Hundreds of Gallons of Diesel Spills into Lake Union from Yacht

According to the Washington Department of Ecology, diesel oil spilled from a 74-foot yacht on Tuesday, July 19th. Workers noticed oil on the water at approximately 6:30 a.m. on the morning of the spill, reported it to authorities, and deployed an oil spill containment boom.

“The amount spilled and the cause of the spill remain under investigation. and it appears that fuel leaked from at least one of four tanks on board into the vessel bilge, activating the bilge pump and discharging fuel overboard,” the Department of Ecology’s website states.

KOMO News reported that the fuel tanks had only just been filled on Monday, and by Tuesday morning they were completely empty. An estimated 630 gallons of diesel fuel had leaked into the water.

There was a strong odor of diesel, but vapors were monitored well below the level of risk for fire or explosion.

In addition to the State’s Department of Ecology, Seattle Public Utilities and the U.S. Coast Guard have formed a unified command to respond to and clean up the spill. “The owner has hired spill response contractors who are acting under the agencies’ oversight.”

Cleanup efforts included removal of the diesel from the surface of the water, as well as hand cleaning under docks and along the shoreline. Materials such as containment booms, oil-absorption materials, vacuum trucks, and other vessels, equipment and vehicles have been used to support efforts to clean up after the spill.

As of 5 p.m. on July 20th, the Department of Ecology reported that all oil that could be recovered from the water and shore structures had been removed. “Some sheen may be visible on the water, a layer of oil too thin to recover, that will dissipate in the next day or so… Ecology crews are assessing environmental effects. There have been no reports of oiled wildlife.”

Investigation as to the cause of the fuel spill continues.

Featured photo source:

Lake Union Office Rents Increased a Shocking 28% in the Last Year

Article syndicated from the Puget Sound Business Journal

Over the past year, office rents have been increasing across the city, but nowhere nearly as steep as in Lake Union. Explosive job growth has fueled a shocking jump of 28 percent in the last 12 months, and Lake Union office rents are at an all-time high average of just under $50 per square foot for premium space.

The average per square foot rent for premium space in downtown Seattle is $41.35, but that neighborhood only saw an increase of 7.2 percent. Comparatively, Bellevue office rents increased 16 percent in the last year, to $45.57 per square foot. So, with premium Lake Union office rents at $48.39 in a 28 percent increase, this neighborhood is seeing the most dramatic jump in price across the greater Seattle area.

What’s the cause of this soaring increase?

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, it’s the result of explosive job growth with the addition of more than 100,000 new jobs in the last 12 months in the Seattle metro area. Nearly half of these positions are in job sectors that need office space for their operations, and only 8.8 percent of Seattle office space is vacant. Low inventory is helping to drive up office rents, particularly in desired areas such as Lake Union.

Luckily, lots of new office space is currently under construction to fill the growing demand. Of more than 7.2 million square feet of office space in construction right now, 22 percent is located in Lake Union (another 31 percent is being built elsewhere in Seattle, and 15 percent in downtown Bellevue). Approximately 3.2 million square feet will open for use this year, according to JLL’s second quarter report.

Don’t Miss the Lake Union 10K, August 14th!

The Lake Union 10K is back! It’s coming up on Sunday, August 14th. This is the 8th annual race of its kind, and involves running (or walking, if you’re so inclined) clockwise around the lake on the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop Trail on a fully-supported 10K (6.21-mile) course.


For runners, the starting time is 7:30 a.m., and walkers have their own dedicated start at 7:35 a.m. Both groups will start at Westlake Avenue North in Lake Union Park in the southwest corner of Lake Union.

After the race, there will be vendor booths, raffle and awards, as well as the highly anticipated French Toast and breakfast bar provided by Portage Bay Cafe!

The Lake Union 10K was founded by 5focus, a local physical therapy, massage, kinesis and interval training business. It is sponsored by Portage Bay Cafe. The Lake Union 10K benefits Girls on the Run of Puget Sound, and has been named one of Seattle’s top 10K events.

Since the inception of the Lake Union 10K, 3,934,500 calories have been burned by runners and walkers. Last year, 2,282 slices of French Toast were served by Portage Bay Cafe to feed runners after the race!

Follow the Lake Union 10K Facebook Page for a final chance to win a free entry to the race!


Chef Travis Kukull Departs Mollusk in South Lake Union

Mollusk’s part-owner and chef Travis Kukull is stepping away from the kitchen at this South Lake Union restaurant after seven and a half months. His departure is a sad one for the chef, as his style of cuisine didn’t really take with local residents. Although Mollusk itself will stay open, Travis is moving on to practice his skills elsewhere.

“The neighborhood has proved difficult for my style of cuisine,” he told the Seattle Times. Although he had a few loyal regulars who loved his unique take on bar food, the people moving to the area were not drawn to the menu. So, Kukull is listening to the neighborhood and applying his style of cuisine to other projects to allow Mollusk’s menu to become more conventionally brew-pub style.

Travis’ last day as chef at Mollusk was Tuesday, June 21st. For the summer, he is cooking at Hotel Hälsingland in Haines, Alaska, but he hopes to return to the Seattle area again in October. “Thanks to all who supported my weird food,” Kukull says, in parting. “I love you all.”

Kukull’s move comes just a few months after Mollusk dropped lunch service. According to Seattle Eater, that change was due to a lake of traffic (the same reason provided when the restaurant reinstated tipping in April of this year).

Featured photo source:, credit to Dean Rutz.

Chinese Developer Plans 26-Story Apartment Building in SLU

Chinese real estate developer Create World America recently purchased the property at 427 9th Ave. N in South Lake Union for $16.25 million. They bought the property from Wilshire Capital Partners, who originally paid $5.85 million in late 2013, and spent the last few years acquiring permits for a 26-story apartment building.

Now Create World America will be taking over the project, and hopes to begin construction in October of this year. CEO Lili Lu told the Puget Sound Business Journal that the project should cost approximately $120 million, and is a joint effort with another Chinese company, Modern Land Co., and VIA Architecture.  

This 26-story apartment building is conveniently situated across the street from the complex of buildings currently leased by Amazon, and will feature mid- and high-end units. In addition to the residential apartments, there will be an underground parking garage with 70 spaces.

This recent purchase is just one of Create World America’s moves into the Seattle area, with a two-phase project for apartments and condos in downtown Bellevue and a 40-story Pike Place Market condo project.

Featured photo source:, rendering from VIA Architecture