Join Historic Seattle and the Ballard Historical Society for “Digging Deeper”

historic-ballard3

Historic Seattle’s acclaimed multi-session program Digging Deeper continues on May 7th with a behind-the-scenes look at the archival collections of the Ballard Historical Society. Along with a conversation about the material housed at the Ballard Historical Society and how to access it, Anne Frantilla, Deputy City Archivist, Seattle Archives and Records Management Program, Seattle Municipal Archives, will also discuss the Ballard records housed at the Seattle Municipal Archives.  Also attending will be John LaMont, Genealogy Librarian for Seattle Public Library (SPL), and Hannah Parker with the Ballard Branch of SPL.

Ballard was chosen as a Digging Deeper site after a 2015 Historic Seattle survey revealed strong public interest in the history of the neighborhood. The town of Ballard was settled in 1887 and remained an independent entity until 1907 when it was annexed by the city of Seattle. May 7th’s Digging Deeper program will expand upon the early history of Ballard and audience members will learn how Ballard got its name, when/why the railroad came through Ballard, and many more fun facts about this unmistakable Scandinavian community in Seattle.

Details:

Date: May 7th

Time: 10:30 – 12:00pm

Location:  Sunset Hill Community Association, 3003 NW 66th Street, Seattle
Series of eight sessions: $65 general public / $50 members
Individual sessions: $10 general public / $8 members

Ballard Historical Society

In Ballard, Portland Seeks Lessons on Affordable Housing

Ballard

A tech-boom, soaring real estate prices, and a very tight vacancy rate are causing the city climate of Portland to seem very similar to its neighbor to the north, Seattle. In an attempt to avoid the housing crisis playing out in the West Coast’s premier tech hub, San Francisco, Portland’s city planners are looking to Seattle, and specifically to Ballard, for innovative ways to preserve affordability. Yet, Seattle’s response to its booming population growth has not been universally applauded, especially in Ballard.

The city of Portland is particularly interested in Seattle’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). The two major components of the agenda are an Affordable Housing Impact Mitigation Program, which requires developers to pay a fee on all new commercial development that directly funds the construction of affordable housing, and a Mandatory Housing Affordability Program, which requires builders to designate five to eight percent of units in new multifamily residential developments as affordable.

While most, if not all, of Seattle residents, can agree that affordable housing is a critical issue, backlash against HALA developed when an unfinished draft of recommendations was leaked to the press in July of 2015.  Among the recommendations was a proposal to increase density in Seattle’s single-family neighborhoods. Neighborhood density is a hotly contended issue, especially in the wake of Seattle’s 2010 land use code change for low-rise multifamily zoned areas.  Many urbanists, as well as developers and builders, argue that increasing density is the only way to provide sufficient housing units for the growing city.  Neighborhood activists and preservationists argue that new out-of-scale development is irreparable changing the unique character of the city’s residential neighborhoods.

Density is a particularly sensitive issue in Ballard.  Livable Ballard, a neighborhood advocacy organization argues that “under the code changes, modest and affordable houses and duplexes are being torn down and replaced with tall, expensive groups of three or four townhouses, which tower over the existing houses and sidewalks and are not at all compatible with the neighborhood.” Furthermore, the group argues that the type of new development being seen in Ballard is particularly worrisome as the neighborhood is already poorly served by mass transit. Neighbors are also concerned by the aesthetic implications of new development.  Chris Bodan, who moved to Ballard in 2004, described the new apartment buildings being constructed in the neighborhood to the Oregonian as “aesthetically and architecturally horrendous.”

Despite opposition from neighborhood groups, Seattle’s City Council passed the Affordable Housing Impact Mitigation Program component of HALA last fall and will be soliciting public feedback on the rest of plan this year. Meanwhile, Portland is in the midst of rewriting its own plans for growth and infill and while a HALA-like collation has not formed, city officials have said much about the need for affordable housing. Portland’s mayor, Charlie Hayes, however, has garnered much criticism from affordable-housing advocates for his support to preserve the low density of the city’s residential neighborhoods.

Hayes’ desire to preserve residential neighborhoods, best seen in his recommendation to reduce the allowable density in the affluent residential neighborhood Eastmoreland, is felt throughout the city. One merely has to scan the comment section of the Willamette Week to find an overwhelming number of diatribes against the city’s new apartment buildings. Yet, there is also consistent public outcry over increasing rents and real estate prices.

The current affordable housing conflict occurring across west coast cities has many wondering if  historic low-density neighborhoods have the ability to accommodate the type of growth the region is seeing?  Looking at Ballard, one might presume no.

Celebrate Ballard’s Scandinavian Heritage at the Taste of Norway

When you think of anything Scandinavian in Seattle, you have to think of Ballard and there’s no better time to get your fix than at the Norway Norwegian Cultural and Heritage Day this Saturday, March 19!

Get ready for a day filled with Norwegian-themed fun, and lots of tasty food! Enjoy a Scandinavian smorgasbord of delightfully authentic Norwegian favorites such as krumkaker, smorbrod sandwiches, ertesuppe pea soup and of course, lefse, to name a few. Watch live demonstration of how these tasty traditions are made, so you can make them yourself at home, when the cravings kick in. The festival will also feature plenty of lively traditional Norwegian music, live demonstrations of traditional Norwegian crafts, and genealogy experts to help you better connect to your Norse roots, or see if you have any to begin with. Folks are encouraged to dress in traditional garb, and, if they can, to participate in the Bunad Parade of clothing and jewelry, at 12pm.

The festivities kick off with the Leif-to-Leif walk/run (from the Leif Erikson Lodge to the statue of Leif Erikson at Shilshoe Bay and back) at 9am. Come (a little) hungry, as you will be rewarded for your efforts with a tasty heart-shaped waffle and the Norse’s favorite waffle-topper, homemade jam.

What better way to start your weekend then with some movement, tasty foods and a lot of fun in beautiful Ballard? There’s never been a better excuse to get your Viking on and there won’t be again…until next year, that is.

Annual Hot Chocolate Run Headed Our Way!

2016_HC_SEA_CourseMap_Small-791x1024Get ready to sprint your way to sweet sips!

Time to lace up those running shoes and sign up for the annual Hot Chocolate 15/5k run! This fun and festive event will be held on Sunday, March 6th and is fun for seasoned runners and first-timers who aren’t afraid of a challenge!

The 5k begins bright and early at 6:45a.m. and the 15k starts at 7:55a.m. Participants can expect a fun, well organized and challenging race through the heart of beautiful Downtown Seattle (hills and all!), a fabulous SWAG bag to take home and, of course, delicious chocolate!

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your Sunday while getting a great workout, consider signing up for this once-a-year event. The challenge is worth it to get to the Post Race Party where runners will enjoy music, a family friendly environment and a ‘finisher’s mug’ filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and delightfully dippable treats. Don’t sweat the calories, you will have earned this chocolate indulgence!

The Hot Chocolate Run isn’t just a great way to spend a day off. The Hot Chocolate Run is partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities, helping to provide a home-away-from-home for children and the families of children being treated at Seattle Children’s’ Hospital, at little to no cost to the families. A portion of the proceeds from signing up for this race will go to this outstanding cause, helping to make a real difference in our community.

Not ready to lace up and race? That’s fine! But be aware, this race will take place in Downtown Seattle and along many main roads and thoroughfares, so you will want to plan ahead for any travel on that day. Take a look at the map (above) to see the route and read the chart below for a street closure timeline, to help you plan your day.

 

 

Street Closure

From

To

Side of Road

Closure Time

Anticipated Opening

2nd Ave Thomas St Broad St Whole Road 6:15AM 9:10AM
Broad St 2nd Ave Elliott Ave Westbound 6:15AM 9:15AM
Elliott Ave Broad St SR-99 NB On-Ramp SB One Lane 6:15AM 9:20AM
Elliott Ave SR-99 NB On-Ramp Western Ave Whole Road 6:20AM 9:20AM
Western Ave Elliott Ave Spring St Whole Road 6:20AM 9:40AM
SR-99 Bell St John St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
SR-99 Western Ave John St SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Aurora Ave Denny Way 45th St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
Aurora Ave 38th St Denny Way SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Harrison St Aurora Ave Dexter Ave Whole Road 6:25AM 11:15AM
Dexter Ave Harrison St Mercer St SB One Lane 6:25AM 11:15AM
Mercer St Dexter Ave 5th Ave East Bound Lanes 6:25AM 11:20AM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave SB Lanes 3:00AM 12:00PM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave NB Lanes 6:25AM 11:25AM

“Safe Seattle” Meeting Tonight

safetyfirstIn a city as beautiful as Seattle, it’s easy to forget some ugly truths that linger beneath the surface.

A local group calling themselves “Safe Seattle” is having a meeting tonight, bringing to the forefront the growing public safety issues facing the city and calling the city’s inhabitants to action.

This meeting was organized by Cindy Pierce, a resident of Magnolia,  to shine a light on and address the growing problem of drug dealing and use, theft, illegal encampments and other public safety problems that are increasingly impacting residents and business owners in various areas of the city such as Ballard, Queen Anne and Magnolia, to name a few.  The goal of the meeting is to bring together residents of the community to talk about and demand action in regards to these issues, which, some say are reaching crisis level.

The meeting is expected to earn a potentially big turnout, due in large part to the response it’s had on social media. The meeting will include representatives from city hall and people from different neighborhoods throughout the city speaking on the issue.

The meeting will be held tonight, January 6th, from 6:30-8:30 PM at United Church of Christ in Magnolia 3555 W McGraw St.

Ballard Real Estate – Fall Recap

Ballard saw brisk sales activity in October with 52 properties sold, including 13 condos and 39 single-family homes. Though sales volumes were steady over the year, with an almost identical number of properties sold as in October 2014 (53), average sales price increased by 15 percent over the year to $573,254. Homes are selling quickly, with most only lasting on the market for approximately a week. Only 10 single-family homes were on the market for more than seven days in October, and condos sold in an average of 6 days.

Condo sales prices ranged from $260,500 for a 700-square-foot unit in a 1981 building at 11th Avenue Northwest and Northwest Market Street, to $425,000 for a 923-square-foot unit near the Ballard Locks. The lowest priced single-family (non-townhouse) home sale came in at $450,000 for a 1908 Craftsman in Loyal Heights; and at the high end, two new-construction modern homes on 23rd Avenue Northwest sold for $1.15 million each. Only four properties sold for below list price, and of the 52 properties sold, 35 sold for more than list price. The highest list-to-sales-price ratio came in at 122 percent for a 1967 715-square-foot condo a block from Ballard Commons Park.

If you’re curious what your Ballard home would sell for, please contact one of our agents for a free market analysis!

Save the Date! Holiday Party & Barter Fair Dates Announced!

 

Sustainable Ballard’s annual Holiday Party & Barter Fair will be on December 6th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the Ballard Oddfellows Hall. Starting thinking about what you intend to bring to barter for that perfect holiday gift. Items should have a $5-10 or $15-20 value. Items of larger value than that can be traded for multiples of the lower value items.

In past years, barter items have included:

 

  • hand-crafted scarves, hats and aprons
  • home-grown or foraged produce
  • home-made jams, truffles, dried photo-1443994450376-d67ed1937914fruit, granola, beer and other delectable goodies
  • holiday swags, candle holders, table toppers
  • services such as yoga classes, sailboat cruises, refrigerator deep clean, massage and more

 

It’s going to be a great event and we can’t wait to see you all there!

New Gastropub Graces Ballard This October

Ethan Stowell is opening a new gastropub in Ballard come October. Named Bramling Cross the venture will unsurprisingly feature upscale beer with gourmet food. We say unsurprisingly because the restaurant is named after a type of hop, so beer, and fancy beer at that, will be the focus here.

The gastropub will feature 8 taps of local beer and a large variety bottles and cans. Stowell feels that with so many well respected microbreweries in Fremont and Ballard, beer is becoming an upscale thing; might as well pair some upscale food with it.

According to Eater, Michael Giffrod, chef from Stowell’s How to Cook a Wolf will be “serving up Stowell-caliber fried oysters, hot wings, foie gras, Wagyu culotte steak, grilled chicken, house-made sausages, and more in shared plates.”

Bramling Cross will at 5205 Ballard Ave, taking over the old Portalis space (which moved to 6754 15th Ave NW)

12th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival Is This Saturday!

2015fest-posterv3

This Saturday is the 12th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival from 11am-5pm at the Ballard Commons Park. This FREE family-friendly event is packed with some great activities, workshops, and great hands-on games. Join the Garden Party – make a mad hat and sample some of Ballard’s tastiest teas & sweets in the Taste of Ballard Tea Garden. There will also be a chance to win-prizes, listen to live music on the solar-powered main stage, enter to win an electric bike, learn new ways to upcycle, help make fresh cider and hang with some pretty neat farm animals.

This is a great opportunity to learn together, get inspired, and discover new ways to live more lightly on the earth. Also, this event has partnered with Seattle Summer Parkways and will be the base-camp of a 7 mile loop which will feature activities at a variety of stops along the way.

Here is a list and time frames of some of the great activities happening.

 

MUSIC STAGE:

11:00 AM: Ricky Gene Powell

12:15 PM: Hot Cider String Band

1:30 PM: Sustainable Brain: BrainDance for Everybody!

2:00 PM: Ped and Pet Parade Starts

2:30 PM: Charlie and the Rays

3:45 PM: Steven Curtis

4:45 PM: Raffle Drawing

 

MOVEMENT ZONE:

10:30 AM: Yoga with Ballard Health Club

11:45 AM: Qigong with Embrace The Moon

1:00 PM: BUBBLE MAN (Kids & Kidults Program)

2:15 PM: Tijiquan (Tai Chi) with Embrace The Moon

3:30 PM: Zumba with Ballard Health Club

Ongoing: Z-Ultimate Self Defense (Periodic 10 minute demos throughout the day)

 

LEARNING STATION:

11:00 AM: Chinook Book Giveway
Thanks to a generous donation from Swansons Nursery, the first 120 people to visit this station will receive a free 2016 Chinook Book (print edition)! Please no queue before 10 am.

12:30 PM: Bringing Nature to Neighborhoods
Mary Fleck, Seattle Green Spaces Coalition
Learn about opportunities for bringing nature to neighborhoods through open spaces in Seattle.

12:50 PM: Benefits of Going Solar and Living Green
Aimee Carpenter, SolTerra
We will ask a few volunteers from the audience to participate in a demonstration, followed by a short talk on the benefits of going solar and living green.

1:10 PM: Energy and Water Saving Strategies
Leah Missik, Built Green
We will give a short talk on which energy and water saving strategies in the home have the greatest impact, so you can know where to concentrate your environmental efforts!

1:30 PM: Why Choose an Electric Bike?
Heidi Schlesinger, Seattle Electric Bike
What’s new in the electric bike world, including the health benefits, and our best answer to the question, Why choose an electric bike over a conventional bike?

1:50 PM: Climate Change and Initiative 732
Ben Silesky, Carbon Washington
We will explain the policy basics of Carbon Washington’s I-732 ballot initiative for a revenue neutral carbon tax, our political strategy, a campaign update and how everyone can get involved. We will then pass around boards to sign the initiative and volunteer.

2:20 PM: Bike Insurance
Sean Kuhlmeyer, Emerald City Bike Lawyer
Sean Kuhlmeyer, the bike lawyer, will be giving his famous and popular, but brief, talk about bicycle insurance, and how to make sure that you are protected if you get hurt in a bike crash. If you are a cyclist you need to know this information!

2:40 PM: Solar Impact
Chris Horne, Sunergy Systems
How many barrels of oil will be saved if your home converts to solar?

3:00 PM: Sustainability Within: Chinese Medicine Can Help The World
Avigail Cohen, Ballard Acupuncture Center
Chinese medicine is built on the natural sustainability that exists within the body. Learn about how your body systems parallel The Earth’s natural checks and balances, and learn how Acupuncture promotes an internal harmony that allows us to relate to the world in a more sustainable and harmonious way.

3:20 PM: Mastering Milking a Goat
Lacia Lynne Bailey, Ravenna Ridge Metro Milkers
Well, not really “master” it in this short demo but you’ll learn the basics of technique, equipment, sanitation and process, plus the all important after-milking ritual. Led by Lacia Lynne Bailey, breeder of Seattle’s only finished dairy goat champions since 2008 on her urban farm, Ravenna Ridge Metro Milkers.

3:40 PM: Shipping Container becomes ADU
Michael Vacirca, Lastingnest, Inc.
We are turning a shipping container into ADU (accessory dwelling unit).  Learn about the permitting process and details of this very affordable building method and how it could be used to create affordable housing.

 

SKATEBOWL: SKATE CLINICS

Come learn to skateboard at the Sustainable Ballard Festival!  Skate Like a Girl will be running four 30-minute co-ed clinics for FREE during the festival, as well as providing boards and protective gear. All ages and all abilities encouraged!   Be sure to register early — each clinic is limited to ten participants.  Skate Like a Girl will also be hosting demonstrations throughout the day. Don’t miss it!

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Register for clinics, free skate at park
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM: Clinic #1
12:30 PM – 1:15 PM: Gear return, free skate and demo in bowl; last call for Clinic #2
1:15 PM – 1:45 PM: Clinic #2
1:45 PM – 2:30 PM: Gear return, free skate and demo in bowl; last call for Clinic #3
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Clinic #3
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Gear return, free skate and demo in bowl; last call for Clinic #4
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM: Clinic #4
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Gear return, free skate

Note:  Lesson spots will be given away if participant does not show five minutes after the clinic start time. Late entries may be allowed or not, up to the discretion of clinic leads. Demos are in free skate / jam format with no formal programming.

 

Ballard’s ‘Up’ House Is On The Move

The new home of Ballard’s ‘Up’ house, also known as the Macefield house, has finally been decided and it’s ‘the best possible outcome’ Paul Thomas, the real estate broker listing the house, told the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Macefield Map

There was a scare earlier this year that the home would be bulldozed after the buyers planning to convert the home into a coffee and pie shop fell through. The news that a non-profit was selected on Thursday to receive the house came as a relief for local fans.

Though the home’s original owner and folk hero Edith Macefield passed away in 2008, her spirit and story, similar to that of the popular Pixar movie “Up”, have lived on in the community. “I can’t possibly imagine a more wonderful ending for this chapter of the Edith Macefield story,” said Thomas, of Realty Brokers Inc.

The name of the non-profit and additional details will be revealed at a press conference tomorrow, August 4, outside of Macefield’s bungalow at 1438 NW 46th St.