Last month, we reported that Grumpy D’s is moving to make way for the development of a five-story, mixed-use apartment building. Now, Dan Kurtz of Grumpy D’s tells My Ballard that instead of moving, he’s planning to sell.
“We’re going to pull the plug. We don’t want to start all over with a new fan base, music, rent, setting up a whole new venue,” Kurtz says. “I’d like to sell it for a nominal fee. It has great equipment, a great name, a good core of regulars.”
Vivia, the company that’s developing the five-story, 167-unit building named Nesttun, is locally owned by three women and is based in Interbay. Morgan Royse from Vivia tells My Ballard that they had hoped to retain Grumpy D’s in the new building; the ground floor will have a 1,500 square-foot commercial space in the same location where Grumpy’s currently stands. However, the 18 to 24-month construction process is too long for Grumpy’s to wait. “We had a lot of discussions about how to keep them there,” Royse tells My Ballard. “It was our goal, and continues to be our goal, to retain them.”
Nesttun will take up five lots on the corner of NW 70th St and 15th Ave NW. Three of the five businesses are landowners who decided to sell to Vivia — Creation Dentistry, Husky Home Care, and a studio. Grumpy D’s and a daycare are the only businesses who rent their properties, and the daycare has chosen to end their lease early. Grumpy D’s current lease goes through January 2020.
“We didn’t buy any of these properties under distress or on foreclosure. They’re all landowners who made financial, calculated decisions to sell their parcels on 15th in order to secure their own financial futures,” Royse says.
Nesttun will have 68 small efficiency dwelling units, 83 apartment units, and 12 live/work spaces, which will be targeted toward small-business owners.
Royse says that the 60-plus small efficiency units in Nesttun, while not deemed “affordable housing”, will still aim to be affordable to one or two people with a combined salary of $45,000. “We’re doing that so servers, bartenders, people that want to live in Ballard, young professionals, will have the ability to do so.” They’ll also have 40-plus two-bedroom units, which Royse says could work well for families who can’t afford to buy a house in the neighborhood.
Nesttun, named after a town in Norway where one of the developer’s father-in-law is from, will be built with a Scandinavian design. They haven’t released their design sketches yet, but Royse says it will be built with high-end materials, and will accommodate people with dogs, kids, and elderly couples.
“With input from the community, we hope we can build something that the neighbors will find aesthetically pleasing,” Royse says. “You can’t please the masses, but we’re certainly going to try.”
Construction for Nesttun is planned for the spring of 2020. No word yet on when Grumpy D’s will close — we’ll update when we know more.