Congrats to Ballard on Receiving the “Only in Seattle” Grant

Last week the city of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development awarded the Ballard neighborhood a grant that will allow them to create a commercial revitalization, given by the Ballard Chamber of Commerce, through the “Only in Seattle” initiative. The initiative is a partnership between the OED and Impact Capital with the neighborhood business districts. and grants are given to allow the communities small businesses to succeed, and implement proven theories to create successful business districts.

Photo courtesy of kingcounty.gov

Photo courtesy of kingcounty.gov

Ballard is already a successful business district by definition, and the grant will allow the Ballard Chamber to have a group of community stakeholders come together to plan to further develop a plan for success, present and future. The “Only in Seattle” initiative’s goals are not only to further business and retail organization and success, but to ensure safety and cleanliness in the community, utilize marketing to promote the district’s positive reputation, and ensure that the pedestrian environment is inviting and easily accessible for transportation. Congrats Ballardites! Continue to support and appreciate your local community businesses.

Ballard Lofts Design Review Board Meeting

Interested in learning more about the Ballard Lofts project? There will be a design review board meeting for the 72 unit apartment complex proposed for the corner of NW 65th and 24th Ave NW on January 28th at Ballard High School. In recent months, the project has been a  hot topic around the neighborhood, as it will be replacing the long standing Viking Tavern. ballard lofts

Bill Parks, the building developer will be leading the discussion at the meeting beginning at 6:30pm, and present the proposal to the community,  and will also go over priorities presented at the previous meeting. The proposal for the project includes 25 additional residential units, and 3,665 sf of ground floor retail space, as well as parking for 36 vehicles below ground. If you’d like to learn more about the project, or application of the design review process, visit the Department of Planning and Development for updates.

Is Ballard at Risk of Being Overbuilt?

According to the Seattle Times, there are 1,200 market-rate apartments in various phases of construction in Ballard, with hundreds more planned for the future. The question has come up for residents and those fond of the neighborhood: Is Ballard at risk of being overbuilt? Developers form Chicago and Virginia are building large high rise complexes where Jacobsen’s Marine and other longtime Ballard businesses once set up shop.

Sometime in 2014, when all of those building are completed, the number of units available in Ballard is projected to increase 70%, more than any other neighborhood in Seattle. And that doesn’t even include other projects that haven’t broken ground, another 750 or so that should be completed by 2015. During the recession few buildings were planned, and the last building completed in Ballard was built over two years ago. Developers are responding to the high demand for rentals today, with an influx of young adults who are looking for in-city living at a time when there’s little new inventory available. Analysts believe that in a year or so, when all of the new construction becomes available, supple and demand might be imbalanced, and the number of inventories might outweigh the demand. Rents will be lower and stabilize, and landlords might start throwing in bargains like a month’s free rent. For more information on the Ballard apartment boom, visit the Seattle Times.

Seattle Ranks High on Best Cities to Trick or Treat; Which Ballard shops are Handing out Treats?

How does one rank trick-or-treatiness? The statistic gurus over at Zillow are at it again, this time measuring which cities across the country are the best for this year’s trick-or-treaters! Seattle ranked fourth overall, behind, Honolulu, Boston, and San Francisco, and they measured the rankings according to who is likely to provide the most candy, with the shortest walking distance, in the safest neighborhoods.  According to their findings, the top neighborhoods around the city include Loyal Heights, Phinney Ridge, Wallingford, Madison Park and the Roosevelt area.

Halloween is just around the corner, and  it falls on a Wednesday. If you’re taking the little ones trick or treating this year, be sure to check out the list of which Ballard shops are handing out candy from 4-6pm on October 31st. Happy Halloween!

Best Kept Ballard Secrets: Sidestreet Library

We know Ballard has a lot of fun quirky restaurants, and activities going on at all times, but here is a good one for readers who are on a budget, and searching for a good read. Spoiler: must trust the opinion of your  Ballard neighbor! Apparently somewhere near the corner of 13th Ave NW & NW 77th street someone has taken the liberty to put up a small wooden cabinet with peak-a-boo windows, a place where residents and passersby can take a book and leave a book, with a small sign that reads “The Neighborhood Library.” 

According to the folks over at myballard blog, The library also has a small notepad inside for anyone to leave a quick note about which books they’ve taken and dropped off, any particular favorites, or just a simple hello to other users. If you’re in the neighborhood and have something to trade, stop by this hidden gem, and leave a good read for someone else to enjoy.

Seattle Officer Will Avoid Suspension if He Steers Clear of Trouble

Seattle Police Office Gary Hayes was involved in an off duty altercation last year after a brawl in Ballard, where he stepped on a handcuffed suspect. According to the Seattle Times, Hayes was referred for retraining after breaking the police department’s policies for professionalism off duty. Haye’s Seattle Police chief put him on a 10 day suspension without pay, but is not taking the situation lightly, and has made the punishment with the inclination that he stay out of trouble for the next two years.

Hayes was off duty when the incident occurred last December outside of Balmar, and ended up in a fight with three other men when he confronted a woman for taking his coat. Hayes was later charged with misdemeanor assault, which happened right around the time the Department of Justice ran an investigation that found the Seattle Police Department too often engaged in using excessive force. For more information, visit the Seattle Times.

New Ballard Residential Planning to Replace the Old Viking

Design plans are currently in the works for a six story residential tower where the Viking has been for the past 50+ years, at 6404 24th ave NW. Applicants for the Ballard residential project have applied for a design review, and a meeting will be held at Ballard High School, open to the public to discuss the design, and the design review board will also be present for questioning.

copyright the Viking

The residential plan includes 6 stories of 60 units, and 5,000sf of retail space, as well as 60 parking spaces for tenants. If you’re interested in obtaining more information on the project, contact the Land Use Planner.

New Park Plans Cause Tension Over Parking

Plans for the new $1.5 million park along 14th Avenue NW will take away some 90 parking stalls along the street, and a group of local Ballardites is fighting to keep those parking spots in place. The tension is part of a citywide battle over how much parking is enough, and the City Council is actually considering a proposal to eliminate required parking around new apartments and condominiums within a quarter mile of frequent transit. Parking may still be included, but builders wouldn’t have to provide parking for each unit.

Proposed green space along 14th near NW 60th street

 

A group for the East Ballard Community Association have been petitioning the city for nearly a decade to bring a green space to 14th Ave NW, a street that has more parking along curbs and across a wide median, than almost any other residential street in the city. According to the Seattle Times, at two separate meetings in the city, about 100 people attended to help plan the new park and fewer than 20 complained about the potential loss of parking. But those who did object came in hot, with the argument that with the surge of redevelopment in Ballard, they’ll be losing more parking and don’t want to take away anymore than they must. The arguments continue on both sides, those arguing the green space citing that they are not against a park, but the decrease in parking stalls will cause a problem for handicapped and elderly; those for it stating a two block park isn’t going to cause as much fuss as they’re making. Find an extended description of the Green Space on the Seattle Parks and Recreation Website.

Looking for a Unique Rental? Live in a Church!

If you’ve been searching for a rental unlike any other around town, check out this converted home on Ballard that was once an actual church! This quirky 6,300 sf Ballard landmark, located at 2007 NW 61st St is partially renovated for residential living quarters, and has that spooky haunted house/old spirits lurking around the church feel to it.

Photo Courtesy of RedFin

This 6 Bedroom, 3.25 bath is equipped with a bell tower, abandoned tricycles amidst the entryway and a relatively large attic space and can be your humble abode for $789,000. Find other listings in the Ballard neighborhood here.