A walk in Ballard (article)

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Kate 5 years, 5 months ago.

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    Vaughn -that Slashdot link confused me!
    Here is a better link

    Amazon’s Impact on Seattle’s Ballard Neighborhood



    He missed the worst example of new Ballard construction – the apodment on our street. It’s completely out of scale and fugly, fugly, fugly.




    CR… Did they make that with legos?



    I am so glad I live in Hillbilly Land. And I am so sorry that Ballard is ground central for all of this development. I sort of loved the sleepy Ballard of yore. There is very little of it left.


    Avocado Head

    That thing looks like Borg cube. Actually, I guess it kind of is, just filled with Brogrammers instead of drones.




    This “old Ballard” so many miss is made up of 1920s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 80s homes. Don’t you think that each group of people already residing, just hated the next newer group of homes? And now they all seem like “old Ballard”.

    So chill, 30 yrs from now, these new homes will be part of the old.



    I think they really wish to go back to Old Ballard:



    SA, yes, everybody hates change. Everybody wants to close the door behind them and see their neighborhood stay the same. But there’s good development and bad development (which is, of course, subjective). I think a mix of housing types is desirable – not everyone wants to live in a single-family house, or a townhouse, or a condo. I just object to this particular development because it’s grossly out of scale with the surrounding buildings, is stuffed onto the lot, is hideous (in my opinion) and has no parking. It’s just magical thinking that at least some of the people living there won’t have vehicles, and there’s already a shortage of street parking.

    And while apodment proponents promote these types of developments as affordable housing, let’s get real – the point of them is to stuff as many people on one property as possible to maximize profits for the developer.



    Not everyone hates change :)



    No, not everyone does. But a lot of people do.


    Salmon Bay

    I like change. I like the look of that apodment building much better than the neighboring buildings in the picture. To me, that apodment and other modern architecture look much better than the tacky tilt up cocrete apartment buildings of the past.
    People complain about the homeless, and then complain when apodments with their low rents are built. People complain that the free street parking is taken by others, when they feel it should be reserved for them. People complain when they live in a multi family zone and multi family developments replace single family homes.



    SB, the homeless are not homeless because of high rents, but rather because of other issues in their lives; whether apodments are built or not has no effect on the homeless.

    Regarding the street parking, it’s a simple matter of equity — the street parking was created to provide one or two spaces per single-family house. When a house is replaced by a multi-unit building that uses 10, 20 or more parking spaces, the developer should provide the extra parking over the 2 spaces the city provided, rather than have the new building take up parking previously used by its neighbors.

    One simple way to achieve this would be to convert the street to on-street residential permit parking only, and limit each building to 2 parking permits, no matter how many dwelling units it contains.



    So wait, you think street parking was created to provide one or two spaces for single family homes? Really? There is no designated street parking for single family homes, it’s first come, first served. You don’t get a claim to the area in front of your house. Do people actually believe that?

    Residential permit parking would be great, but then where do the homeless people in living in their cars park? If every neighborhood becomes permitted, then what? The city won’t go for it, and should they?

    There is no equity in parking. You park as close to your house as you can. If that means two blocks away, welcome to the big city!! Need a spot closer for you stroller or personal mobility issues? Move to a home with a dedicated parking spot. It’s the new normal. Get pissed if you want but parking entitlement is o.v.e.r.



    Residential permit parking

    This was the way when I lived in DC, and it really helped. Sure street parking was a pain to find, but there was justice and order in the way it was managed. Back in 98, I paid like 50 bucks for sticker to park in zone 6, a second car would have cost like 80, and a third even more. I don’t think that make sense for all of Ballard, but it would clear up a lot of issues in the constellation nearest market and old Ballard. I doubt the chamber of commerce would go for that though.



    SB, I won’t comment on your taste in design (I love modern construction but think this particular building is atrocious, but beauty, as they say …) but if you think the apodments will be affordable for homeless people without some kind of rent subsidy, I think you’re mistaken. From what I’ve read, rents for apodments average around $800 a month, and I read that a while ago. Given Ballard’s insanely high rents and the fact that the tiny loft apartments right across the street are renting for $1,950, I would be very surprised if the apodments are less than $800. I’m pretty sure most homeless people can’t afford that.

    Re parking: Parking entitlement may be over, Marigold, but it’s magical thinking to believe that apodment residents won’t have cars. It’s irresponsible of the city to not require at least some parking for these types of developments. Vehicles have to go somewhere, and approving high-density developments without parking is just going to worsen already scarce parking resources.

    Additionally, while 70 cities throughout Washington require developers to pay impact fees to help pay for sidewalks, traffic safety, stormwater and parking, Seattle – the fastest-growing city in the country – does not. That is absurd. The city is allowing development sprawl to radically alter Seattle’s neighborhoods without requiring developers to pay their share.



    I think that apodments are a needed part of the Seattle housing mix, but should be restricted to areas zoned for high density that have excellent transit options. I’m not happy that the city council made them more expensive by requiring larger units with kitchens.

    Here’s a nice story for anyone who hates change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usdf8UHL0vU



    Kate, it doesn’t sound like you know how the market works. The city council does not set rents for units. They didn’t make them $800/month for 150 square feet by requiring a fridge, sink, and microwave. The landlord set the price, and lo and behold, people are renting them.

    Having these units on the market drives up everyone’s rent, because landlords now have a new baseline – a sub-par tiny unit goes for $800, so why should I charge any less?



    There is nothing new about rooming houses. Apodments are fairly luxurious compared to a lot of existing Seattle rentals. Have you ever been in one of those older houses that are chopped up into bedrooms?

    I know that landlords set rents. The original apodment concept was like a glorified dorm room, perhaps just slightly larger. You got a small furnished room with a private bath. There was a shared kitchen and common area, which were maintained, along with landscaping, by staff. Your rent included utilities and internet.

    The equivalent, say a single at Lander Hall on the UW campus, will cost you about $1,350 a month (3387 per quarter, which is about 2 1/2 months).

    If the developer has to make each unit bigger and include a kitchen in it, that makes the cost per foot go up, which means they will need to charge more to get their return on investment, thus the rules approved by the council are driving up the cost of housing. I fear most businesses are in it for the money and builders are no different.

    The new baseline is the tent city, also being promoted by the city council.

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