Four years after an initial design review meeting for the former Ballard Library site on 24th Avenue Northwest, the development process for the site is restarting with an early design guidance meeting Aug. 9.

The current proposal for the development at 5711 24th Ave. N.W. across from the new Ballard QFC is a commercial, live-work and apartment building with underground parking.

Though more specifics on the proposal will be known at the Aug. 9 meeting, the proposal presented at the 2006 design review meeting was for a 94-unit, mixed-use development with underground parking for 120 vehicles.

The owners of the site, Pryde + Johnson, put the project on hold after that initial meeting because of the high number of other developments, including the Ballard on the Park Apartments across the street and Pryde + Johnson's Hjarta Condos, underway in the area.

In the interim, Abraxus Books was located in the former library space. But, the store moved to Queen Anne in June 2009, and since then the building has been vacant and the regular target of graffiti.

Old Library 2.jpg
Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

After a four-year delay in the development process, work on the former Ballard Library site on 24th Avenue Northwest is restarting with an Aug. 9 early design guidance meeting.

On June 15, the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce reported that Benaroya Companies is close to a deal to sell the former Denny's/Manning's property on the northwest corner of Market Street and 15th Avenue Northwest.

According to the Journal of Commerce, a buyer signed a letter of intent last week for the property – the future home of the Market Street Landing residential and commercial development – and Benaroya Companies expects the sale to close in two to three months.

Benaroya Companies declined to verify those reports or what a sale could mean to the future of the Market Street Landing development as planned.

After a protracted battle over whether or not the former Denny's/Manning's building on the site qualified as a historic landmark, the building was torn down June 24, 2009. In September 2009, the remaining buildings on the site were torn down, and the property has sat empty since.

DSC_0881 A.jpg
Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Two vacant buildings are torn down on the former Denny's/Manning's property September 2009. According to reports, the property is close to being sold by Benaroya Companies.

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.

A plan submitted by community members to rezone Greenwood's Town Center would allow for a more pedestrian-friendly commercial core, but it could also bring greater development into single-family neighborhoods.

The rezone proposal, which was developed by the Greater Greenwood Design & Development Group, would affect the area between the west side of Third Avenue Northwest, the north side of Northwest 87th Street, Palatine Avenue North and south side of Northwest 85th Street.

Subarea 1 of the proposed rezone, the site of the current Fred Meyer and future Fred Meyer redevelopment, would be changed from a mix of Low-rise, Commercial and Neighborhood Commercial zones into Neighborhood Commercial with a 65-foot height limit.

According to the Greater Greenwood Design & Development Group, the rezone of Subarea 1 could make the area more pedestrian friendly, add housing and promote small businesses. But, it could also increase traffic and demands on parking, reduce neighborhood affordability and change the neighborhood's character.

Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Seattle DPD

Changing the highligted section of the map from Single-Family Zone to Low-rise Zone as part of the Greenwood Town Center rezone has some neighbors concerned about increased taxes, traffic and building heights.

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.

Urness House, Compass Housing Alliance's 80-unit Ballard development for formerly homeless men and women, appears ready to move forward after back-to-back, standing-room only State Environmental Protection Act and Design Review meetings June 14.

The seven-story Urness House, to be located at 1753 N.W. 56th St., will offer housing for chronically homeless individuals earning less than $8,000 per year. There will also be onsite services, such as mental health clinics, substance abuse clinics and triage services. Click here to learn more about Urness House policies.

Lisa Rutzick, Seattle Department of Planning and Development project manager for Urness House, said it is unusual to have a public State Environmental Protection Act meeting, but the amount of interest raised by the project warranted one.

Ballardite's voiced concerns about negative impacts by Urness House on parking, safety and property values.

Urness House.jpg
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Weinstein A|U

A rendering of Compass Housing Alliance's Urness House for formerly homeless individuals, which looks likely to move forward after June 14 State Environmental Policy Act and Design Review meetings.

Local artists Pam Gray and Anne Baumgartner snuck in the installation of more panels for their "On the Fence" project at the Avalon Ballard site June 10 before the rains set in.

"On the Fence" is a series of collage panels, each inspired by a different letter of the alphabet, that will decorate the fence surrounding the vacant lot on the corner Market Street and 14th Avenue Northwest where the Sunset Bowl once stood.

In the first few days "On the Fence" panels have been up, Gray and Baumgartner have already learned a handful of lessons.

For example, what goes up on the fence may not stay on the fence. The beaver from the B panel was stolen soon after the panel was put up.

Also, cardboard does not withstand rain well. Baumgartner and Gray will be moving forward with waxed cardboard and plastic parts donated from a nearby sign shop to combat the weather.

The artists eventually plan to install a panel for all 26 letters of the alphabet.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Artists Pam Gray and Anne Baumgartner install the F panel, which includes a finch, the flag of Finland, footprints and flowers, of their "On the Fence" project June 10. CLICK IMAGE TO SEE MORE PANELS.

Ballard artists Lina Raymond lost a beloved business once and painted to get through her pain. Now, she does the same for Ballard's lost businesses and landmarks.

From her 100-year-old apartment building, Raymond has a view of empty storefronts and ruins of once-popular businesses.

Her paintings are colorful memorials to some of them, including Denny's, the Sunset Bowl, Edith Macefield's house and Epilogue Books.

"Paving paradise to put up parking lots is personal," Raymond said on her Web site. "And, we adapt or not."

Raymond's show, "Bearing Witness/adaptation," is showing at Portalis Wine Bar, located at 5205 Ballard Ave. N.W., until Aug. 6. After that, an expanded version of the show will be at Cupcake Royale, located at 2052 N.W. Market St., until Oct. 1.

Ballard Big Picture is a column of scenes from around the neighborhood. If you would like to submit a photo for use on this site and in the Ballard News-Tribune, please send it to Michael Harthorne at Be sure to include your name and information about your photo.

Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Lina Raymond

Lina Raymond's "The Holdout II," part of her show focusing on disappearing Ballard businesses and landmarks currently showing at Portalis Wine Bar.

The nomination period for the Ballard Avenue Landmark District Board elections ends at 5 p.m. on June 10.

There are two positions – one for a property owner or business person and one for a business owner – open this election cycle.

To nominate a candidate, the nominator and the nominee must be registered to vote in the district, and the nominee must also sign the nominating form.

Nominations for the Ballard Avenue Landmark District Board should be submitted to Lagerquist & Morris, 5135 Ballard Ave. N.W.

Download the attached documents for more information and the nomination form.

Syndicate content