Development still a few years away

The future Compass Center site at 1753 N.W. 56th Street, which has been a dirt lot since a vacant house was torn down in June, will be planted over with grass in the near future.

"It will look a little more like a meadow," Compass Center Program Director M.J. Kiser said at the Sept. 9 Ballard District Council meeting.

In June, Compass Center Executive Director Rick Friedhoff said grass would be planted at the site as part of the demolition of the vacant structure. The lot was touted as the neighborhood's newest open space.

As of Sept. 10, the lot was still vacant dirt.

Kiser said the grass hasn't been planted yet because they missed the planting season, but now that the rain has returned, grass will be planted.

The Compass Center, a low-income housing provider, is a few years away from building the Ballard development, Kiser said. The Center owns the property, but she said they are in the process of raising funds to build the project.

The site will become a seven-story, 80-unit development to provide permanent housing for homeless men and women, Kiser said.

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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

According to program director for the Compass Center, this vacant lot on Northwest 56th Street will be planted over with grass in the near future.

Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence III Program has released another update on the construction of the co-joined Denny MIddle School and Chief Sealth High.

"Last month, the Project 1 contractor completed the retaining wall along the east property line as well as continued work on the sewer line along with east property. Grading for the north parking lot was started and will be completed by the first week of August.

This month, August, work for Project 1 will include site asphalt paving at the north parking lot and east road.

For Project 2, installation of the short aggregate piers will be completed by the end of this month. The Project 2 contractor is starting the interior renovation of the main classroom building for Chief Sealth. Foundation work will also be starting in August along with site work including grading, excavation and underground utilities for the new Denny school.

Installation of some storm sewer piping and connecting to the existing sanitary manhole in Southwest Kenyon Street, 260 feet east of the Southwest 26th Avenue intersection will take place Aug. 10 through 21.

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Photos courtesy Seattle Public Schools

Denny/Sealth Footing formwork at Bldg C, the new Denny School/Galleria. CLICK PHOTO FOR ANOTHER IMAGE.

The Seattle Department of Transportation has announced that the city is on track to meet 2009 goals for Bridging the Gap.

Department Director Grace Crunican thanked Seattle residents for the voter-approved initiative.

“Residents are seeing the results of their (Bridging the Gap) dollars," she said. "The (transportation department) is steadily improving city streets, bridges, sidewalks and bike facilities, making it easier and safer for everyone to travel around Seattle.”

The city cites the following progress:

- Major asphalt and concrete paving projects are underway on some of the city’s most traveled streets and more than 20 lane-miles of paving will be completed by the end of this year. Work is underway in West Seattle, downtown and south of downtown.

- More than 17,575 square feet of sidewalk have been repaired and the equivalent of five new blocks of sidewalks have been built. Additionally, 42 schools now have improved school zone signage and 32 pedestrian countdown signals have been installed.

The Rainier Valley, Magnolia and the Central District are among areas where pedestrians are already benefiting from these new enhancements.


Last month saw the start of grading work to prepare the foundation for the new Denny International Middle School and the new galleria. The contractor removed the remaining portables and the new gas service was turned on.

This month, July, work will continue on the foundation, utilities and the retaining walls, according to Pauline Sugarman, project assistant - for the Building Excellence Community Outreach for Seattle Public Schools. Work will begin on the commissioning of the new boiler
as well as the installation of the improvements to Chief Sealth including electrical and mechanical upgrades to the classrooms.

A modernized Chief Sealth High School is scheduled to open in fall 2010. A new Denny International Middle School is set to open in the winter of 2011.

Sugarman warned that parents or neighbors of the school may be impacted by the sights and sounds of construction.

Visit the Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence  BEX Web site to see
construction photos, news, updates and more to keep you up-to-date on the construction progress.

Photo credit: 
Rendering by Bassetti Architects

Construction continues. A modernized Chief Sealth High School is scheduled to open in fall 2010 and a new Denny International Middle School is set to open in the winter of 2011.

It is another busy week as concrete reconstruction work around the California Avenue Southwest and Fauntleroy Way Southwest intersection begins again on July 13. Crews will work on the south side for five days, wrapping up by July 17 (weather permitting), according to the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Traffic at this intersection will once again be reduced to one lane in each direction to accommodate the work zone and provide sufficient turning movement for large vehicles.

A uniformed police officer will be on site at California Avenue Southwest during work hours and the afternoon peak to offer assistance with the temporary lane configuration changes, pedestrian crossing and to keep traffic moving.

In addition to the concrete reconstruction at California, crews will grind off the top layer of asphalt on the east side of the roadway between Southwest Holly Street and Southwest Edmunds Street next week.

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Concrete reconstruction work around the California Avenue Southwest and Fauntleroy Way Southwest intersection begins again on July 13.

Gifted, a colorful gift and card store in the Archie McPhee style, is expanding in its Ballard Avenue location.

Work on expanding the store deeper into its building has been going on for a month and will be totally completed by Seafood Fest, Gifted owner Emoret Fossum said.

When a new owner purchased the building at 5427 Ballard Ave. N.W. last summer, he decided to expand the spaces of both Gifted and Kavu, though that store will be moving in the future, Fossum said.

Fossum said she was more excited for the expansion at the time it was announced before the recession.

"It was last summer before the bottom fell out," she said. "We're a little nervous now, but hopefully it will be a good thing."

She said Gifted will use the extra room for more of the same and will have a little more room to spread out.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Gifted on Ballard Avenue is expanding.

A boarded-up house at 1753 N.W. 56th St. that neighbors said was filled with transients and drug use was torn down June 1.

Kevin Johnston has had an office across the alley for 10 years. He said he was happy to see the building, which he described as a flop house, go.

Diana Naramore, owner of the Sip and Ship across the alley from the house, said she had reported transients living there to the police and that it was a health and safety concern for her customers.

"I think it's wonderful," said Naramor, who's business was offering $2 "Demolition Lattes." "Our customers are thrilled that it's coming down."

The Compass Center, a low-income housing provider, purchased the property from the Low Income Housing Institute in 2008.

In March, Compass Center Executive Director Rick Friedhoff said he wanted to tear the building down, though construction was not imminent, because it was a fire hazard and people were getting in and out despite it being boarded up.

Michael Hardin, an employee at the nearby FedEx Kinko's, said he heard people were moving out of the building the morning of the demolition.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

The vacant house on Northwest 56th Street, a trouble spot according to neighbors, was torn down June 1 to eventually make way for a low-income housing development. CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE PHOTOS.

Crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close Fourth Avenue South in SODO for three nights this week, from May 27 through 29.

Each night at 7 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday crews will close all lanes of Fourth Avenue South between South Royal Brougham Way and South Atlantic Street/Edgar Martinez Drive South. The street will reopen by 5 a.m. each morning.

A signed detour will divert drivers to Sixth Avenue South.

During the closures crews will remove a sign bridge, move median curbing and restripe the southbound lanes of Fourth Avenue South. The work will create a work area in the middle of the southbound lanes just south of South Royal Brougham Way.

The work area will give crews room to safely build a portion of the new westbound I-90 and I-5 off-ramp to South Atlantic Street/Edgar Martinez Drive South.


The paving project on Fauntleroy Way Southwest will begin work on Tuesday, May 26.

Crews will rebuild large portions of the roadway from Southwest Alaska Street to Southwest Holly Street, including: new curb ramps to improve accessibility, drainage improvements, new bike lanes, sharrows, and additional marked crosswalks.

This project was originally set to end at California Avenue Southwest, but due to a very competitive bidding climate, the Seattle Department of Transportation was able to extend the improvements through to Southwest Holly.  

The work is expected to be completed by fall.

For the first phase, the crews plan to start at Southwest Alaska Street and Fauntleroy Way Southwest and work their way south to California Avenue Southwest on the western side (southbound lanes). At least one lane of traffic in each direction will remain open.

On-street parking will be restricted.

The newly repaved street will be reconfigured (“rechannelized”) on the segment of Fauntleroy Way Southwest from California Avenue Southwest to Southwest Edmunds Street.

Photo credit: 
Image courtesy Seattle Department of Transportation

Work to rechannelize large portions of Fauntleroy Way Southwest from Southwest Alaska Street to Southwest Holly Street begins May 26.

Seattle Department of Transportation crews will work at two locations on Saturday, May 9, if the weather is favorable. One
location will be North 46th Street between Fremont Avenue North and Linden Avenue North. The other location will be on Northwest Market Street between Sixth Avenue Northwest and Eight Avenue Northwest.

Work hours will be from 9 a.m. to no later than 8 p.m. One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained at these locations. Access
to businesses will be maintained, sidewalks will remain open, but on-street parking will be restricted.

The crews will restore pavement that was previously excavated for work on underground utilities.

For more information, please call (206) 684-4661.

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