Crews demolish Ballard eyesore

Update: Demolition crews are taking apart the old, boarded-up home at 1753 NW 56th St., and many neighbors are happy to see it go.

The “meth house,” as some call it, has been a longtime hangout for vagrants. The abandoned building was recently acquired by the Compass Center. It has plans to rebuild on the site, but not until the economy turns around.

Back in March, we wrote about the dilemma the non-profit was facing after it purchased the boarded-up building. “To us it’s a threat to life, so we have petitioned the city to take it down,” Rick Friedhoff, director of the Compass Center told the Ballard Distric Council in March. “But it’s very difficult to take down a building like this, because the city wants you to have a Master Use Permit for what’s going to go up next.” But now it appears the Compass Center was successful in its petition to demolish the building. “The city was really helpful,” Friedhoff told us this morning. The city walked through and determined that “it would cost more to bring the building up to code, more than half of the fair market value, and said that we could tear it down.”

The building has long been the source of complaints by nearby businesses, and the Sip & Ship is celebrating the event by offering $2 tall “Demolition Lattes” all day today. Here’s some video of the demolition:

As you look into the attic (above) you can see a sheet. There were mattresses and other blankets and such that came down with the demolition.

It took a little more than three hours to tear the main house down.

There is still a garage on the property that will come down, as well as all the trees on the lot. It will take a few days for the crew to haul the pile away.

One part of the building was salvaged. Dan Molnes or Squarehead Home Repair is taking the three solid fir pillars from the front porch. He plans to build his front porch around these pieces.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

17 thoughts to “Crews demolish Ballard eyesore”

  1. I just drove by and saw the demo crew getting ready to start work. It looked like they were getting a lot of appreciative smiles and kudos from passing residents.

    Maybe we should come up with some suggestions for how this property could be put to better use…

    But first, here's what it should NOT be used for: a place for the homeless to camp out, hang out, or pass out. A place for drug dealing. A place for bums to defecate. We already have plenty of those in Ballard.

    How about some suggestions for how this property could be better used? I'll start with this one…

    A Seattle Police Department Ballard Precinct temporary HQ (I'll volunteer to bring coffee and doughnuts at least once a week).

    Any other ideas?

  2. This character in the video is a regular, usually with a group, always with his hoody up. You'll find him hanging with the dealers at 7-11, Bergen Park, and Mr. Spots.
    Good work BC, folks will recognize him now.

  3. I was there about 10 AM and some of the former residents/difters were hanging out in the alley. They hardly look like drug dealers and could barley walk toward the 7-11.

  4. The only one suffering from a sense of entitlement and selfishness is you. What is wrong with people staying in a vacant house, in the snow, when the owner doesn't care? Where else do you want these people to stay? Oh, thats right, anywhere but ballard. This nimby bs isn't going to do anything to solve the larger problem.

  5. I walked by the site today – it looks kind of cool with all the broken, smashed wood and if you look closely you can see bits of what was in the house poking out of the wreckage – a piece of mattress, a toilet, some upholstry from an old couch. I know it's an ugly, stinky pile of rubbish and rotten wood, but it still looked kind of cool in a weird way. It reminds me of those pictures my daughter likes in kid's puzzle books where you find little tiny pictures in the big mess of stuff. I wished I brought my camera.

    Also, there is another abandoned house just a couple doors down. Do you think folks are just going to move into that house now? Who owns that other abandoned house?

  6. I agree completely with DPTSC. This story sounds a bit contrived to me, and if someone is in need of a place to sleep, there are shelters. I frequently hear from the homeless who complain about the shelters – don't like all the rules – so they take their chances elsewhere. That's their choice, but at that point the sympathy should end (oh, so sorry, it's not 'anything goes' in the shelter? No partying all night? No warm, comfy broadband internet? Boo-hoo).

    Breaking and entering and then illegally occupying private property is not something to be proud of, and not something that is deserving of our sympathy – especially when there are shelter beds available. This is a perfect example of the bums who CHOOSE to be homeless.

  7. I was driving by today and noticed several open windows on the house behind Dennys…and I fear that the rats from this Meth House will simply move to Meth House II. :/

  8. “We need to find a solution to the poor and homeless in town”

    Solution? Work farms. You get a roof and food in exchange for work.

  9. re: the Denny's lot building:

    If you want this lot cleaned up, contact Rhapsody Partners:

    Rhapsody Partners
    3400 Carillon Point
    Kirkland, WA 98033
    Phone: 425-250-1050
    Fax: 425-250-1051

    I emailed back in March and she said that it would be demolished in the “near future”. I'd say we're already past the near future.

    You can also file a complaint with DPD if you see people getting in. “Vacant building open to entry” is one of the complaint options.

  10. I know what we could put there…

    How about a brand new 7 story structure that will house ~300 mentally ill, drug addict/alcoholic – rapists? This will be great for the community as it will provide diversity. As well, the surrounding property values are sure to increase.

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