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Makeover planned for Old Ballard building

Posted by Geeky Swedes on April 28th, 2009

For nearly 80 years, the Kolstrand Marine Supply Company worked out of this building just south of Ballard Hardware at 4743 Ballard Ave NW.

Last summer, the building sold, and workers have been busy stripping the inside, but they’ve been careful to leave many original touches: exposed hand-painted brick, masonry block walls and exposed old growth re-sawn lumber.

Developers are planning to adapt the early 1900′s structure to include a retail and restaurant space, as well as offices and work/loft units. The plan includes adding another floor. Here’s a look at a preliminary sketch:

The developers are still waiting for approval on city permits, but this Friday they’re inviting the public to attend an open house. “They’d love to get feedback from locals and suggestions about what they’d like to see in the building, which is why they’re holding the open house so early in the process,” said Abby Calvo, who sent us a press release on the event. Graham Baba Architects and developers evo Properties and CD-Dev will be on hand to discuss the project. That’s this Friday, 3 to 9 p.m., at 4743 Ballard Ave. Refreshments will be provided.

You can see a lot more photos and details on The Kolstrand Building’s website.

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29 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 ballardneighbor // Apr 29, 2009 at 5:33 am

    I had a chance to tour this building with one of the owners the other day. This old building is full of Ballard history and they plan to incorporate as many uniquely Ballard features as possible. Even sitting empty, it's easy to see how this multi-faceted project will add to the evolving charm of Ballard Ave.

  • 2 daffodil // Apr 29, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Now this is an approach I can get behind.

  • 3 gmer // Apr 29, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Not only another floor, but a pretty large addition to the back of the building.

  • 4 peter // Apr 29, 2009 at 6:34 am

    The work that has already happened to the face of this building is 100x better than what it was 6 months ago. What great photo’s on their site. I’m excited to see more and excited to hear they are leaving parts untouched. Seems like it will be a great addition to Ballard without ruining the traditional charm like so many of the new eyesores.

  • 5 m // Apr 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    OMG! I am thrilled to pieces. Developers that value the original architectural details and what the locals think?!? What a concept!!

    The work done so far is great. Thank you for preserving the character of this building. I'm excited for the open house!

  • 6 The Norwegian // Apr 29, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Looks like the evil developers have figured out just how to play in Hooterville. Simply have a feel-a-thon with concerned neighbors, and voila, you're in. They already have restrictions up the wazzoo. And kissing ass never runs up costs does it? So we have 1 street resembling “old Ballard”. Take a look everywhere else. Whaddaya see? One here says they can “get behind” this building. Really? Just how? Investing in it? Time to play feelings on the old accordian again. How charming!

  • 7 peppy // Apr 29, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I would like to see a hockey rink or maybe a new bowling alley in this building.

    I'm not sure what they really expect from locals. Do we get to pick the type of retail or type of restaurant going in?

    it looks like a great old building and the addition in innocuous enough. however, this is a marketing ploy at best.

  • 8 m // Apr 29, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Oh my cynical friends – I believe we expressing appreciation for preservation of character and structure. I'm glad its not another sterile box. I'm not overly concerned with what kind of business goes in there; economic Darwinism will make the final judgement; and I don't believe the developers are asking us for that direction. I believe the ask is simply to look at the work done so far and share opinion.

    If all you can see is pandering and marketing, I believe you have blinders on. I prefer my rose-colored glasses.

  • 9 Silver // Apr 29, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Nice job, guys! That's doin' it right!

    I love that they're leaving the hand-painted brick signs on the interior!

    Re-using existing buildings has got to be better for the environment that tearing them down to build new ones!

  • 10 Annamatopoetry // Apr 29, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I was going to express shock that there was a development that people in the comments liked… and then I read the last few comments. Oh well. *I* really like it. Obviously the prelim sketch will be prettier than reality, but it looks like a very nice mix of new and old. Applause.

  • 11 Joel Niemeyer // Apr 29, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    This does appear to be an excellent use of old mixed with new! With the luck we've been having with restaurants in the area, maybe we can add on to that! Shoot, with this usage, I don't even care if it's a chain!

  • 12 peppy // Apr 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    what does the sketch above actually show?

    it appears there's some sort of black steel frame window boxes on the upper left side.

    but what the heck is that supposed to be below? the right side looks like it has a canopy but the left side is kind of muddled. are those spiral stairs?

    I realize it's just a watercolor, and they threw enough bikes in to describe the type of world we will live in when the project is finished. And they're obviously trying to be good neighbors by letting folks come in and give their two cents.

    re-using these old structures often entails essentially rebuilding them to make them conform with current codes. I'm not saying that re-use isn't green (especially w/ regards to street scale), but there are times when building a new building IS better for the environment.

  • 13 Gene // Apr 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I read each post with great optimism, thinking perhaps here's one piece of news we can all get behind. Then I came to this one by The Norwegian and had flashbacks of past posts bashing: the homeless; meth and crack heads; illegal immigrants; the food bank; Bergen Park; ugly, character-less condos; Old Ballad; New Ballard; Snuggies; people who drink while wearing Snuggies; vigilante justice; the Seattle Police Department; yuppies who enjoy shopping at Trader Joe's; etc. ad nauseum.

    Just one question, Norwegian: Have you kicked any puppies today?

  • 14 Queenie // Apr 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    the proper contraction for “they are” is “they're” not their as in your thrid sentence form the end. Spell check does not catch correctly spelled but mis-used words.

  • 15 Swedish G // Apr 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    It's great that they're keeping the old and updating. We need to look at Portland's Pearl District to see what can be done with these warehouses.

  • 16 Gene // Apr 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    “…thrid sentence form the end” in a comment about spell check! That's rich!

  • 17 Trix // Apr 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Keep your accordion, Norwegian. Somebody finally listened to all the horrified screams of 'That's not Ballard!' Good for them!
    They took something old and crumbling and are making it useful again without destroying it. Being old and crumbling, myself, I tend to appreciate that.

  • 18 SeaSpider // Apr 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    “Just one question, Norwegian: Have you kicked any puppies today?”

    Gene: you got it all wrong: mornings are for pissing on parades, afternoons are for puppy kicking and nights are for staking out Bergen and the food bank to keep an eye on all the meth addicts who are secretly scheming to take over Ballard and convert it all into condos. You've got to pace yourself. ;)

  • 19 SPG // Apr 29, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    You just have to be the contrarian, don't you? No matter what it is, you know better.

    BTW, why do you have to create a new alias for every story?
    aliases
    jeffo
    walkie
    teach by example
    ads too big
    boaty
    pirate go home
    booty call
    laughing cow
    waterless
    temp
    parker posey
    clothes horse
    church dweller
    Worry wort
    bishop timothy
    bishop
    piglet
    sterile
    Janet
    queen
    rook
    knight
    flotsam
    white herring
    sparky
    practice
    oh boy
    here we go…
    eyewitness
    new material
    here we go..
    Boss Hog
    cop admits, “I was stupid”
    tv brat
    jonathon richards
    priviledges
    common person
    faux norwegian
    hungry
    Ehound
    ?
    spot
    backofmyhand
    ballard complainers society
    indifferent
    lazy
    peppy

  • 20 SPG // Apr 29, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Looking through the slideshow on their site I'm really impressed with the effort to undo the last remuddle and remove the veneer. I think that this old building will be a very nice anchor to the expansion behind it.
    Good design, good use of existing structure, great use of character. I'm really looking forward to seeing this project move forward.
    hmmm Maybe I do need to move my office after all…

  • 21 Trix // Apr 29, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Heh, heh! Made me do a coffee spit take. Nice! :-)

  • 22 Armed Pacifist // Apr 29, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    I love it. And all those well heeled people with kids, on bikes. It's soooo gentrified! I love it!

    “We need to look at Portland's Pearl District to see what can be done with these warehouses.”

    Totally gentrified and yuppified. I love it!

  • 23 peppy // Apr 29, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    wow SPG!

    you make me sound like Madonna on her 'RE-Invention' Tour.

    I don't think I'm contrarian at all. take my comment on the guy with the segway for example. I loved it and said as much.

  • 24 bruce // Apr 29, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    nice catch Gene!

  • 25 Swedish G // Apr 29, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Armed Pacifist, are you afraid Ballard's dense diversity will be forced out if crumbling warehouses are transformed into functional businesses? When you infer Ballard is ethnically diverse, are you referring to Swedes, Norwegians, Finns, and Danes?

    Seriously…how diverse is Ballard? How diverse has it ever been?

  • 26 normlobo // Apr 29, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    You can also follow them on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Kolstrand Great idea to keep everybody updated on progress.

  • 27 Gene // Apr 29, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    I stand (or make that sit) happily corrected, SeaSpider. Good one!

  • 28 Armed Pacifist // Apr 29, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Why Ballard has the neutral whites of the Swedes, the blueish whites of the Northern Finns and the almost swarthy pinks of the Danes.

    That's why I moved here, all the diversity.

  • 29 SPG // May 2, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Nice open house, good snacks, good beer, and a great project.

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