6-story apartment building planned for 53rd St.

The stretch of 15th Ave. NW south of Market St. may be getting another apartment building.

A 6-story apartment with 60 small efficiency dwelling units (SEDUs for short) has been proposed for 1446 NW 53th St., next door to the Subway on 15th.

The property is the current home of the gym, Outrageously Fit.

As is typical now for SEDU developments along the 15th Ave. corridor, the proposal does not include any plans for parking.

Ross Town Flats development coming to the Nickerson St. Saloon site

One of the most visible lots in Fremont will soon be home to a 5-story apartment, restaurant and coffee shop called Ross Town Flats.

As we reported back in February, big changes are ahead for the Nickerson St. Saloon site at 318 Nickerson St. — the southern gateway to the Fremont Bridge.

Now we’re getting our first look at the preliminary designs for the development. The saloon is not going anywhere; it will have a home in the new building, complete with outdoor seating. There will also be a coffee place on the corner.

“This 5-story mixed-use project adjacent to the Fremont Bridge is undergoing a contract re-zone to incorporate Seattle’s pending HALA zoning a year early,” explains Shoesmith Cox Architects about the development. “Occupying part of a triangular island site, the project is further complicated by a maritime zoning overlay in which residential uses are not permitted.”

The project has yet to go through the design review process.

Ballard Firestone site up for sale

The Firestone lot next to McDonald’s on NW Market St. is for sale, and a senior living company is reportedly eyeing the property.

The sales price for the 1145 NW Market St. property is $8.5 million, and the listing shows it’s currently “pending.” The Daily Journal of Commerce reports that Aegis Senior Communities has filed an early plan to build a new development there.

Aegis is rapidly expanding from its current 14 properties in Western Washington. The company’s website lists 8 new properties under development, including locations in Greenwood, Ravenna, Lake Union and Laurelhurst. The Ballard location would be its ninth new property.

Meanwhile, as we reported last month, the McDonald’s next door is planning to rebuild the restaurant from the ground up.

Target confirms small-format store coming to Ballard next year

Thanks to your tips, My Ballard broke the story last month that Target is planning to open a Ballard store in the new Martin Selig development at 15th and Market.

Today Target officially announced that the 26,900 square-foot store will open in Ballard in 2019, and Martin Selig released a rendering of the new office building with all the signage (above).

For context, full-size Target stores are in the 130,000 square-foot range.

Target also announced new small-format stores are coming to the U District and Bellevue. Each location will customize its inventory for the neighborhood. Target says the Ballard store “will focus its assortment on baby and kids, apartment and home essentials, and beauty products.”

The Ballard store will also feature online pickup — usually ready in less than an hour — as well as same-day delivery services powered by Shipt.

The store will employ about 50 people, Target said.

As for the office development at 15th and Market, Martin Selig says it’s 80% leased. As we’ve been reporting, other tenants include Polyclinic, WeWork and Equal Exchange Coffee.

Early look at 2 planned apartment complexes

We’ve been reporting about two incoming developments, one on 15th Ave. NW and the other on Market St. Now we have the preliminary designs for both.

“The Apodment” is slated for the site of Mac’s Upholstery at 5011 15th Ave. The proposal is for 132 small efficiency dwelling units with no on-site parking (no longer required since it’s inside the Ballard Urban Center). Similar to the Vive nearby, it looks like it will have a big sign on the side.

When we talked to the owner of Mac’s Upholstery late last year, he said he has plans to move to a nearby property. Meanwhile, the city is installing a crosswalk and center divide at 15th and 53rd.

The next design review board meeting for the development is slated for July 16 at 6:30 pm at the Ballard Community Center.

To the west at 2417 NW Market St., a larger apartment complex is in the works to replace the building that includes Ballard Transfer and Twice Sold Tales.

The 6-story development will house 171 apartment units, 101 below-grade parking spots and ground-level retail space. It backs up to the railroad tracks, just to the north of the waterfront.

The architects say project goals include “respect the character and history of Ballard” both on the commercial side on Market St. and “the maritime industrial area in our backyard.” They also say they plan to “coordinate with the planned Burke Gilman Trail extension (which is) expected to start construction parallel to this project.” The Missing Link is slated to run along Market St. in front of the development on its way to Golden Gardens Park.

Both of these projects still need final design approval before moving ahead.

Target is coming to Ballard next year

Updated: For years there have been rumors of Target coming to Ballard, but now it’s official.

My Ballard has learned Target has signed a lease to take the first floor of the new office building at the corner of 15th Ave NW and NW Market St., according to real estate developer Martin Selig.

Target will join Polyclinic, WeWork and Equal Exchange coffee in the new 200,000 square-foot office building that’s under construction where the Shell gas station was located. It’s slated to open in the first quarter of next year, Selig said.

Given the available square footage, it’s unclear if the new store is a CityTarget — a smaller, urban version of the discount store, like the one in downtown — or an even smaller TargetExpress store. When we reached Target this afternoon, it provided this statement:

At Target, we continuously explore possible locations for new stores, including in the Seattle area. We are currently focused on new store growth with our small-format stores, which are smaller than our general merchandise Target stores and are located in dense urban and suburban neighborhoods as well as college campuses. I can tell you we are pursuing the opportunity to reach guests in the Ballard neighborhood, but at this time, we’re not at a point where we can share any new store plans.

The building is located on Ballard’s busiest corner, right next to the proposed location of the Ballard elevated light rail station. One of the few office buildings in the neighborhood, it has has underground parking for 253 vehicles.

“There really is no office space market in Ballard,” Selig told us, explaining they’ve had to work hard to lease the 5-story building, which is now 80% leased. “All that’s left is floor 3,” he said.

(Our thanks to K and Scott for their tips that led to this story.)

No more wrench in Crown Hill

After a century in business, Crown Hill Hardware closed down in December with plans to sell the property. A couple days ago, the wrench mural was painted over — one of Crown Hill’s most recognizable landmarks at the corner of NW 80th St. and 15th Ave. NW.

“The wrench was cool, to me, for many years,” writes My Ballard reader Kurt, who sent us the photos. “Perhaps it did its job of keeping taggers at bay, who tend to not spray over existing art. I kind of hoped it would live on somehow. Wishful thinking in a neighborhood and city where everything old gets glossed over.”

No word on what’s coming to the corner next.

Update: One person in comments says, “Drove by while the guy started doing this. There already was graffiti on it. My guess is he was just trying to cover up graffiti and will hopefully continue to cover it up as now there is a blank canvas.”

Unique microhousing development coming to 15th Ave. in Crown Hill

A proposal to build a microhousing community at 8311 15th Ave NW — where the old Restaurante Michoacan was located — has been given conditional approval by the city (.pdf).

This is a four-story building with 78 “sleeping rooms” and five “congregate residences” with retail space on the ground floor.

“This project is part of our ongoing mission to rethink the possibilities for dense livable housing in our rapidly changing city,” explained architect David Neiman in a blog post about the project back in October 2016. “(It’s) a pursuit that has led us to a unique approach to micro-housing that emphasizes small affordable housing paired with generous common amenities arranged to foster social interaction among residents.”

Those small “sleeping rooms” include private bathrooms and a kitchenette, and “congregate residences” located on each floor — which Neiman called “pajama commons” — offer full kitchens, dining area and laundry. On the main floor, there’s a larger commons area with a lounge area and a patio. (Here’s the full design proposal in a large .pdf)

Similar to the upcoming apartment development a couple blocks to the north on 15th, this project will offer no vehicle parking. The city found that there’s adequate on-street parking to handle the additional vehicles for both developments.

New Crown Hill apartments get the green light

The current home of Taki’s Mad Greek and Wild Orchid restaurants — on 15th Ave. NW just north of NW 85th St. in Crown Hill — will be torn down to make room for a new 4-story apartment complex. The city gave the project a green light today with some conditions to update the design.

The 4-story building (.pdf) will house 36 apartments and 4 small efficiency units above retail space. Because the project is located in a “frequent transit corridor,” no vehicle parking will be provided — a detail that sparked concern from some neighbors in the public comment period.

In the city’s land use decision (.pdf), a study of on-street parking in the area that found nearly half of the spots are usually empty. The developers expect the new apartments will add 28 vehicles to on-street parking, and city concluded there will plenty of empty spots to accommodate them.

No word on the demolition schedule (which usually takes several months) or future plans for Taki’s Mad Greek or Wild Orchid.

Neighbors urge measured approach to North Seattle upzoning plan

The city held a meeting on Monday night in Northgate to listen to North Seattle neighbors about proposed legislation — called the Mandatory Housing Affordability plan — to increase housing density in “urban villages, urban village expansion areas and all places with multifamily or commercial zoning.” That includes Central Ballard, the 15th Ave. corridor and parts of Crown Hill.

“I’m shocked to learn that you are proposing a zoning change which would allow as many as four homes up to 40 feet tall to be built on every 5000 square foot lot in my neighborhood,” said Christy Robertson of Ballard, according to KING 5.

Most of the testimony urged a slower, more measured approach to upzoning that preserved neighborhood character and protected on-street parking.

The Mandatory Housing Affordability plan “is coming in with a club; we need a scalpel,” testified Lee Pate of Crown Hill, according to KUOW.

The city council is expected to take up the plan later this year.