UpperGeorgetowner, I live one block away from this corner and also would like to hear the feedback from your email.

steve said...

Ugh. Sadly, I don't think we have to look very far from that site to see what to expect with the upcoming development, if Rudeen gets their way. Directly across Oregon St to the south is a building closely resembling the 2nd photo and the description in JVA's original post. I presume there will be a land use application with opportunity for public comment. We as a community need to speak loud and clear when this opportunity comes around. I live 3 blocks from this site and every day when I go by I hope for someone to come in and restore and upgrade it and put in a decent grocery or restaurant. Even if they tear it down, they could build something that's a positive community asset and not just another eyesore. Let's hope.

Anonymous said...

Our 'hood definitely lacks community assets. They've torn down several single-family houses along 15th north of Beacon, a wee south of Pac Med, and replaced them with 8-unit condo structures. Lots of people, yet limited goods and services. No nightlife, restaurants that close early, one grocery store (I like Red Apple but the selection leaves much to be desired). I'd even welcome a thrift store!

The intersection nearest my house has potential but unfortunately, it's one of the ugliest and worst to navigate - Beacon and Columbian. I don't know anyone who uses the dry cleaners on the corner except that there's usually some guy passed out behind their building. The golf shop used to be a drugstore! The old signage is still there advertising a "fountain" and the like; but GOLF STUFF? It's not like we have an emergency need for golf stuff in our household!

It's kind of a shame that the city doesn't seem to care about keeping Beacon Hill nice. I'll sell and move when the neighbors start turning their garages into "mother-in-law" units that are rented out to "good-for-nothing-cousin" units.

Anonymous said...

Hi there Dan Hagan aka Mayor of Beacon Hill (47 of 52 year resident) chiming in. I am a direct neighbor to the property and my sister lives directly behind
Christian Rest Center. There is some good but unfortunately very innacurate info being blogged re: this property so here goes.

The property is NOT owned by Rudeen - they are just the developers so emails to them re: graffiti are useless.

The property is owned by Jim Claeys - who grew up on Beacon Hill - has relatives in the neighborhood and many lifelong associates such as myself. The pictures of developments on the Rideen website in NO WAY reflect the type of developments associated with Mr. Claeys other city wide developments including those on Lake Union and Alki. If you would like to see the type of structure that would better represent what will be erected on the property - please go to - another of Jims properties.

I talked with Jim this AM and the structure will be full brick facade with NICE retail areas that could house Bistro, Coffee shop etc while maintaining architectural harmony with other structure in that (my) neighborhood. In addition Mr. Claeys company will be able to determine WHAT TYPE of business can go in the facility unlike the retail areas under the disguting property across the street on the SW corner of Oregon and 15th and even more unsightly retail area on the corner of 15th and Lucille. These will be faily high end condos with no garages to my knowlede with all parking residing inside the building.

Jim will be publishing plans and representative sketches in Beacon Hill News soon.

The building sold for over 2 million dollars and unfortunately Jim was not able to get his hands on the small store, dentist office etc next door - which are still owned by the same landlord that let the former church facility fall into irrepairable condition when on lease to the Church. The building is old, was built in asbestos happy times and really needs to go.

Jim can be reached at the ARA website at - I think all should hold judgement until plans are unvieled. Jim worked in that building as a box boy in the 70's when it was a Tradewell and then IGA supermarket respectively and in no way wants to put up a slum dweller structure.

I for one am thrilled a man who lived here most of his life wants to bring an upscale development in (sorely needed given ramshackle multi family construction usually reserved foe south end) - I would be happy do discuss with anyone at any time

Anonymous said...

Works crews at site were removing garbage yesterday

Anonymous said...

Interesting...The former owner did live on Beacon Hill until he passed away 4-5 years ago; owned it since 1986 until last year in August 2007 (via his family). Tbe KC records do indicate that that Rudeen is indeed the buyer as of August 2007 But wno really knows who is hiding behind whom?

And who is this Dan Hagan "Mayor"? Interesting once again!?

UpperGTer: Me too...I'd rather look at the graffiti and garbage.

Trader Joe' them, just not here on the Hill.

jVa intresting blog BTW! Thanks for all the work you've done so far on said property; we'll all wait to see what really happens.

Anonymous said...

Hi there - Dan Hagan is I - got the nickname when after I graduated from Cleveland High in 1973 - when all my class mates left and moved away - and it kind of stuck as a kidding around name from mynightly grafitti patrols. Rudeen is a development co as you know - who develops Jim Claeys properties for him - Jim also owns the apartment building north of that property as well - and I am assuming over time that it will come down as well. I can only pass on at this time what Jim has told me and please feel free to contact him on the email for the blog entry - I have told him of the concerns via MBH Blog - and I share some of the concerns of overcrowding etc as I have lived in this neighborhood for most of my 52 years - all I can validate through is other properties I have seen him develop - and I too would be the last person in the world that would want to see the Eastern Washington style piece of garbage depicted on the web site


Anonymous said...

Thanks Daneyboy for clarifying...may have to look you up in my brother's yearbook or something 'cuz I never heard of you 'til now and I too have been up here since birth!

I'm still somewhat confused as to how Claeys and Rudeen fall in together. Depending on the apartment building you are refering to north of here, I cannot find him owning any...more clarification.

Continued excellent work JulieVa and thanks for your efforts.