Developer to renovate old Ballard building

This old, worn down 1927 building at 5309 22nd Avenue NW is about to get a new life.

Over the next six months, the Henry Whyte Building will be transformed into a multi-use retail and restaurant space.

Randi Suetens, daughter of developer Phil Suetens, tells us that the space will be divided into four to eight retail and restaurant spaces.

During the work, the building will be structurally updated and earthquake retrofitted, but the integrity of the building will remain.

“While we will be doing a lot of work to the building, it is important to us to keep the original look of the building,” Randi tells us.

Here is more about the history of the building:

Ballard Millwork Co. Inc. first occupied the building, as you can see in the photographs. Around the year 1937 Union Wines Inc. moved in. It is unclear when they moved out, but their name has remained on the building over the years. Until recently, the building has been used as warehouse space for Olsen Furniture.

For more renderings and future plans for this building, click here.

Bold burglar steals cash from register

The owner of Enlighten Cafe (5424 Ballard Ave NW) tells us that a man came in and took nearly 200 dollars from the cash drawer on Saturday while the shop was open.

Here is the account from owner Chris Wilcynski:

Our barista went upstairs to use the restroom, and left two customers in the cafe, one of which was a regular. She feels like she was gone for approximately 3 minutes and witnessed a man with the following description in the hallway when she returned. “I saw a copper-skinned, portly man probably in his late 40s or early 50s with his head ducked down so I couldn’t see his eyes, wearing a white chef’s coat and walking unassuming”. Having a suspicion that something was off as he was down by the restroom, but didn’t have a key, she checked the cafe and found that all large bills had been taken from the cash drawer. When she spoke with the our regular in the cafe, he said that the man had gone behind the counter and opened the cash drawer and taken money out. The customer assumed he was an employee of Root Table, needing cash to purchase some additional items for the restaurant as he was wearing a chef’s coat and acted as if he belonged. He was very quiet, quick, and smooth.

“From the looks of how he robbed us, he was aware of our systems, so likely had been watching our cafe, had the audacity to pretend he belonged and fit within the context of our cafe and restaurant so to fool our regular customers who were in the cafe,” Wilcynski says. “I would assume that he would be watching other businesses as well.”

Abduction and rape suspect arrested in Ballard

A very observant bar employee led police to a suspect in last week’s Greenwood abduction and rape incident.

Surveillance photos of the suspect released by Seattle Police

Here are details from Seattle Police:

On June 28th, at approximately 10:15 PM, North Precinct officers responded to a 911 call from an employee at a bar in the 8500 Block of 15th Avenue NW. The caller stated that he believed one of the patrons inside the bar looked very similar to the suspect depicted in surveillance photos released to the media last week from the Greenwood abduction and rape incident. Officers arrived and contacted the suspect. The officers asked the suspect to step outside so they could talk. One of the responding officers had responded to the original incident last week, so had detailed knowledge of the investigation. The suspect professed to not knowing much English, so the officer pulled up a picture of the suspect from a media site on his cellphone and asked, “Is this you?” to which the suspect replied “yes.” The officers quickly took the suspect into custody and during a patdown of the suspect recovered a loaded handgun in the suspect’s waistband.

A second suspect was with the first suspect inside the bar, but it was determined that the individual did not match the description. That second individual was interviewed and released from the North Precinct. Officers located the suspect’s car nearby and it does match the description of the suspect vehicle used in the abduction/rape. The car was impounded for processing. Detectives from the Sexual Assault Unit responded and interviewed the suspect at the precinct.

The 24 year old suspect was later booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Rape. The second suspect in this case is still outstanding. Anyone with information on that suspect is asked to contact the Seattle Police Department Sexual Assualt Unit at (206) 684-5575.

‘Ask the Mayor’ what’s on your mind

Tonight is the monthly “Ask The Mayor” show on the Seattle Channel hosted by C.R. Douglas. If you’ve never seen the show, Mayor Mike McGinn answers questions from the public on a range of topics.

The show airs live from 7 to 8 p.m. If you have an issue, concern, or question you’d like answered, you can call 206-684-8821, email or Tweet to @SeattleChannel using #askthemayor. The show airs on cable channel 21 or online here.

Radio Shack closing Market Street location

After decades on Market Street, Radio Shack is closing this location.

According to employee David Dewey, they will be reopening somewhere in Ballard in the next few months. The manager and employees haven’t been given anything more specific from Radio Shack, other than the new location will be within a few blocks of their current space.

If you’re in need of a Radio Shack, here are the closest locations:

  • Crown Hill: 8701-15th Ave NW
  • Uptown/Lower Queen Anne: 115 West Mercer
  • University District: 4223 University Way
  • (Thank you David & Kerri for the tip!)

    Artist(s) wanted for Burke Gilman Trail installation

    The city is looking to add a little creativity to the Burke Gilman Trail with the help of Washington artists.

    The Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Seattle Department of Transportation are looking for an artist or a team of artists to create art for the multi-purpose trail. All artists must live in the state of Washington.

    The art will be permanent installations on two to five select points along the trail, which have not been selected. “Each part of the installation will enliven its location on the trail and collectively create a larger cohesive artwork,” according to a release by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. “The artwork will identify the trail as a connector through the city and add an element of discovery to peoples’ experience on the trail.”

    The budget for the project is $80,000 which includes all costs to design, fabricate and install artwork. The application deadline is 11 p.m. on Monday, August 1. More information can be found here, or apply here.

    Sign up for next month’s Crown Hill Garage Sale

    The fifth annual Crown Hill Garage Sale is coming up next month and sign ups are now open to get your sale on the map. It should be a busy weekend – last year more than 50 households participated.

    The sale will be on July 23rd from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you have stuff to get rid of, sign up for the sale here. Want to see where the sales are? Check this up-to-date map

    More information is on the Crown Hill Neighborhood Association blog.