What’s on this weekend

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, June 2

  • National Donut Day at Mighty-O, giving away mini donuts and donating 10 percent of all sales to local elementary schools.
  • End of Bike Month Party at Peddler Brewing Company (1514 NW Leary Way), with raffle prizes, Cycle Dogs food truck, and bike exhibitors, from 4-8pm.
  • Live Music
    • Black Whales, The Foghorns, and The Trick Candles at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW)  at 9pm, $8.
    • American Standard .Time presents: Kuinka (EP release) w/ Ezra Bell + Yurt at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9pm, $15.

Saturday, June 3

  • Summer Vegetable Start & Tomato Sale at Abundant Greens Urban Farm (2843 NW 57th St) all weekend from 10am – 4pm. More info here.
  • See The Heron Chicks Through Telescopes at Commodore Park (between the Ballard Locks Fish Ladder and train bridge) 3330 W Commodore Way10am to noon. Get a close up view of Seattle’s largest Great Blue Heron colony, free for all.
  • Garage Sale Day in Phinney Ridge, 9am – 2pm. Click here for the map of all the yard sales.
  • New York Fashion Academy fabric/craft supply yard sale, 9am – 3pm at the school, 5201 Ballard Ave NW, to raise money for their upcoming runway show.
  • Live Music
    • Low Cut Connie, Bread and Butter, Scantron at Sunset Tavern (5433 Ballard Ave NW) at 9pm, $12.
    • RUSSIAN ROKENROL: A Evening with Red Elvises, at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9pm, $20.
    • Lucy Diamond and Wendy Bradbury Jazz Quintet at Egan’s Ballard Jam House (1707 NW Market St) at 7 pm and 9pm. $12.

Sunday June 4

  • Ballard Farmer’s Market along Ballard Ave from 10am – 3pm.
  • Sunday Morning Meditation at Amazing Grace Spiritual Center (2007 NW 61st St) from 10am – 10:20am.
  • Summer Vegetable Start & Tomato Sale at Abundant Greens Urban Farm (2843 NW 57th St) all weekend from 10am – 4pm. More info here.
  • Live Music
    • Open mic at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) sign-up at 7:30 pm.
    • The Black Chevys, Tigers in the Tank, Triceraclops at Sunset Tavern (5433 Ballard Ave NW) at 8pm, $8.
    • BJ Barham (of American Aquarium) w/ Timmy The Teeth+Massy Ferguson Duo at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9pm, $15.

SDOT seeks feedback on potential RPZ in Ballard

After receiving a request from the Central Ballard Residents Association (CBRA) to create a new Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) on residential streets around the Ballard business district, SDOT is seeking feedback from the local community.

“We’d like to hear from residents, employees, and visitors in Ballard about how adding RPZ restrictions might affect them,” says Norm Mah from SDOT.

Not sure what an RPZ is? An RPZ is put in place to ease parking congestion in residential neighborhoods, while balancing the needs of all people to use the public right of way.

In central Ballard, the RPZ is being proposed in the area featured on the below map:

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The RPZ is being proposed with the following restrictions:

  • The gray area on the map highlights where residents would be eligible for permits.
  • SDOT would install RPZ signs on the solid blue lined blocks, limiting vehicles without RPZ permits to 2-hour parking Monday – Friday, 7 AM – 8 PM. We are proposing RPZ signs on one side of the street only, to balance a variety of on-street parking demands.
  • All blocks with RPZ signs would be subject to signed parking restrictions and residents within the gray area would be able to purchase permits (currently $65 for two years)
  • SDOT does not install RPZ signs next to ground floor retail or other non-residential uses. Many of the blocks in this area already have paid or time-limited parking; this RPZ proposal will not change those signs or regulations.

This proposal was been created after SDOT received an RPZ review request from the Central Ballard Residents Association in Fall 2014.

In September 2015, SDOT studied parking in the area shown and found street parking to be on average 93% full during the day, with over 35% of vehicles not belonging to residents.

The goal of the proposed RPZ would be to limit all-day parking by non-residents, decrease parking congestion and circling within the neighborhood, and make it easier for residents to find parking near their homes.

Locals are asked to give their feedback via a brief online survey before May 31.

Send any additional comments or questions to Ruth Harper at (206) 684-4103 or email ruth.harper@seattle.gov.

Ballardites launch Go Fund Me campaign to open coffee shop

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Ballardites Carrie and Heather Wallace have launched a Go Fund Me campaign in the hopes of opening their own business, Grind Me – Ballard Coffee, in our neighborhood.

Both Carrie and Heather are very familiar with the local coffee scene and are keen to put their passion and experience behind their own store.

A little over two years ago, the Wallaces opened Bauhaus Ballard along with the long time owner of the business. After a year of managing the Ballard location, Carrie became the General Manager of all three Bauhaus stores in Seattle.

According to Carrie, the couple worked 14-18 hour days, 5-7 days a week. “We poured our hearts and souls into something we realized wasn’t ours and possibly wouldn’t succeed due to someone else’s financial challenges,” she says.

In April 2015, the Wallaces made the decision to end their time working with Bauhaus before the business suddenly and permanently closed its doors in December. Since leaving Bauhaus, “the last eight months have been a very sad, inspiring and eye opening time,” says Carrie.

“Not only have we missed everything we helped make at the Ballard cafe but most of all our amazing employees and customers. The feeling we had while working to provide our customers with the best cup of love they could get and the friendships we made were irreplaceable,” she says.

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Since leaving Bauhaus, the couple have dreamed of opening their own coffee shop and are now faced with the opportunity to be in the running to rent the old Bauhaus location (located on the corner of 20th Ave NW and NW Market St). (They also have their hands on another Ballard location if the former Bauhaus property falls through.)

However, in order to secure a location for Grind Me – Ballard Coffee as soon as possible, they are looking for community support.

“We have a little help from family to get started and have applied for loans that will take months but will still need to raise additional funds to get the ball rolling now. We are here to ask our friends, family and community for support,” says Carrie.

The couple will use the Go Fund Me donations to purchase everything needed for the opening including remodel costs, licenses, an espresso machine, vendor deposits, café furniture and more. Together Carrie and Heather have built a business plan, a three year financial plan and gathered over 20 letters of recommendation in their efforts to open Grind Me.

If their Go Fund Me campaign is successful, Carrie and Heather also plan to rehire a few of the old Bauhaus employees who lost their jobs so close to Christmas and, if they successfully secure the former Bauhaus location, also plan to keep the historic Twice Sold Tales bookstore located inside the business.

“Help us to produce the amazing family environment and coffee that deserves to be a part of the everyday lives we live; one cup at a time,” says Carrie.

Click here to learn more about Grind Me – Ballard Coffee and donate to the Go Fund Me campaign.

Photo courtesy of Carrie Wallace. From left Carrie Wallace, Katie Gower and Heather Wallace.

artSEA on the lookout for local mural locations

The team from artSEA, a 10-day art festival that will run in conjunction with  theSeattle Art Fair, is on the lookout for walls in our neighborhood to be painted with murals during the event.

“We are looking for any public wall, preferably that has a decent amount of foot traffic. The walls will get murals at no cost to the property owner as part of the project painted by internationally renown artists,” says artSEA organizer Amy Faulkner.

The murals will be painted during the event which will run in from August 4th through the 14th.

If you are interested in having a mural painted on your property’s wall or know of a great location in Ballard contact Amy at amy@theworldisfun.org.

New Seasons Market coming to Ballard

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According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Portland based grocer New Seasons Market is set to open in Ballard next year.

The new store will open at 907 NW Ballard Way, and is sure to increase the competition within the local grocery market industry.

The Ballard location will be the second store to open in the Seattle area, with a Mercer Island store set to open this fall.

New Seasons sells freshly prepared food made from local ingredients, bakes fresh bread daily, sells sustainably sourced meats and more. The stores also give 10 percent of its after-tax profit to the communities in which it operates.

According to the PSBJ, New Seasons Ballard will be a 25,000-square-foot space housed inside the new building that CenterCal Properties is planning to build. The property is also set to house 14,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space.

New Seasons Chief Development Officer Jerry Chevassus stated in a press release that Ballard Way is “an ideal spot” for the the new store. “The community is thriving and our values align strongly with residents there,” Chevassus says.

According to the article, New Seasons will be hiring local employees to fill the majority of the 150 new positions. The company already has more than 3,300 employees in 18 stores on the West Coast.

The PSBJ reports that GBD Architects is designing the center and Hewitt will be doing the landscape architecture. At this stage a general contractor has not been selected.

Image courtesy of Puget Sound Business Journal.

Ballard real estate recap: stronger balance of buyers and sellers needed

Long time Ballard resident and local Real Estate Broker Sharon Giampietro shares a regular post on My Ballard to keep readers informed about the local real estate market. 

Can you afford to buy a home in the Greater Ballard area, that sought after Northwest quadrant of our city? If you’re wondering and watching the market, you may be seeing fewer “For Sale” signs lately and hearing stories of rising prices. What is going on? Housing demand is still high. State planners tell us our population is growing and we consistently have one of the best job markets in the country.

The Urban Land Institute refers to Seattle as one of the country’s “18 Hour Cities”, meaning that you can get most of what you want for 18 hours of the day. These cities, with their walkability to entertainment, eateries and shopping, are super attractive to today’s buyers who are flocking to them. Seattle is popular, and for these same reasons, so is the greater Ballard area. When I moved here in the early 80’s I would have characterized Seattle as a 12 hour city – I could never find any place to eat after 9 p.m., and only found out later we could have gone to 13 Coins!

A short look back over the past few years: at the end of 2013 the average sold price for a residential home was $513,000; at the end of 2014, $560,000 and at the end of 2015, $638,000. That is a 10% increase in average home prices in 2014 and about a 13% in 2015. Prices in our area have just recently crept a bit higher than they were at the height of the market in 2007. This is good news as some sellers will no longer be under water and in a better position to make a move. That would be great because this year there were about 170 less listings than last. Buyers this year are looking for a reversal of this trend.

Is the condo market serving up any options? When you look up and see those cranes all over the city, including the Greater Ballard area, it may look like there’s a lot of condos being built. However, they are mostly NOT condos, but apartments. Just 97 new construction condos came on the market in 2015, an average of 8 new units a month. More condos (not new construction condos) were available this year than last (624 to last year’s 608), but average sold prices jumped up over 20 percent ($284,000 t0 $364,000). Condos are still providing an affordable option. It is rare to find 3 bedroom condos, and they are generally an option mainly for those with smaller space requirements.

There are lots of “modernos” (rhymes with bungalows!) especially in the area close to downtown Ballard. I keep scratching my head trying to recall “what did this block look like last year?” There are so many changes, I can’t keep up anymore! These new construction homes are distinguished by their modern look, most often with flat roofs, open floor plans, modern amenities, and small yards. They are sprouting up like spring grass with 339 added to the housing stock this year. However, their median sale price jumped this year from $640,000 to $750,000. These homes are popular but at over $700,000, are not affordable for many.

Interest rates have bumped up a little and it predicted they will go up again in 2016, but they are still historically low. Hope springs eternal for a good real estate market in 2016, with a stronger balance of sellers and buyers.

Greater Balllard is Greenwood, Green Lake, Wallingford and other close by neighborhoods identified as “705” in the Northwest Multiple listing Service. All residential and condo numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand and unless noted do not include new construction. Statistics not compiled or published by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Help fund the Ballard Tool Library project

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The local organization, Sustainable Ballard is currently fundraising on indegigo to build a Tool Library for Ballard. A tool library is “just like a normal library, a tool library is a sustainable public service that provides community access to tools and an exchange of knowledge, at little to no cost.” says the Ballard Tool Library Project. 

Local Ballardites will be able to use the resource to borrow tools for DIY projects at home, such as woodworking, art projects, gardening, construction, power tools, knitting needles and many other loosely labeled tools. “The BTL will promote a sharing economy, mutual reliance, and environmental stewardship in Ballard.” says Anna Fidgeon.

The organization has thus far reached 30% of their goal. Visit their indegigo website to read more about the project, donate and help them reach their goal of $5,000.

Photo courtsey of Sustainable Ballard website

Lucky Envelope Brewing to open in Ballard

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Ballard is set to welcome its newest brewery just in time for Seattle Beer Week. Lucky Envelope Brewing (907 NW 50th St) is set to officially open this Thursday, May 7, at 3 p.m.

The neighborhood’s newest brewery is the venture of Brewmaster Barry Chan and Director of Operations Raymond Kwan (pictured). Both are beer enthusiasts and have a ton of experience in their own right.

“What began as an occasional weekend activity evolved into an obsession. When I wasn’t brewing I found myself studying the chemical and biological processes involved in producing beer,” says Chan.

The brewery’s name takes after the the Chinese tradition of giving red envelopes with money to celebrate Chinese New Year and major holidays.

Lucky Envelope Brewing is set to feature a regular brew rotation packed with traditional German-style beers including Munich Helles and Schwarzbier lagers. The brewery will also feature Asian-inspired beers including the Belgian Style Tripel that is infused with Thai ingredients.

At the grand opening event, attendees will have the chance to sample six beers on tap which will include an IPA, Fog Dart Pale Ale, Seattle Helles, Thaiger Mom Trippel, British Stout, and a Cherry Stout.

The Lucky Envelope Brewing tasting room will be both kid and dog friendly, will feature partnerships with local food trucks and also boasts a bike rack outside the front door.

“Our tasting room will be family friendly and dogs will also be allowed as long as they are well behaved and play nice with other customers and dogs,” says Kwan.

Click here to find out more about Ballard’s newest brewery.

Photo courtesy of Lucky Envelope Brewing. 

Locals encouraged to “Give Big” to local non-profits today

Do you want to give to local organizations who play a fundamental role in the Ballard community?

Well, today is the perfect day to get involved in The Seattle Foundation’s fifth annual GiveBIG event.

The event is a one-day, online charitable giving campaign that benefits non-profits in both our neighborhood and all over the city.

All day today you can donate online via credit card to any of the 1400+ non-profits that are profiled on The Seattle Foundation’s website, some of which operate in Ballard. The non-profits will receive a prorated portion of the matching funds “stretch” pool. The total amount of the stretch pool depends on the size of the stretch pool and the total that is raised today during the GiveBIG campaign.

Check out the list of participating non-profits that support the Ballard area:

Reach deep into your pockets and GiveBIG today!  Do your part to help out the local non-profits that give so much to the Ballard community.