The former Elite Auto Care and Ballard Tire building (5244 Leary Ave NW) next to Señor Moose will soon be demolished in order to create more parking spots.
Two years ago, a hotel was proposed for the site, but now, those plans have been put on hold. James Riggle, who owns Ballard Hotel and 5244 Leary Ave, said the first plan of action is to clean up the site.
Before Elite, the property was a 76 gas station, and six fuel storage tanks are still underground. Riggle says they supposedly filled the tanks with sand, but environmental reviews show there’s some contamination. So, as part of the cleanup, they’ll demolish the old building and dig up the tanks — two 500-gallon tanks and four 2,000-gallon tanks — and remove 2,200 cubic yards of contaminated soil. The site will be refilled with clean fill and paved with permeable asphalt.
When asked about the future of the site, Riggle told My Ballard that what Ballard really needs is more parking. The previous hotel plans included a large underground parking structure, which Riggle said could still take shape in the future. He said he’s also considered an above-ground parking structure, but for now, those plans are still up in the air.
Riggle said there’s also a plan in the works to add 52 rooms to Hotel Ballard — we’ll update when we learn more.
The work on 5244 Leary Ave NW is scheduled to begin this fall.