Ballard, the Ship Canal, Queen Anne and the rest of the city stretch off into the horizon in the view from the roof of the new Ballard on the Park Apartments after the rain let up April 28.
Construction is still underway on the apartments above the Ballard QFC adjacent to Ballard Commons Park, but leasing began in mid-February.
In that time, about 50 of the more than 250 unites have been filled, a Ballard on the Park representative said.
Click the image above for more photos from downtown Ballard's tallest vantage point.
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 email@example.com. Be sure to include your name and information about your photo.
The Northwest Design Review Board was largely supportive of the revised, simpler design for the Ballard Washington Federal Savings Building presented to them April 12.
Gone is the slanting roof from the designs presented Oct. 12 for the building located at 2020 N.W. Market St., creating a structure that fits better in the context of the surrounding buildings, according to the board.
One of the concerns from the Oct. 12 meeting was that the slanted roof, meant as a tribute to the roof of the Ballard Library, would take away from the distinctiveness of the neighboring Carnegie's building.
The developers of the property also improved on the pedestrian walkway that connects Market Street and Northwest 56th Street to the west of the Washington Federal Savings building.
Windows have been added to the wall that faces the walkway as well as additional aesthetic improvements, though no agreement with Carnegie's, on whose property the walkway sits, has been reached for a canopy.
The board's major concern with the design proposed April 12 is the composition of the south and west sides of the building.
Since January, the Ballard on the Park/QFC development has been the source of noise complaints from the neighborhood over the HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) units on the roof and the ventilation system from the parking garage.
In January, Jeanne Muir, spokesperson for the developers of the Ballard on the Park Apartments, told the Ballard News-Tribune the HVAC units, which can be heard humming from the adjacent Ballard Commons Park, would be visually and audibly dampened in March.
That schedule has since been moved back to April.
Muir said the shell of the HVAC dampening structure will be lifted into place on April 12. The rest of the structure will be assembled over the following weeks, she said.
The garage ventilation was causing noise issues for the apartments across from the north side of the development. Though Muir said she only heard complaints from one neighbor, she agreed with her.
"It was loud and needed to be fixed," Muir said.
She said an acoustical liner that was meant to be installed in the garage air shafts was never installed. The liner is on order and will be installed in a few weeks, she said.
Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting an open house at Sandel Park, located at 9053 First Ave. N.W., to view the design for the Sandel Park play area renovation.
The open house will be from 11 a.m. to noon on March 27. The public is encouraged to attend, meet the design team and learn about the changes that are coming to this park.
The renovation project, identified in the Parks and Green Spaces Levy, will provide new play equipment for children ages 2 -12, site improvements to enhance safety and access improvements to facilitate use by all park visitors.
The project budget for Sandel is $350,000, and renovations will take place between April and October of 2010.
Sandel Park renovation plans were drawn up in 2002, but the renovations never proceeded.
The proposed two-story, 9,000-square-foot development to replace the current Washington Federal Savings building at 2020 N.W. Market St. will go before the Northwest Design Review Board April 12.
At the meeting, community members will be able to offer comments regarding the proposed design.
At an Oct. 12 early design guidance meeting for the project, the review board said it wanted to see a simpler design than the one proposed.
The board said it wanted the design to fit in on Market Street and show proper deference to the neighboring Carnegie's building.
The board named the Majestic Bay Theater and La Tienda as examples of the kind of design it would like to see.
The plan, as presented at the Oct. 12 meeting, is for the development to be 40 feet tall instead of the maximum 65 feet and to include parking and drive-up tellers in the lot behind the building on Northwest 56th Street.
The design review meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on April 12 at Ballard High School, located at 1418 N.W. 65th St.
Presentations by an architect, hydrogeologist and an engineer at a March 11 meeting did little to quell neighbors' fears that the construction of the new Greenwood Fred Meyer would have dire consequences on surrounding properties.
Half of the site for the new Fred Meyer at 100 N.W. 85th St. is located on a peat bog, one of the largest in the Seattle area.
GeoEngineers' Michael Kenrick, working for Fred Meyer, said it is important to not disturb peat because it is sensitive and compressible. If you take water out of the peat, it will shrink, leading to settling buildings, he said.
"Nobody wants their building to settle because it causes so much damage," Kenrick said. "It basically condemns the building."
The March 11 meeting was a chance for the Fred Meyer development team to explain how it is dealing with soil and groundwater issues on the site and for the Seattle Department of Planning and Development to received public feedback before deciding on whether an Environmental Impact Study is warranted for the project.
Some Ballard residents are concerned that Compass Center Ballard, a housing development for formerly homeless individuals, is being snuck through the planning stages and will seriously damage the neighborhood.
Dave Jarrell owns an apartment building across the street from the Compass Center Ballard location at 1753 N.W. 56th St. He said few people in the neighborhood are aware of what the project is.
Mike Yamaguchi, owner of the Landmark Apartments to the east of the site, said Compass Housing Alliance is trying to sneak the housing development into Ballard.
He said the community needs to have a chance to voice their opinion on the project – an 80-unit residential building for homeless men and women that includes services for residents who have substance dependencies or other disabilities.
Rick Friedhoff, executive director of Compass Housing Alliance, said they sent out notices to nearby property owners when the property was acquired in February 2008.
The project was announced at more than one Ballard District Council meeting and covered numerous times by both the Ballard News-Tribune and MyBallard.com, he said.
The East Ballard Community Association and 14th Avenue Visioning Project are awaiting potential funding from a number of sources to complete a two-block demonstration park boulevard on 14th Avenue Northwest.
Volunteers submitted an application for money from the city's Opportunity Fund in early February and a second application for money from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy is due in April.
"We told Parks we don't care where the money comes from, we just want it," said Dawn Hemminger of the East Ballard Community Association.
At the Feb. 10 Ballard District Council meeting, Peter Locke, an east Ballard resident and the vision behind the 14th Avenue park boulevard, said the purpose of the project is to create open space in an area that is lacking it while improving safety for pedestrians and vehicles.
The plan for 14th Avenue from Market Street to Northwest 65th Street, which was conceived five years ago, is to move traffic on the 100-foot wide street to one side, get rid of the parking median, and create a park on the east side of the street.
First-term Seattle City Council member Sally Bagshaw touched on topics from transportation to parks to the council's rocky relationship with the new mayor when she opened herself up for questions and comments from the neighborhood at the Feb. 10 Ballard District Council meeting.
Stephen Lundgren got the transportation ball rolling when he told Bagshaw that Ballard has gotten density, a civic center and parks, but no public transportation infrastructure.
Bagshaw said the city needs to connect the densifying urban hubs, but King County is in the middle of a budget crisis.
"What's tragic to me is how Metro right now is just struggling," she said. "When we need transit most is right now."
The question is what residents are willing to give up so more money can be spent on transit or are they willing to submit to more taxes, Bagshaw said.
"We're spending a pot-load of money on light rail," she said. "I would like to see much more on RapidTransit (Metro bus service)."