On Aug. 17, Mortenson Construction began removing the concrete structure, occasionally referred to as Ballard's "Stonehenge," that lies between Swedish Hospital and the Plaza Building on Market Street.

As part of Swedish's new medical office building and emergency room project, the space that was once occupied by the large concrete towers and beams will be transformed into a courtyard garden featuring trees, shrubs, plants, benches and a commissioned sculpture, Swedish spokesperson Ed Boyle said.

Boyle said the spot will enjoyed as a restful place by patients, family members and the public for years to come.

The courtyard garden is expected to be completed in early November, around the same time the new medical office building and emergency room opens.

For more information on the medical office building and emergency room project, click here.

Swedish Ballard demo of cement structure on Market.JPG
Photo credit: 
Pam Barber/Swedish

The concrete structure on Market Street outside of Swedish Medical Center's Ballard campus is removed Aug. 17 to make way for a courtyard garden.

Single story brick structure with potentially three tenants coming

The former Pegasus Pizza at 2758 Alki Avenue S.W. is set to be torn down in the next 7 to 10 days to be replaced by a new single story brick building, similar in character to the building adjacent, now occupied by Starbucks. The project will start in the middle of August and be finished within 75 days.

Owner Tom Karvouniaris said he will be seeking restaurants or other suitable tenants. Why single story when the area is zoned for a higher structure? "I can't afford it," he said laughing.

The new building will be just over 3600 square feet, room enough for two to three tenants. Karvouniaris said he will refinish the parking area
behind the building and will have room for 11 vehicles.

CBI Contractors, who have done other structures in West Seattle is handling the work.

Alki Building.jpg
Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

The former Pegasus Pizza building at 2758 Alki Avenue S.W. will be replaced by a new single story brick building in the next 90 days.

In fall 2009, Washington Federal Savings announced its proposal for a new building at its Market Street site. Now that those plans appear headed for approval, the owner of the neighboring Carnegie's Restaurant is accusing the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, as well as Carnegie Free Public Library and Washington Federal Savings, of duping the public.

Jerry Brahm, owner of Carnegie's Restaurant, is alleging the designs presented at two public Design Review meetings are not accurate reflections of what will actually be built, and the reality will harm both his business and the historic nature of the Carnegie building.

"It's a lot more than the public knows is going on," Brahm said. "They deserve to know the truth."

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

The owner of Carnegie's Restaurant says the public has not been told the truth about plans for the redevelopment of the Washington Federal Savings building and the impact they will have on the Carnegie Free Public Library.

What if instead of the pit where Sunset Bowl once stood, there was an all-ages street hockey rink? Or if instead of the temporary lake just east of the Ballard Bridge, there was a floating art installation?

Those are just a few of the suggestions for Seattle's vacant lots submitted to the Seattle Design Commission as part of the Holding Patterns project.

On June 22, the Design Commission released the 13 finalists out of the 83 submissions it received.

The finalists are:

  • Community Rink: A space for street hockey, bike polo, dodge ball and more.
  • ParkOurPark: A parkour park.
  • Kaji Court: A fustal/soccer court.
  • Rising-Shining: A temporal light installation.
  • ViDea Video Performance: A video project project.
  • Neighborhood Watch Theatre Company: A multipurpose public event space.
  • Blackboard Jungle: An installation of blackboards for the public to write/draw on.
ssh sunset bowl.jpg
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Seattle Design Commission

A street hockey rink where the Sunset Bowl once stood is one of the suggested uses for Seattle's vacant lots. CLICK IMAGE FOR ANOTHER POSSIBLE USE.

Swedish Medical Center's new five-story, 90,000-square-foot Medical Office Building on its Ballard campus is taking shape and headed for an early-November grand opening.

Construction started on the Medical Office Building in September 2009. The building, located at the intersection of Market Street and Tallman Avenue Northwest, will house an expanded emergency department and medical imaging center, primary-care clinic and specialty physicians.

The Medical Office Building is part of a movement by Swedish/Ballard to revitalize its campus and meet the healthcare needs of the growing Ballard community into the future.

"The community now has visible evidence of a long-term commitment to Ballard, which was not the case before," said Dr. Rayburn Lewis, executive director and senior medical director of Swedish/Ballard during a June 23 tour of the half-completed Medical Office Building.

Highlights of the tour included:

  • A wall of windows that will light the main entry off Tallman Avenue.
Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Workers from Mortensen Construction work on the exterior of the Swedish/Ballard's new Medical Office Building, which will be opening in November. CLICK IMAGE FOR A TOUR OF THE NEW BUILDING.

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) paving crews have been resurfacing SW Genesee Street from 47th Avenue SW to 49th Avenue SW. They recently completed grinding the old asphalt surface on these two blocks.

Today the crews have been given the “go ahead” to add two additional blocks of Genesee Street to the project, from 49th Avenue SW to 51st Avenue SW. The crews now plan to grind the old surface off of the additional blocks Wednesday (tomorrow), Thursday, and possibly also on Friday. They plan to lay the new asphalt, weather permitting, on Monday and Tuesday, June 21 and 22. One lane of traffic in each direction will remain open.

Genesee Street was not on SDOT’s original list of paving for 2010, but cost savings by the department from other paving projects have enabled SDOT to pave the street this year.


Visual and audio dampening components were installed on the roof of the Ballard on the Park/QFC development April 29 in an attempt to make the rooftop HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) units less audibly and visibly noticeable from the adjacent Ballard Commons Park and nearby residences.

The HVAC system could be heard humming from the park since it was turned on in January, and some residents complained that the large metal units were unsightly and not represented in plans for the development.

The supports for the dampening components were installed two weeks ago.

Ballard on the Park's 268 units at 5700 24th Ave. N.W. opened for leasing in February. The QFC below the apartments opened in January.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Workers install dampening components to the Ballard on the Park/QFC development April 29 to hide the rooftop HVAC units from sight and hopefully cut down on the noise emitted from them.

Ramp now set to open summer/fall 2010

Work to complete the new eastbound 4th Ave S off-ramp from the S Spokane St Viaduct is ahead of schedule. Originally set to open for use by December 2010, the new ramp is likely to open in late summer or early fall. Once utility work and paving are completed, expected by early summer, eastbound lower Spokane Street will be reopened and crews can then join the new ramp to the existing elevated structure. This is the final construction step in the creation of the new off-ramp, but it will require the closure of the eastbound right-hand lane of the viaduct between 1st and 4th avenues for approximately two months.

As a reminder, the next major milestone in the South Spokane Street Viaduct Project, which began the fall of 2008, is around the corner. On May 17, 2010, crews will close the westbound 1st Ave S on-ramp and prepare it for demolition. This makes way for work to widen the upper roadway 41 feet to the north, and build a new on and off-ramp along 1st Ave S that should open in the fall of 2011.

Photo credit: 
Seattle Department of Transportation

The 4th Avenue South off ramp from the Spokane Street Viaduct will open early in late summer or early fall.

Eleven community groups cite condition, esthetics and safety

An open letter has been sent to the Seattle Capital Corporation from the SouthWest District council and endorsed by eleven community groups in West Seattle noting the community concerns over the Fauntleroy Place construction site. It was to be the new home of Whole Foods but the project stalled and lawsuits were filed. The Fauntleroy Place development plans call for a six to seven story building with 184 residential units above 65,160 square feet of retail space. Anchor tenants were to include Whole Foods and Hancock Fabrics. The now tentative plans call for 484 parking stalls.
The site has sat in its current state since December of 2008.

Seattle Capital Corporation
Attn: Robert E. Story, Jr.
190 Queen Anne Avenue, #100
Seattle, WA 98109

Re: Community concerns over Fauntleroy Place construction site

Dear Mr. Story:

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter; it is representative of the sentiments of a large number of West Seattle community organizations, our constituents, and the general community of West Seattle who we endeavor to represent.

Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson
First major courtyard to be complete by late fall

Seattle Chinese Garden at 6000 16th Ave. SW just at the north side of South Seattle Community College held a site tour and presentation on chinese gardens on April, 10. These free docent-led tours of the Garden are held on the second Saturday of each month, March through October at 10 am. To arrange a special docent-led program or hardhat tour of the construction site for your group of eight or more or call the office (206-764-5219) . Check their website for updates on construction, events, tours, and other programs.

The 4.5-acre garden site, and Song Mei Pavilion are under construction now and progress is being made on the first major courtyard. Plants native to China are now in the SSCC Arboretum. The tour began with a slide presentation on the cultural significance of Chinese Gardens.

The project will be completed in several phases, likely over at least several years, as funding becomes available.

See video
Photo credit: 
Kimberly Robinson

Sandy Marvinney, member of the Board of Directors of the Seattle Chinese Garden stands in the Song Mei Pavilion under construction. This summer, skilled artisans from China will come to complete the work on the project, due to open to the public next fall.

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