Demolition crews to level Sunset Bowl tomorrow

Update: Workers tell us that demolition has been delayed to tomorrow due to the unexpected amount of asbestos in the building and freon in the air conditioning unit that they’re currently removing.

Earlier: After decades as one of Ballard’s most popular hangouts, Sunset Bowl closed in April of 2008. Sunset Bowl auctioned off just about everything — even the bowling lanes. And now demolition crews are poised to tear down the colorful structure to make room for an apartment complex.

A small group of Ballard residents, armed with cameras, gathered this morning to watch the demolition, but crews told us they still have some asbestos removal to do before they start on tearing the building down later today. A worker says they’ll have three pieces of equipment working the demolition. We’ll post photos and videos here soon after the demolition begins.

Last year, a few Ballard residents initiated an effort to save Sunset Bowl, from attempting to designate the building as a historic landmark to working with its new owners to build a new bowling alley. But in the end, Avalon Ballard won design approval for a 233-unit apartment building with ground-level retail (above).

(Thanks BallardMike for posting word of the demolition in the forum.)

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UncleSnuffy
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UncleSnuffy

Of all the changes that have taken place in Ballard, this one hurt me the most.

jconli1
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jconli1

Just a damn shame. God forbid anyone in this town have simple working class family-friendly fun, or a place to go after 11pm for that matter. Let's watch another tanning salon, thai restaurant and generic fair-trade tchochke peddler pop up soon only to fail within a year.

zipper
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zipper

Sad to see it go, but the family who owned it sold it. Guess they didn't care about working class family fun as much as they cared about millions of dollars.

Vivian
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Vivian

I'm as bummed as the next guy about this, but the simple working class family-friendly fun owners of the Sunset Bowl did SELL their property for profit.

NoraBell
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NoraBell

Well, that's it. The last of the local bowling alleys will be just a faint memory. The crumbling remains have been sitting there for a very long time, sure, but this is is tragically final.

Barney Stinson
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Barney Stinson

You know as well as I do that the yuppies are to blame for this.

/sarcasm

juan grande
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VIVA LA SUNSET!

well..till Wednesday, I suppose.

Mike G
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Mike G

I'm sad to see it go too, but we can't just sit back and blame everyone else.

If we cared enough about having a bowling alley in Ballard, we would have bowled more. I think, though, that many people liked the idea of having a bowling alley in the neighborhood more than actually going. I know I'm guilty of this.

Luminous Works Carla
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Luminous Works Carla

Ah, the Sunset Bowl as I like to remember it, as photographed by one of my UW photography certificate program students:

http://www.theadamsmith.com/artstore/?p=223

sdrake1958
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sdrake1958

Bowling allies used to be as common as gas stations. That is until the working class changed. Now, bowling is alomost a luxury. Sad, as just about anybody can bowl, and it's inside out of the rain. And yes, more yuppies will come, as they can afford to live in Seattle. Fact: yesterdays hippies are todays business-people/residents. Now, just imagine unemployed being hired to build something. Or is that bad news too?

HL
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HL

Interesting that they didn't know how much asbestos was there until the day they were supposed to raze the building. I guess I won't be going to stand around to watch and breath in all that good dust.

Thanks for the memories, Sunset Bowl.

jconli1
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jconli1

Of course, we all know that the owners sold the property. And there's no denying that's how the system works for better or worse, I'm as libertarian as the next guy, believe it or not. Its just a shame that short term turnaround profit and higher density is the focus in Seattle instead of long term capital sustainability. Wasn't this higher density zoning originally intended to have rapid transit as part of the formula? What's the condo vacancy rate in Ballard as it is? What's the turnaround rate of the small businesses being squeezed by high rent in those new buildings? That's the shame of it all. It is poor planning.

BarneyRubble
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BarneyRubble

The bowling alley didn't go out of business. It was one of the busiest in the country. The owners simply cashed out. I don't blame them one bit. They raked in almost 20 million in two years by selling two bowling alleys.

Ballardite
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Ballardite

Actually, I'm concerned about this asbestos issue. If there's asbestos in the building, aren't they required to follow specific procedures in order to contain the asbestos? I sure hope they follow procedure so that our whole neighborhood — air, soil, water, etc. — doesn't get contaminated tomorrow. How can we find out more about their plans??

Ytoo
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Ytoo

Business exists to make money not to entertain people.

Ytoo
Guest
Ytoo

You are free to buy property and start another bowling establishment.

zipper
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zipper

Yes there are procedures and yes they are following them, hence the delay. They've been properly removing asbestos for weeks now. But go ahead and get your self in a snit about it.

mil0_dakkat
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mil0_dakkat

Things certainly calmed down in the neighborhood after they closed the bowling alley–I don't miss seeing all the “working class fun” outside my kitchen window like I used to.

Maybe they could tear down the KFC, Burger King and McD's while they're at it. If you want to rail against something, rail against these fine yuppie establishments.

Lastly, I'm sure you can find a bowling app for your iPhone if you miss bowling so much.

jconli1
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jconli1

to each their own, but I live two blocks from there and have noticed more problems after it closed, especially from the mobile homeless that seemed to be in higher concentration once the parking spaces there weren't in use. Combine that with the city's lack of response to dead streetlights and it is mighty blighty along 14th.

Vivian
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Vivian

Seriously? Had you ever been there and tried to get a lane? As barney said. It was one of the busiest in the country.

I'm going to miss the hourly rentals on Sunday mornings. Tossing balls and tossing back beers while others were still asleep or in church. <3 memories.

Bark more, wag less
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Bark more, wag less

A bum camp in the heart of Ballard? Wow, that's brilliant.

zipper
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zipper

I'm with you! Tear down fast food establishmetns!

Eric
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Eric

There already is one. Get out of your car once in a while and you might see it.

ballardmike
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ballardmike

Not really… the cash outlay to set up something like this from scratch is pretty high.

ballardmike
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ballardmike

Not really… the cash outlay to set up something like this from scratch is pretty high.