Plans moving forward for 8-story apartment building in central Ballard

A 4-bedroom house near Swedish Medical Center will soon be demolished to make way for a new 8-story apartment building.

According to the development plans, the new apartment complex will have 67 total units: 59 small efficiency dwelling units, eight apartment units, and one efficiency dwelling unit. No parking is proposed in the plans; the development is located within the Ballard Urban Village, and therefore does not require parking.

The house that’s set to be torn down was built in 1906 and is located at 1544 NW 52nd St. It sold in October 2018 for $1.9 million. It’s surrounded by multi-family homes, and is just a half-block away from Swedish Medical Center.

The architect is Skidmore Janette, and the owners are Isola Real Estate. According to the plans, the name of the new development will be Solstrand. Skidmore Janette is also designing the 229-unit apartment building being planned for the corner of 9th Ave NW and NW Market St (907 NW Market St).

The apartment plans include a northwest-facing lobby with a rooftop common area and tenant outdoor areas along the sides of the building.

The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) Northwest Design Review Board made recommendations to the project in November 2020, during which they considered public comments regarding the construction timeline, demolition, and construction process. Public comments included concerns about retaining trees at the rear of the property and requests for more parking.

In their design review recommendations, the board noted that most of the buildings on NW 52nd St are dominated by vehicle access and parking, making entryways difficult to locate. The board recommended that the project should not repeat that pattern and instead create a more welcome frontage.

“As the proposed project does not include parking, it has the opportunity to actively engage the street by providing a prominent residential entry and high-transparency at street level. This more pedestrian friendly approach is seen in more recent construction on the block and can serve as a precedent for future development,” the board wrote.

The board highlighted the importance of creating “lively, pedestrian-oriented open spaces to enliven the area and attract interest and interaction with the site and building.” The board recommended including pedestrian amenities including seating, other street furniture, lighting, year-round landscaping, seasonal plantings, art work, and awnings.

To view the design proposal in full, visit this webpage. No clear timeline yet on when construction will start, but we’ll keep you updated.

Photos and renderings by Skidmore Janette

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