Building replacing Sunset Bowl gets green light

After a two hour meeting, the Design Review Board unanimously approved the design (.pdf) for Avalon Ballard, the 233-unit apartment building replacing Sunset Bowl at Market St. and 14th Ave. NW.

Board members praised AvalonBay Communities and Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects for incorporating many changes from the last Design Review meeting. But the board set four conditions on approval.

“To me, the biggest issue is the west facade,” said board member Mark Brands of the patterns on the west side facing 15th Ave. The same sentiment was reflected in public comments. “It looked like the project is due tomorrow,” said Cynthia, a neighbor who lives nearby. She asked for “something a little more subtle,” suggesting the architects commission a mural or bring in a graphic artist. The board set a condition requiring that AvalonBay tone down the pattern using a warmer, more subtle texture. Other conditions included adding a stoop on the north side, enhancing the northeast corner and softening the parapet.

As part of the project, AvalonBay will bring a bike lane, landscaped median and wider sidewalk area along 14th Ave. in front of the building. They said they’ve been working with SDOT and the 14th Ave. NW Visioning Project.

This is the entrance to the courtyard, off Market St. across from Safeway. After the meeting, we spoke with AvalonBay Development Director Derek Bottles about financing for the project given the economy. “It’s a little different because we’re a public company,” he said, declining to estimate when the building may be built. “We’re at the mercy of the economy like everyone else.” About 20 people attending the meeting, and Bottles said he has been reading the comments here on My Ballard for feedback about the development.

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BallardMan
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BallardMan

So sad.. another ugly condo in Ballard. They should have a great view of all the chop shops and Fre-lard light industry.

Terry
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Terry

thanks for the update. Really not bad looking. I think most ill object to the size, but there is not a whole lot that can be done about that.

This is only a billion times better looking than the Benaroya building on the old Denny's site.

Armed Pacifist
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Armed Pacifist

Welcome! A lot better looking than the crap they built up 14th ave from 1970-1990.

snoopy
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snoopy

I like this project for that location. And it will clean up 14th for at least that block. But, given the current vacancies and new QFC development in Ballard, I dont see this breaking ground for at least a year maybe two.

milo dakkat
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milo dakkat

It was really cool to attend the meeting, to see the board process and voice concerns directly to the developers. Glad to see everyone who did make the effort to attend and be a part of it. There were lots of ideas on how to make this a workable addition to the 'hood.

It is not the most creative building ever designed and the size is pretty overwhelming but it has many positive elements for an apartment building, including street level retail and numerous points of entry.

As for that wall, everybody in that room had a more effective solution than that ridiculous grid…hey, just ask me 'cuz I'm dying to put my degree to good use!

CaffinatorX
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CaffinatorX

The process seems to go
1 – submit mediocre design right out of the box
2 – hold several hearings, agree to address concerns (except for the overarching concern that it's a deeply mediocre design)
3 – hold a hearing to show revised plans, in which they make a very few, uncostly concessions but basically march ahead with the same sort of approach.
4 – community sighs and hopes it'll be better next time.
Pathetic, the whole thing.

lakreitz
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lakreitz

Please get started as soon as possible so that no man's land is reclaimed by normal people trying to live their lives. This works for me.

Ryan
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Ryan

I was hoping for something a bit more original, but it's definitely better than what's there now (a boarded-up lot infested with bums). That whole corner near Safeway/McDonalds can only benefit from more pedestrian traffic (and not the kind that predominates there now!!).

Ballardog
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Ballardog

At least they could tear down the bowl, use more secure fencing and clean it up a bit in the interim. The way the economy is going it could be awhile until construction begins.

SPG
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SPG

Too true.

ASDF
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ASDF

Yes, by all means, shoo the bums along…so they can take up residence in your back yard.

The Rape Of Ballard continues.

SPG
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SPG

Other than the large west wall, this isn't that bad of a design. I like the use of the cedar, and the large courtyard and landscaped areas make it more appealing at the street level.
I understand that the developers are reluctant to do much on that western facade as it will probably be blocked off by another building once the economy bounces back, but hopefully they come up with something better than checkerboard.

Trix
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Trix

Ballardog – Hope they have the funding settled. We could end up with another muddy hole like the Denny's site.

gooner
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gooner

caffinator. how did people reply to your objections at the meeting? they must have appreciated your opinoin there.

Take back our streets
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Take back our streets

Can the property owners please get all the Meth Heads off the property until this is built? They are stalking people trying to shop at Safeway. Hire a cop if you have all these millions to blow.

Thanks

Take back our streets
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Take back our streets

90% of the crime starts at Bergen Park/Chai House Pay phone and ends up at Sunset Bowl, where the meth heads collapse on the ground outside, until an ambulance is called to take them away. Are you telling me every developer is suddenly too broke to pay for a rent a cop to patrol these eye sores?

Geeky Swedes
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We asked about when Sunset Bowl will be demolished, but as the city requires, AvalonBay needs to secure a Master Use Permit first. They're one step closer now that they've received design approval.

The End Of Ballard
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The End Of Ballard

I find it incredible that the Food Bank and Soup Kitchens remain totally Silent about the crime, when their food is literally the ONLY thing drawing ex-cons, dealers, muggers, prowlers, meth and heroin users and transients into Ballard.

In every case of street problems, it's someone here for the day or whatever they decide, who came only for the free food. This is insane.

Every problem that has sprouted up, goes right back to the same source every time. The free food and lack of any police anywhere, enforcing any laws.

Just move the the Food Bank and Soup kitchens to the U District, Downtown, or Northgate. There are police EVERYWHERE. We have none, so the shopkeepers are now playing psychiatrist, which is not fair.

mike
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mike

should read:
1 – poorly copy interesting european project. then water down for american market and cheap developers.

The Norwegian
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The Norwegian

Is anybody here buying into this or any other condo project in Ballard? Why then all the concern? I think we need to form yet another club. “Hand-ringers united” or something close. Besides filling up with yuppies and their Bimmers what's the problem here? Sure, I wish all bowling alleys came back. Sure, I wish Ballard was Petticoat Junction, again. But then again wishes are for kids. Maybe some can “hope” this and others away? What part of progressive aren't some getting? Either this will further flush out the street schlubs OR give 'em yet another cool place to hang out. I really want to know when Market St will bring signals at intersections into the new millenium??? WTF is SDOT waiting for, more blood/bodily injuries? Shouldn't this be worked into proposals? How many more are we going to jam into the hood and still be stuck with signals from the damn 60's? Is there a stipulation where condo residents must not own any vehicles, and why not? Now that'd be progressive wouldn't it.

peppy
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peppy

I don't understand that first image.

aren't Safeway and this proposed development 'catty-corner' with one another?
from what vantage point would you see the Safeway with this building across the street?

I also love how the renderings show lots of families with kids and dogs moving into these apartments. I would guess this is not quite the demographic, but what do I know?

I can complain all day long about this building, but since I couldn't make the community meeting my opinion is moot. glad to see they are cleaning up 14th which is a pretty derelict street. get parking OFF the median already.

Stop the Fearmongering
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Stop the Fearmongering

“Every problem that has sprouted up, goes right back to the same source every time. . The free food…”

You have no proof for this claim whatsoever. Like many of the posters to the 'My Ballard Police Gazette' you post knee-jerk reactions to the crimes and then rant about the Food Bank.

I challenge you to list just one link or statistic that substantiates your claim of a crime listed here being linked to free food. 'I saw a meth heads in Bergen Park' does not count. Just one fact, EOB, just one. Otherwise you are just shooting off your mouth.

Oh and for all you readers (and blog owners) that let this kind of crap perpetuate on this blog without saying anything about it: you are just as guilty as the violent idiots that are espousing handguns for not saying anything. Speak up.

peppy
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peppy

I ignore the fearmongering, food-bank bashing, meth-head hating comments and choose to stay on topic. I don't think this makes me guilty of anything.

now, about that safeway?

milo dakkat
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milo dakkat

The buildings are on opposite sides of the street. This is the view from the McDonalds.

Btw, burger king, mcdonalds, safeway, walgreens, shell, kfc are all within spitting distance of this apartment complex. Maybe they'll put in another starbucks and kinkos to complete the upscale corporate ballard mix.

Stop the Fearmongering
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Stop the Fearmongering

Then I guess that if you walk by someone getting strong-armed robbed without doing anything you are not guilty of anything either. Or maybe its just me that feels the need to speak out against what I see building on this blog.