Friday, April 24th – 1st Annual Ballard Earth Day Street Party

vNE8214NS9GOvXOy7DCu_DSC_0266Earth Day celebrations aren’t over yet – at least not in Ballard.

Set for this Friday, April 24th, 2015 the 1st Annual Ballard Earth Day Street Party will kick off at 4 p.m. and go until 8 p.m.

Hosted by Ballard based solar installation company, Sunergy Systems and Sustainable Ballard, the street party will take place on NW 46th Street between Leary Way NW and 8th Ave NW.

Event highlights include:

Keynote speaker, Tom Watson King County EcoConsumer

Burgers & Greens by Giddy Up and pints provided by Stoup Brewing

Live music: Robotic AboutUs, Matt Badger, Mic Pogo, & Earth Over Heaven

Local environmentally-minded businesses

Fireside workshops and presentations

 

Also, don’t miss the sustainably-themed Raffle with prizes like:

Electric Bike (model Giant Twist Freedom DX)
by Electric & Folding Bikes Northwest

Intro Yoga Certificates

Career Counseling Certificate

Local Ballard products like apparel, teas and candies

Local Ballard restaurant gift cards

 

 

http://www.ballardearthday.com/

Mars Hill sells Flagship Location in Ballard for $9 Million

If you live in Ballard, you’ve likely seen the Mars Hill mega church that sits directly across from the Trader Joe’s store. Reported in the Puget Sound Business Journal today, the church bought the property for $4.8 million in 2003, and keeping it within faith-devoted family, just sold it to local church Quest for $9 million. The Ballard location was the most valuable of 15 the locations the church owned across 5 states.  Ballard-Map

Additionally Mars Hill is selling their 40,000-sf corporate facility at 1411 N.W. 50th Street, as well as their Sammamish building which offers 30,000-sf and around two-acres of land. Both properties asking price is $6.9 million and with Seattle’s real estate industry booming, these properties are catching the interest of retail and office developers.

DPD Hosts Seattle 2035 Discussion at Ballard High School Tonight

92072Tonight, at the Ballard High School Commons (1418 NW 65th Street) from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m., the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is hosting the first of three meetings, discussing local industrial lands and possible future policies surrounding them.

Proposed and named by the City, Seattle 2035 is DPD’s multi-year project that examines growth patterns and city offerings in Seattle.  Mandatory by State law, Seattle is to review and update their Comprehensive Plan every ten years. The deadline for these amendments is June 30, 2015 and the purpose of these meetings is to invite community feedback on proposed policies.

It comes as no shock that Seattle is growing, if you’d like to see something change in the next 20 years, join the conversation and get involved.

 

Seattle 2035 Industrial Lands Policy Discussion – Ballard

Tues, March 3, 2015, 6pm

Ballard High School

1418 NW 65th St., Seattle, WA 98117

 

Seattle 2035 Industrial Lands Policy Discussion – Interbay

Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 6pm

Q Café

3223 15th Ave. W, Seattle, WA 98119

 

Seattle 2035 Industrial Lands Policy Discussion – Interbay

Thursday, March 12, 2015, 6pm

South Seattle Community College – Georgetown Campus, RM C-122

6737 Corson Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98108

Ballard Real Estate Recap

September was another strong real estate month in the Ballard market. During that time we saw an 8% increase in the number of new listings that hit the market but at the same time there were 20% fewer active listings available for purchase when compared to September 2013. While more homes came on the market this past September than the previous year, it still did not make up for the overall low inventory of homes that has plagued the Ballard area. Inventory levels are at a one month supply which is the lowest level in King County. As a result, we saw the median home price rise this past September in part due to fewer homes available to purchase. The median single family home price on closed sales in Ballard was $524,500 last month. That is a 12% increase when compared to September of 2013 where the median home price of a sold home was $468,500. With interest rates still at historic lows and Ballard attracting a lot of buyers, this trend of low inventory and high prices is set to continue. If you would like more information on the Ballard real estate market, please feel free to reach out.

 

*Statistics not compiled or published by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service

 

Ballard Classic Home Tour

This Sunday June 23rd will be the 6th triennial Ballard Classic Home Tour where you will be able to walk through some of Ballard’s most historic properties. This is the  Ballard Historical Society’s largest fundraiser and it allows the non-profit organization the ability to provide various free lectures throughout the year as well as participate in other Ballard community events. The BHS was founded in 1988 to celebrate and preserve the Ballard culture. 

The house tour starts at Sunset Hill Community Clubhouse, 3003 N.W. 66th St in Ballard and runs from 10am to 4pm. The cost is $20 per person and you can buy your tickets at the Ballard Classic Home Tour website.

For more information please visit their website at http://ballardclassichometour.bpt.me/.

Goodbye Viking Tavern, hello more condos

Tuesday was the last day that locals could enjoy a beer at the Ballard ScaVikingndinavian Viking Bar. The bar opened in 1950 and closed yesterday to make way for a new development project…..more condos. Many are sad to see the local hangout go and are trying to decide which local bar will be their new hangout to enjoy a beer.

It was bittersweet for owners Tim and Peggy Cannon. They had been the owners of Viking Tavern for the past 23 years. The bar was filled with regulars, customers who have become family to Peggy. Peggy left early while Tim stayed to see out the Viking’s last closing. Although no decision has been made, the Cannons have been talking with Bill Parks, managing partner of the Ballard Lofts, in regards to possibly resurrecting the Viking. Parks has plans for new development which would provide space for retail or a new bar.

Cupcake Royale Now Offering Ice Cream!

Is it summer yet? We’ve seen a glimmer here and there, but the folks at Cupcake Royale are happy with what they can get this summer, and taking the opportunity to launch ice cream in all 6 of their store fronts.

The delectable cupcake gurus are now offering flavors such as “cupcakes n cream” as their signature flavor, and will have many other unique flavors such as their “whiskey maple bacon crack” made with locally sourced Woodinville Whiskey, and Zoe’s meats bacon, “Bonanza” made with bananas homemade brownies and caramel, burnt caramel and sea salt, and red velvet cupcake; yum! The newest store front is located at 108 pine street downtown and will open this Saturday, but until then will have a food cart outside the store front serving scoops from noon-8pm. The Ballard, Capitol Hill, and Bellevue locations will have scoops, shakes cones and sundaes on their menu, and all other locations will have pints to go.

Ballard High School Competes in NY Jazz Festival

Ballard High Essentially Ellington FestivalAs I mentioned in an earlier post, the Ballard High School jazz band was invited to play in a prestigious nationwide high school jazz competition, Essentially Ellington, in New York City. It was Ballard’s first time being at this impressive jazz festival. This weekend, they along with two other Seattle schools and twelve other nationwide high schools tooted their horns to the Ellington tunes of “Night in Tunisia,” “Tutti for Cootie,” “Riding on the Blue Note,” and other Ellington classics.

Roosevelt, Ballard, and Mountlake Terrace represented the Puget Sound area very well at the competition. Roosevelt High, well-known for its quality jazz band program and a regular competitor in “Essentially Ellington,” won second place at the festival! Ballard High won individual accolades for its performance. I would keep my eye on trumpet player and senior Sam Zisette and vocalist Jade Likkel, both Ballard High students. They each received awards for their performance at the festival. Congratulations, Ballard High!

Seattle Apartment Vacancy Rate at All Time Low Now, but Will Ballard be Overbuilt?

Ballard Hjarta IIAccording to a Seattle Times article, apartment vacancy rates in Seattle are at an all-time low. In the past few years, the Seattle rental market, especially in Ballard, has shifted from a tenant-market to a landlord-market. What does that mean for people searching for apartments? High rents.

Using the basic economic theory of supply and demand, there hasn’t been much new supply. The amount of new apartments is one-third of what was offered in 2009. Additionally, demand is higher, MUCH higher. People who can afford houses are fearful to buy, so they are staying in apartments, despite the evidence that it may be more affordable to buy. Additionally (and this is my own theory), the economy is picking up, meaning more young professionals can afford to move out or live with fewer roommates than before. Demand has skyrocketed and that has caused the Seattle vacancy rate to be under 5%! The higher rents are definitely noticeable in Ballard.

Fortunately, Ballard is working hard to meet that demand. It is impossible to not see the cranes that dot the horizon as you look across Market or look up 15th or 24th. Tenants should feel some rent relief in the next year or so. However, some are worried that Ballard may be overbuilt. In my opinion, I think people will continue to flock to the neighborhood. But I’ve said that in previous posts. What do you think?

If you’re interested in seeing what’s available in the apartment market in Ballard and the surrounding areas, use the search tool here.

New Ballard Restaurant: The Gerald

Ballardites, add a new restaurant to your radar. The space at 5210 Ballard Avenue will now be known as The Gerald, a restaurant/bar tapping into our desire for American comfort food. In an effort to fill the void created when Denny’s was torn down, The Gerald will be offering classic American diner options, such as Mac ‘n cheese. For the full menu options, please check out its website.

Perusing the menu, you know that I’ll be checking this place out in the next few weeks for three reasons:

  1. Poutine –  The heart attack-inducing food, poutine, is fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds. Slowly but surely, the Canadian classic has been sneaking down south in to the States. So, I cannot wait to taste The Gerald’s poutine creation.
  2. Swedish Meatballs– Despite living in the Nordic capital of Seattle, it is surprisingly difficult to find a place that serves Swedish meatballs. The only place I know that serves Swedish meatballs in Ballard is The Copper Gate. Besides that, the only option to satisfy my craving was to hop in a car and get lost in a Swedish maze of modern home furnishings that is IKEA. Now that The Gerald is open, you can bet I will order the Swedish meatballs. Thank you, The Gerald, for honoring Ballard’s Nordic roots.
  3. Cocktails – The Gerald offers an intriguing cocktail menu, inspired by the 50s and 60s. Highlights include the numerous gin cocktail options (the Ruby Gin Fizz, the Gimlet, and the James Bond-inspired Vesper), various ginger options, and more. I cannot wait to sip on a Silent Third while enjoying a sunny afternoon. Wouldn’t you like to try a “sexy coupling of lemon & vanilla,” otherwise known as the Sidecar? Oo, I’m thirsty!

The Gerald looks like a restaurant-bar hybrid. In the sea of restaurants and bars in Ballard,  it will be interesting to see how this one succeeds, as there are a few other restaurants that offer the comfort food options. It opens tonight, but an official grand opening will happen in the next few weeks. If you stop by, tell me what you think!

Don’t forget to check out The Gerald’s Facebook!