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.)

60 comments on “Demolition crews to level Sunset Bowl tomorrow”

  1. Exactly NoraBell. I don't have anything against the homeless and the food bank and all the good people doing things to ease the burden of poverty. I don't like the bums though, and they make it harder to help the needy. If more people were honest about the distinction between these bums and the homeless the truly needy would get a lot more help, and the bums might just get the help they need too.

  2. It's been an eyesore for almost a year and will probably be one for another year. How long has it been since the Denny's was open?

  3. No. I did not get that “memo”. I don't care what it might have said either, even if you had you delivered it personally and read it aloud to me, very slowly, because I'm not that bright. It's none of my business nor is it any of yours.

    They sold their business at a profit, or “quick buck” as you call it, even though they spent decades building it up at their own expense and risk. That is their prerogative. Period. They don't owe anyone anything.

    Of course I hate to see this place go, but the writing was on the wall 10 years ago. If bowling was a profitable enterprise, not just on IRS filings, but for your family, business partners, etc. I suspect there would be some clever entrepreneurs taking advantage of this obvious gap in the entertainment market.

    I'm really not trying to be snarky about this. Okay, maybe a little bit. I don't like seeing this happen either. You just can't support certain things indefinitely.

  4. I agree with you wholeheartedly. “Progress” is often unkind. The tearing down of viable businesses (or the offering of big buyout cash, as this case may be) does make me wonder. The empty condos here and downtown. The vacant lot that will at exist at Market and 14th tomorrow. The vacant storefronts that are seemingly everywhere.

    Sorry if I sounded like a prick earlier. I'm just glad a local business managed to cash out in the midst of it.

  5. Is his name Archie? Cause if it is, I have known him most of my life. I also worked in the restaurant and waited on him. He is a good guy.

  6. As a formed Ballrd resident and BHS grad., It is a shame that a part of history is gone.

  7. It is! I hope you know how much he appreciated you! Like I said, Salmon Bay really isn't very nice to him and his personality just gets saltier by the day, which doesn't help. I can't wait to tell him about this, I know he'll get a kick out of it.
    Thank you again for being so nice to him! You are missed!

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