Meeting tonight for Sunset Bowl replacement

Tonight, AvalonBay Communities will present to the Design Review Board their updated version of the apartment building that will replace Sunset Bowl.
These are the updated designs of the 233-unit apartment building, courtesy of Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects. The above rendering is of the south side of the building, facing Market St.

This is the west side of the building. During the last meeting, the Design Review Board thought this side of the building looked plain (see old designs here). According to the updated proposal that will be presented tonight, architects pushed back the center part of the wall for plants and added “a visually interesting pattern of color” on either side. The meeting is at 6:30 tonight at the Ballard High School library, and it’s open to the public.

You can see the entire proposal here (.pdf).

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

32 thoughts to “Meeting tonight for Sunset Bowl replacement”

  1. I can see the potential for it being a good thing. Far less hideous and depressing than the wasteland that's there now. I'm not sure I'd want an apartment overlooking the burger king or ballard mkt loading dock though…and it might be less overwhelming if it was on 5 stories tall. There's also have to be considerations for increased traffic on the neighborhood side streets.

    The design plans would look a little more realistic if they'd included the abandoned cars and campers in the median of 14th. But at least they got the hoards of youngsters on cell phones accurate.

    Definitely worth a trip over to the meeting at 6:30 as well as a thorough look at the pdf before it gets dismissed as “baaaaad.”

  2. wow. I can't believe that 'painted fiber cement panels' arranged in a checkerboard constitute a 'visually interesting pattern of color'

    I really think we're hitting rock-bottom with this one. Both the south and west side are generic examples of sterile swiss banalities.

    is there even any retail on the west (15th ave) side? I can only hope those trees grow big and wide.

  3. I agree about that ugly grid on the west side but it'll blend in nicely with the ugly fast food joint and gas station ;-)

    See you all at the meeting tonight!

  4. Hurrah, I love these Stalingrad circa 1966 buildings, they do so much for the area.

    Three cheers for Comrade Ankrom, and his 5 year plan which will certaily be on schedule for 7 years from now.

  5. RE “painted fiber cement panels” It will give it the look of a large hanger for storing the space shuttle!

    This is one monolith, they have to chane it! I won't be able to attend the meeting tonight, but is someone here going to attend this?

    The size of this looks like one big giant negative externality, that will degrade the quality of life, not add to it.

    Back to the drawing board!

  6. Wasn't there supposed to be space for a bowling alley in there?

    Also, it's not condos, it's apartments. It's still better looking than all the mid-1960's apartment buildings along 24th.

  7. The checkerboard is completely unsightly! What the frick are these morons thinking??? How does a gigantic, distracting, bright blue and white checkerboard pattern qualify as “interesting” or blend in with the surroundings. These guys are completely devoid of any design sensibility and are only interested in making money on their developments which they are now desperate to sell and therefore unable to put any money into a decent exterior design. I'll bet that checkerboard can be seen from space making it a convenient target for something.

  8. Looking at the proposal – it is not the worst that I've seen. The set in trees are a nice move, and the retail and residential uses at the sidewalk level will certainly be an improvement over the empty parking lot and closed up bowling alley that's there now. However – I worry that the retail spaces don't have much potential for anything other than another Kinkos or something like that. I wonder about providing some set backs or mini courtyards that could encourage a restaurant or Bar use.

    The checkerboard is a bit lame – but easily changed to just a solid color.

    I have concerns over their ability to keep it occupied – but i guess that's their problem. More folks walking around this area WILL improve safety at least a little bit.

  9. More likely a hair salon that you never see anyone in, and maybe a florist that doesn't seem to stock anything.

    Didn't Las Vegas just pay good money to implode a bunch of decaying old hotels that looked much like the eye-bleeding west side of this meat hive?

  10. Wow, so much whining about how pretty an apartment will be.

    You truly want to reduce the amount of carbon in the environment? Building dense, vertical dwellings near an urban core along a public transportation route will do tons more than purely symbolic acts like not using plastic bags at the grocery store.

    And since when have apartment buildings been looked at as architectural marvels? Did it occur to anyone that to produce a development of a higher aesthetic it would cost more money and thus there would be complaints about how expensive the places are??

    I don't mind complaining, just temper it with some honest reality please

  11. Do you mean apartments? I don't know, maybe we could clear a bunch more land in east king county, add a couple of lanes onto the freeway, and listen to everyone bitch about their commute. There are three options, force people to quit having kids, support urban sprawl, or encourage density whithin a metropolitan city. The first one isn't going to happen, so which of the other two do you support?

  12. Think about it for a second. The building is up to the property line on the west side. Why would there be any retail there, and where would the access be from? You can't very well build store front retail along a burger king parking lot. Anytime in the future the adjoining lot may be developed and there could be a building that butts right up against it. For a “blank wall” this design is actually quite a bit better than most other developments around the city.

  13. the checkerboard could go, but otherwise it looks so much better than most new construction going up. look at that canal station project up the street!
    if you actually look at the other images in the package, it looks like they took a lot of care at the ground level, and there will be a plaza to make that freaky bus stop a little less scary.
    i'd rather have modern/scandinavian aesthetic in the hood than more neo-classical, poorly derived 30's style buildings!

  14. Wow, that's original. I guess the vertical type sign makes it so much different than anything else *rolls eyes*.

    With the report of so many Ballard condo buildings around that area are still so vacant, I'd be surprised if this goes up anytime soon.

  15. Like Ballard is the place to go for work. Your and idiot. The apartments should be going downtown. No one is building commercial or business offices in Ballard. There aren't jobs here. A metropolitan city is building down town… building in Ballard, Fremont is sprawl if everyone is commuting to Bellevue. No one is raising kids in these units they are too small and too expensive.

    The good news is that the builders and owners are going to lose their shirts as the housing markets continues to drop in the NW. 25% more to deflate to catch up with the rest of the US.

  16. I just checked out the PDF of the plan and it doesn't seem even half as bad as that mess that is about to replace the old Dennys. I'd much rather still have the old Sunset Bowl there, but this isn't the worst building to be proposed for Ballard.

  17. I don't even know where to start with your note, BallardMan.

    1. Ballard IS a place to work. Ask the shop owners, restauranteers, hospital workers and mariners who all collect paychecks from Ballard businesses.

    2. You misspelled 'you're' and 'an'. The sentance should read, 'You're an idiot.” not “Your and idiot.” sigh.

    I guess I just don't understand your issue. Do you live in a one-family house in Ballard and work elsewhere? Do you drive your own vehicle to get to work? (I'm guessing it's somewhere in Bellevue???)

    Urban sprawl is defined by low-density, single-family building infringing on rural/undeveloped spaces. Residents of these areas tend to use automobiles to get to retailers and to work. Urban sprawl is NOT the redevelopment of mixed-use buildings on already developed city corners. I would like to think that the close proximity of this development to public transportation would allow for a quick commute to downtown Seattle, UW, and more. Isn't that a draw to home-buyers and retail leasors?

    I understand that you're against this project. What would YOU like to see on this specific corner instead?

  18. If no bowling alley owner wants to run a business on that corner, the developer will not design a space for a bowling alley. Nor would a potentential homeowner find the idea of an on-site bowling alley as a draw, regardless of the extra cost that the developer would (of course) instill by ensuring that the bowling alley would be sound-insulated from the rest of the units.
    Can we all just get over the bowling alley already? If there are so many gung-ho, bowling fanatics, why don't they all just get together and buy a space and develop an alley?

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