Private development boom expected in Ballard

Ballard can expect a large influx of new residents in the next two years, according to Barry Hawley of Hawley Realty. At the Ballard District Council meeting on Wednesday night, Hawley said a number of new apartment buildings are going to be built in the area.

A new sign hanging on the fence at 15th Ave NW and NW Market St.

The old Denny’s and Sunset Bowl sites are both slated for apartment buildings.

“Ballard is going to be a real mixed-use area.  It makes you wonder where the commercial is going to go with this inundation of residential, and that will be interesting, in the coming years, to see what happens,” Hawley said.

“It’s been a tough recession,” he said.  But, Hawley said that Amazon’s move to South Lake Union will bring residents to Ballard, and that’s why so many developers are building here.

According to Hawley, Ballard is “lucky” for a number of reasons.  He said Swedish Hospital’s new addition makes it easier for residents to access daily treatments.  “I think this is a tremendous thing for the community,” Hawley said. He also said the industrial fishing community brings jobs to the area.

“The Ballard community is attracting young people and young families, with the best high school in the Seattle public school system.”

Contributor Meghan Walker is an intern through the University of Washington School of Communications

32 thoughts to “Private development boom expected in Ballard”

  1. “with the best high school in the Seattle public school system”

    HUH? Am I the only one that thinks that doesnt seem right…..?

    I went to that High School and graduated in 02′ and that sure WASN’T the case then

  2. Really? Isn’t it understandable that people miss the bowling alley and the Denny’s?

    But you feel like mocking this sentiment as anti-progressive. Look, all change is not progress.

  3. “with the best high school in the Seattle public school system”

    Which of course has about as much cachet as saying you’re the best baseball team in Norway.

  4. I like Barry Hawley. He is a stand up guy, but with all due respect, I think Barry is just falling to whatever interests that can make the most money for him in Ballard. I for one am sad that Ballard has become so condonized and has lost all of it’s history in the process. How many more condo developements do we need? So many now lay vacant. I’m sorry to see the blue collar flavor of Ballard and the craftsmans houses that I grew up with disappear. The history of Ballard is being buried by condos. Come on Barry…enough. You were a Ballard High graduate back in the day. Why aren’t you working on some historical preservation?

  5. Hey, I bet the Indians miss their lifestyle too and I bet you and your blue collar ancestors didn’t care when you built cute craftsman, bowling alleys and diners on their land.

    Guess what, the world doesn’t stop for you.

  6. I beg to differ…The world does stop or at least cease to care when all we do is bury everything in a pile of highrise cement. I am sorry for what our forefathers did, but Kim can we do anything about that now? All we can do is try to do what we think is best now. Do you really think burying Ballard in high rise developement is what is best for us now?

  7. Aside from the missing of the bowling alley and the denny’s-lovers out there, I am just wondering who exactly is going to live in all these new units – I can’t imagine everyone from Amazon rushing to move to Ballard. I’m pretty sure the ugly-boxy stuff east of 20th is still fairly vacant and I know the building I live in a few blocks away always has at least one vacant unit in it…I see lots of vacant signs while driving around. On top of that, the idea that all this development is going to create a “real mixed-use area” or whatever was mentioned in the article seems a little questionable to me too. There is SO much over-priced retail and commercial space available already in Ballard. Do we need MORE vacant store-fronts when the businesses that are here now are often struggling to stay alive? My guess is that it will take years and years for the demand to meet the capacity that is being built.
    I’m not a bowler and in all my years living here I never set foot in Sunset Bowl, but every day I drive by that vacant spot, I am sad and wish they would have left it alone, at least. One thing I’ve always liked about Ballard is that it is just a little bit gritty – that’s what makes it interesting.

  8. You misunderstood him. Barry is a commercial realtor, he does not want Ballard to become a bedroom community. The more multifamily units the worse it is for his business. He is concerned that condos and apartments will force commercial building tenants to leave the area.

  9. Yes and you can’t stand on the Ballard Bridge and watch the logs go up the chain thing_ie into the plywood mill anymore. This place sucks.

  10. “a real mixed-use area” – we see vacant retail and commercial space now and adding to the glut will hopefully force property owners to lower rents, which can lead to a resurgence in small businesses in the ‘hood.

    yeah yeah – call me Pollyanna but it makes some sense…

  11. I don’t know about all of you, but I’m still waiting for the mass transit that was the original reason all these high rise condos were permitted to be built.

  12. Hear, hear. I commute from Ballard to South Lake Union, myself. Most of the time I bike, but I take the bus about once a week.

    There’s an inevitable lag between an increase in ridership and any kind of response. I can’t imagine what the 17 is going to be like for a couple of years if we have hundreds of people moving in and making that commute.

    On the other hand, yuppies are the kind of people who are likely to kick up a fuss and get the city to build some transit, to the extent that anyone can.

  13. I used to go to Sunset Bowl and it was rarely busy. Sure, everyone may complain about the loss of a business, but when it sits on a huge parcel of very valuable land and is underutilized, well… you know what happens. Yes, it’s unfortunate.

    Perhaps some developer/entrepreneur will put a bowling alley in one of the new developments.

  14. When gas hits $5 and eventually $6 or higher, the people renting cheap condos in the outer suburbs like Renton commuting in to downtown will start looking to live closer to work. Belltown and South Lake Union are okay if you want Seattle’s version of the full urban experience, but Ballard will offer a mellower option and can be marketed as a nice place to live with amenities and a shorter commute.
    We’ve all seen the appeal of living here or we’d have moved by now. Why do you think other people wouldn’t do the same? Seattle is still growing and the people coming here are going to have to live somewhere, so why not here in Ballard?

  15. I guess we’ll see. I’m not saying anything negative about Ballard. I personally love living here. It has just been my experience in talking to lots of people (family/friends/coworkers), that those who choose the suburbs can’t stand the thought of living in the city. You bring up a good point with the price of gas, although it always amazes me at what people are willing to pay to maintain their current lifestyle re: gas. I just hope that perhaps the owners of some of this mixed-use property get the hint that the rent might be a bit too high and lower it enough to make more local business viable. My husband, for example, would love to move his office down closer to or on Market Street, but the rent would kill us.

  16. But didn’t you hear? We’re getting “RapidRide!”

    A “better” bus! Running the exact same indirect route through Lower Queen Anne! At the exact same frequency as the current 15+18! And with the exact same wheelchair- and bike-loading procedures! And with cash-payers paying just as slowly!

    But it’ll have a fancy paint job! And “rapid” in the name! It’s going to fix everything!*

    (*Note: disingenuous offer for RapidRide “to fix everything” and/or “to exist at all” is contingent upon the availability of Federal funds. Even though you voted to raise your own sales tax and have been paying for this thing since 2006.)

    Oh, and don’t forget the ongoing discussions about a streetcar line via the Fremont Bridge and the Mercer bottleneck, with little or not dedicated right-of-way. That one will totally solve our need for mass/rapid transit too!

  17. When did you find it not busy? 10am on a Tuesday in the middle of summer?
    That place was freakin’ packed on weekends with a two hour wait for a lane. Between the bar, leagues, and the weekend rush it was one of the highest grossing bowling alleys in the country. Sunset Bowl was earning a good and consistent profit, but the family that owned the property wanted to cash out for the one time lump sum payment before the market crashed.
    What you have now is an underutilized empty lot where we could have been bowling for the last few years.

  18. During the last gas spike there were people trading in their Escalades for huge losses just because they hated paying so much every week at the pump. If you did the math it was actually cheaper to keep the gas guzzler at the time, but the emotional/psychological cost of getting screwed weekly would cause them to make an irrational choice.
    We’ll see what happens with the coming gas spike. People may stay put out of fear of the “big bad city” that is our little suburb or they may choose to bail out of the ‘burbs while they still can.
    The more mobile younger crowd will certainly move in closer to the city as the only thing keeping them in Renton is the cost. Raise the commute cost to equal the rent difference and they’ll start coming in droves.

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