Ballard Blossom owners in talks for new hotel

The location of one of Ballard’s most well-known businesses, Ballard Blossom on Market St., may become the home of a 7-story hotel.

David and Rachel Martin own Ballard Blossom, and Rachel told us that there are “serious talks” underway, but there’s no deal as of yet. She said she was surprised to hear about a land use proposal that was filed, which also sparked a short story by the Daily Journal of Commerce.

“There’s nothing signed, sealed and done,” she said, adding that they’ve seen tremendous interest from potential buyers over the last few years. “There’s nothing final.”

The land use filing proposes a hotel with 6 floors of “vibrant, upscale guest rooms” and an “amenity-filled ground floor” with three floors of below grade parking.

Martin said that if the deal did happen, they would certainly keep Ballard Blossom in business and open in a new location. “We’re playing with a lot of ideas,” she said, which includes opening a smaller place in Ballard and locating a larger production facility elsewhere.

Billed as the Northwest’s largest florist, Ballard Blossom opened in 1927 and moved to its current location in 1984. David Martin took over the family business from his grandfather.

Earlier this year, there was a proposal for the Market St. building to become a Seattle landmark, but it failed to be nominated, according to the Landmarks Preservation Board.

‘Ballard Gives Black Friday’ is back

This Friday more than 20 Ballard businesses will donate a portion of the day’s proceeds to local charities.

“Ballard Gives Black Friday” began in 2013 as a way to attract more shoppers into Ballard while helping local non-profits. The charities include the Ballard Food Bank, YouthCare, Mary’s Place and the Vera Project, to name a few.

“In addition to the giving portion of the post-Thanksgiving weekend, the Ballard merchant community is promoting a message to shop local and shop small,” explains Legh Burns, co-owner of re-souL. “Seattle has a strong, independent mindset and there is no better example than the businesses of Ballard coming together to spread the message.”

There are 23 participating businesses — here’s the list along with their charities — so get out there on Friday and support both our neighborhood businesses and some of Seattle’s best charities.

Scenes from this weekend’s Yulefest

It was the last Yulefest at the Nordic Heritage Museum before it moves to its new location.

Uff da

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In the zone 🎻

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Long line for the #ebelskivers

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Shilshole Bay Marina to get an upgrade

Updated: The Port of Seattle has approved $12 million in funding to upgrade the restrooms and re-pave the parking lot at Shilshole Bay Marina.

The project includes creating three new sustainable buildings: two large facilities with restrooms, shower and laundry will be located at the south and central areas of the marina, and a smaller restroom and shower building will be located at the north end. Two of the existing structures will be repurposed into storage, and the other two will be torn down.

Here’s the map showing the new locations:

The building’s sustainable features include radiant heated floors, water saving fixtures, stormwater management and rooftop photovoltaic panel arrays on the two larger buildings. The solar panels will save an estimated 70% of the restrooms’ electrical use.

Construction is slated to begin next summer.

Steve reminds us in comments that Duke’s Chowder House is coming to Shilshole Marina in 2019, just 30 feet away from the water.

Here’s an early sketch. “It’s a dreamy spot,” founder Duke Moscrip told Eater back in May. “There aren’t many like it in the world. We hit a home run.”

1 rescued after boat sinks off Shilshole

Updated: A Good Samaritan rescued a boater whose 35-foot fishing vessel sank off Shilshole this morning, Seattle Fire says.

The call came in at 8 a.m. for a sinking boat, and Seattle Fire dispatched its fireboat as well as a full response to the Shilshole Marina area on Seaview Ave. N. Harbor Patrol also responded.

Medics were evaluating the boater on the shore. No word on the person’s extent of injuries.

Seattle Fire says it appears the vessel has sunk. According to the scanner, one of the rescue vessels is going to use their sonar to attempt to locate the vessel underwater.

The WA Department of Ecology responded after a sheen was seen on the water. The fishing boat had 200 gallons of fuel on board.

(Thank you Silver for your help on the story.)

After calling for volunteers to help move, Nickelsville decides to stay for now

Update: The Seattle Times followed up with a story today, calling Nickelsville’s short-lived attempt to move “rocky political theater.”

Earlier: Nickelsville’s two-year stay in Ballard is officially up on Saturday, and the city has told organizers that residents can stay in the camp until the new site in Northlake is ready next month.

But despite this assurance, Nickelsville was calling for volunteers to help them pack up and move today. Last night, they called off the move after an “emergency meeting.” Writes Nickelsville’s Scott Morrow on Facebook:

This evening, shortly after receipt of a letter from Councilpersons O’Brien, Juarez, Sawant, Harris-Talley and Johnson, the Ballard Nickelodeons held an emergency meeting. They considered this letter, the vote Wednesday of the City Council Budget Committee to fund two additional sanctioned encampments, and the urging Monday of the Ballard Alliance (formerly the Ballard Chamber of Commerce) to stay on Market Street.

With the expectation that Seattle Human Services Department leadership will respect the wisdom of the Majority of the Seattle City Council, Ballard Nickelodeons unanimously voted to suspend their move and remain at their present location.

In many ways this is a terrific resolution to a difficult challenge. We are in awe of the love and solidarity from so many that made this step possible.

George Scarola, Seattle’s Director of Homelessness, said Nickelsville has been granted an extended stay in Ballard until the Northlake site is ready in mid-December. In an earlier community meeting, camp residents were concerned that staying would break their promise with the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the city is preparing the new site at 3814 Fourth Ave. NE, and a community meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 28th at 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the UW Fisheries building (1122 NE Boat Street) in Auditorium 102.

Neighbors want 5-year delay in City Light’s plan to sell properties

Ballard neighbors who attended last night’s community meeting with Seattle City Light asked the city for a lengthy delay in plans to sell seven surplus properties.

More than 20 people commented at the meeting, and neighbors’ concerns mirrored earlier feedback from Groundswell NW and the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition: the neighborhood needs more time to evaluate potential options for community use.

Ballard writer Peggy Sturdivant commented at the meeting, and she sent us this account:

In perhaps the most straightforward comment of the evening, Dean Hoshizaki asked for a show of hands as to how many in the audience thought the substations should stay in public hands. Most raised the hands and he said, “Let the record show it’s unanimous.” With his follow-up as to whether the audience would choose between sale to a church, club, organization or non-profit, he said, “Let the record show it is about 70%.”

Many speakers called for Loyal Heights in particular to be retained for open space/potential park, especially in light of exceptional trees on-site and interest from the adjoining owners in “making it happen.”

The twelve-year tenant of the only commercially zoned parcel, the 14th & Leary site (Auto Connectors NW) and their supporters asked for the businesses there to be allowed to continue benefitting Ballard as employers and revenue providers.

Anne Brink O’Leary had created a diagram (above) showing how many trees could be planted, especially given an arborist’s comment that the City of Seattle has determined that we are not meeting tree canopy goals. The number was 405. Robert Drucker, who was involved with a former planning effort for the Sunset Substation commented on the fact that City Council changed the disposition rules, reducing notification area and need to align with neighborhood plans. The closing speaker identified herself as a Fremont renter with a two-year old who spoke to the necessity of having small nearby open spaces for the increasing number of rental families without vehicles.

No one made public comment in favor of selling the substations at the hearing. Consensus was that sale at this time would be short-sighted and not justified by the estimated revenue. Whether for continued tenancy, affordable housing, parks, P-Patches or green space, all of the public comments asked for a delay of five years on the sale of these properties and greater effort in community outreach during the process.

Today is the last day to file for public comment in writing. Comments can be sent to SCL_RealProperty@seattle.gov and council@seattle.gov.

What’s on this weekend in Ballard and beyond


The band My Goodness, which will be playing at the Freakout festival this weekend.

It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving, and were starting to see quite a few holiday events submitted to our new Ballard calendar (you can submit your own Ballard-area events here). Here’s our list for the weekend — Old Ballard is going to rocking Friday and Saturday night:

Friday, November 17th

  • Theater For Young Children’s Filipino Hansel and Gretel tale, designed for kids ages 2-10, Loyal Heights Community Center at 11:15 a.m. The show is free (or $5 donation).
  • Swanson’s Holiday Party with shopping, food, drink, live music and more. A benefit for the Ballard Food Bank, 6-9 p.m., Swanson’s Nursery (9701 15th Avenue NW), $20
  • Live music:
    • The 5th Annual Freakout!, presented by Freakout Records, featuring Guantanamo Baywatch, Magic Sword, Porter Ray, Roadkill Ghost Choir, My Goodness, Smokey Brights and many more at the Tractor Tavern, Sunset Tavern, Conor Byrne, Hattie’s Hat, Cafe Umbria and Filson (Friday and Saturday), 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., tickets $25-60

Saturday, November 18th

  • Yulefest is the annual Nordic Christmas celebration at the Nordic Heritage Museum, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $5 adults, kids 12 and under are free.
  • Meet and greet retired racing greyhounds, learn about adoption and volunteer opportunities at Mud Bay Ballard’s new location (5314 15th Ave. NW), 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Ballard Performing Arts Dinner and Auction, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., Swedish Club at 1920 Dexter Ave N., this event appears to be sold out
  • Live music:
    • The 5th Annual Freakout!, presented by Freakout Records, featuring Guantanamo Baywatch, Magic Sword, Porter Ray, Roadkill Ghost Choir, My Goodness, Smokey Brights and many more at the Tractor Tavern, Sunset Tavern, Conor Byrne, Hattie’s Hat, Cafe Umbria and Filson (Friday and Saturday), 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., tickets $25-60

Sunday, November 19th

Have a Ballard area event? Submit it to us here.