Ballard Art Walk set for Saturday

bird houseThis Saturday Ballard Art Walk will be in full swing at venues all over the neighborhood from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

The monthly event will showcase local painting, glass art, sculpture, performance and more.

This month Umpqua Bank has partnered with local artists The 54th St Stelier Group to curate monthly art shows through to September. This month’s group show titled “H2O” features paintings that have a focus on water.

The month-long solo show in Umpqua’s Back Gallery will showcase the work of artist Wendy Wees. Her “Birds” series features oil paintings that depict whimsical avian characters. Check out her painting titled “Bird House” above.

Art Walk is a family-friendly free event that allows visitors and locals to explore the artistic side of our special community. Click here to find out more about the event.

Image courtesy of Ballard Art Walk.

Throwback Thursday: Ballard homes back in the day

It’s that time of the week where we take a look back at the Ballard of yesteryear!

With development being such a hot topic in our neighborhood at the moment we thought it would be fun to check out the “development” of homes in Ballard since the 1890s.

The black and white photo below, taken in 1895, features what the Ballard Historical Society identified as “The Miller Home” which stood at 2008 NW 58th St. The photo shows the Victorian style bungalow with a dirt road out the front.

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The black and white photo below features the Nowicki House at 6756 22nd Ave NW. The photo, taken in 1895, shows John Nowicki standing on the porch.

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The black and white photo below, taken in 1900, features a line of neighborhood homes  which Ballard Historical Society believes is perhaps near Salmon Bay Park.

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The black and white photo below, taken in 1921, shows the one and a half story Victorian home of Albert and Anna Faber located at 1522 NW 61st St.

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The black and white photo below, taken in 1921, shows William and Lena Epley’s home at 1722 NW 59th St.

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Do you have an historical photo or a story that readers would enjoy hearing about? Email us at tips@myballard.com with Throwback Thursday in the subject line.

Photo and information courtesy of Ballard Historical Society.

Traffic accident snarls Ballard Bridge

Long traffic delays stretched deep into the evening commute after a collision blocked all but one northbound lane on the Ballard Bridge. The accident happened just before 3 p.m., sparking a car fire.
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There’s no word on injuries. Traffic jammed Fremont, Aurora, Westlake and the Mercer Mess — making for a very messy evening commute. It took over an hour to clear the accident; all lanes opened at 4:10 p.m.

Syttende Mai celebrations set for next weekend

17258_309990741827_868428_nOne of Ballard’s biggest celebrations, Syttende Mai, is coming up next weekend and it is set to be full of fun and festivities!

This year’s celebrations will be extra special as 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the signing of Norway’s constitution, which is celebrated on Syttende Mai, or May 17th.

2014 also marks the 125th anniversary of Seattle’s own Syttende Mai parade, which is the largest outside of Norway!

This year’s parade will kick off at 6 p.m. with a full line up of entertainment for the crowds at Bergen Place from 10 a.m. An Open House and Cafe is also planned at Leif Erikson Lodge (2245 NW 57th Street) from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Locals can also purchase the limited edition 2014 Syttende Mai pin at Ballard Chamber or Secret Garden Bookshop (2214 NW Market Street).

Check out the Syttende Mai website to view the parade map, and follow the Twitter and Facebook pages for updates and more detailed info as the day draws closer.

The My Ballard team will be there on the day to capture all of the fun and excitement!

Development Update May 8: Subdivisions and a public meeting

Applications for developments in Ballard have been coming in fast this week to the Department of Planning and Development (DPD).

Check out the most recent applications and decisions from the DPD as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin.

Applications:

11733 4th Ave NW

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A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one parcel into two parcels of land in an environmentally critical area. Proposed parcel sizes are:  Y) 9,062 sq. ft. and Z) 7,215 sq. ft.  Existing structure to remain.

Decisions:

6302 28th Ave NW

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one development site into three unit lots. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots. Appeals of the decision must be received by the Hearing Examiner no later than May 19, 2014.

6309 26th Ave NW

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one development site into three unit lots. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots. Existing structure to be demolished. Appeals of the decision must be received by the Hearing Examiner no later than May 22, 2014.

10434 8th Ave NW

A Land Use Application has been approved to allow a 3-story, five unit residential structure with attached garages. Existing structures to be demolished. Environmental Review includes future unit lot subdivision. Appeals of the decision must be received by the Hearing Examiner no later than May 22, 2014.

1763 NW 63rd St

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one development site into two unit lots. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots.  Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots. Appeals of the decision must be received by the Hearing Examiner no later than May 22, 2014.

Public Meeting:

2014 NW 57th St

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The DPD is currently reviewing an application and will hold a public meeting to gather comments on this project. A Land Use application has been submitted to allow a 1,952 square feet area to be used as a community center (hygiene center) at ground level in a 51 unit low-income elderly apartment building.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 4, at Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Ave NW) at 7 p.m.

Appeals and comments on proposed land use actions must be submitted in writing to the Public Resource Center by email to prc@seattle.gov, by fax to (206) 233-7901, or by mail to the address below:

Department of Planning and Development
ATTN: Public Resource Center or Assigned Planner
700 Fifth Ave, Ste 2000
P.O. Box 34019
Seattle, WA 98124-4019

The monthly Ballard Real Estate recap

Long time Ballard resident and local Real Estate Broker Sharon Giampietro will be sharing a post on My Ballard each month to keep readers informed about the local real estate market. Giampietro comes from a long line of realtors and has lived in Ballard for 30 years. She is currently a Broker at Windermere Real Estate in Greenwood.

Check out Giampietro’s recap of how Greater Ballard fared in April below:

In early spring the housing market traditionally sees an influx of listings, and this April was no different. 224 new homes came on the market, beating out March’s number of 194. This upswing in inventory is welcomed by buyers who are still looking for the right home in our area.

At 155, April saw a tie with March for the number of homes sold. This puts our housing inventory at about a 1.4 month supply – a bit more than March but still a low supply.

Have you noticed the increase in new home construction?  In the first 4 months of 2014 there have been 110 new construction listings added to the inventory.  To compare, for the same time period last year, the number was 46. Home buyers are starting to have more new construction choices, especially in the townhome style of home.

In April, the average sale price climbed to $533,000, up from March’s $525,000. That March price was a slide from February’s $531,000, but this month’s numbers don’t show a continuing downward price trend in our area. The average length of time on the market was 25 days in April, close to March’s average of 26 days. There are still many multiple offers and pre-inspections.

Additions to the condo supply have been up and down in the last few months with 59 coming on the market in March and 49 in April. The number of condos sold was up from 34 in March to 45 in April, so fewer came on this month than last, but more sold.

At the same time, the average condo price has been coming down – from $347,000 in January, to $315,000 in February and $286,000 in March and now $266,000 in April.  As more new construction condos become available (we can see the signs for these new condo complexes in the downtown Ballard area) we can expect a rise in condo prices.

In April about 6% of “solds” (homes and condos) were short sales or bank owned, up a bit from last month.

Studies by the National Association of Homebuilders show that low energy bills are important to homeowners.   If you are interested in saving some money on your home energy use, check out the Sustainable Ballard B-Green Building Talks. (www.sustainableballard.org). These talks are held in the homes of our neighbors who have retrofitted their homes for better energy efficiency.

Greater Ballard is Greenwood, Green Lake, Wallingford and other close by neighborhoods identified as “705” in the NWMLS.  All residential and condo numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand and unless noted does not include new construction. Statistics not compiled or published by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Apartment data from Dupre + Scott  Apartment Development Report.

SeaSub Theatre set to open “Creeps” on Market St this Friday

cr2Local theatre group Seattle Subversive Theatre will be opening their latest play Creeps in a converted commercial space at 2220 NW Market Street this Friday, May 9.

Creeps is an autopbiographical play by the late Canadian playwright David E. Freeman that tells the story of five men with Cerebral Palsy and their experiences in a sheltered workshop. The play first made its debut in 1972 and has had several successful productions.

As all of the action takes place in a Men’s Washroom during the play, SeaSub built a 20 seat Micro Black Box Theatre in the Market St space and converted it into a realistic men’s washroom.

“We’re the fringe of the fringe, doing what we know is an important play,” says director Gregg Gilmore.

Creeps will run from May 9 through May 31 at the SeaSub Micro Black Box (2220 NW Market St) on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased online. Due to mature content the play is for adults only.

Photo courtesy of SeaSub.

The RE Store set to close for good at the end of May

1234002_10151660246833300_348881272_nBallard favorite The RE Store (1440 NW 52nd St) is set to close its doors for good on May 31st.

The RE Store team wrote the following statement on their website in regards to the closure:

After much deliberation, the Board of RE Sources for Sustainable Communities decided that construction and demolition waste issues are being adequately addressed by other businesses and organizations in the Seattle area, and therefore will be closing The RE Store in Seattle. We will be focusing our efforts on serving northwest Washington at our Bellingham location.

The store opened in Ballard in 1999 and was founded by non profit organization RE Sources for Sustainable Communities. The store, and its Bellingham counterpart, was opened to address the growing problem of wasteful disposal of useable building materials.

The RE Store provides an alternative for their unwanted or unused building materials. In 2010, their efforts saved a total of 4,503,000 pounds of building supplies which is the equivalent weight of 5 Boeing 747s or 59 semi-trailers.

After the doors are closed for the final time, the store is sure to be deeply missed by members of our local community.

The store’s Bellingham location will continue to operate after the Ballard store closes.

The RE Store will be open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. until the closure on May 31.