A Building Boom and The Boom to Come

Eric Pryne at the Seattle Times has two good pieces this week detailing the building boom that’s underway in Ballard and one that could be unleashed once the Alaskan Way Viaduct comes down.

According to the first story, more than 1,200 apartments are under construction in Ballard…

Developers from Chicago and Virginia are building big complexes where Jacobsen’s Marine, Sunset Bowl, the Jetsons-style Denny’s and other longtime Ballard businesses once stood. When all those projects are finished, sometime in mid-2014, the number of units in complexes of 20 or more apartments in Ballard will increase by 70 percent — more than any other Seattle neighborhood.

Pryne points out that 750 additional units are in the pipeline and could come onto the market by 2015. While the growth is substantial in Ballard, apartments are going up across Seattle as developers rush to deliver new inventory to meet the demands of all those young professionals (thanks Amazon) and baby boomers streaming into the city.

While rents continue to rise, the frenzied construction makes you wonder if apartment builders are going overboard as they try to make up for years of inactivity during the recession.

In the second story, Pryne cites city permit records detailing the potential of a 16-story apartment or condo tower on what is now a parking lot at University St. between Alaskan Way and Western Ave….

Harbor Urban’s preliminary plans call for 165 apartments or condos, 8,000 square feet of ground-floor shops and restaurants, and parking for 130 vehicles. The tower apparently would comply with current zoning, which limits building heights to 160 feet.

The area is no doubt prime for redevelopment once the hulking viaduct is torn down, revealing a wide open view of Elliot Bay. Any new condo or apartment tower like the one mentioned above, though, could mar the views of others to the east in Belltown and Pioneer Square

View A Building Boom and The Boom to Come

View of Elliott Bay from The Post Apartments at Western and Marion

For example, we recently visited the new Post Apartments on Western Ave and Marion St. The complex boasts spectacular views of the water and Olympics from about the 7th floor to its expansive deck on the 16th floor. (Here’s our photo and video review of The Post) Those views could get less spectacular once buildings start going up in front of it.

Anyway, it will be fascinating to see what will become of the boom in Ballard and what development activity takes hold post-Viaduct.

About Bernard
  • phil

    Zoning maps are your friend when you are looking to buy – http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/onlineservices/ . If a nearby, potentially view blocking, parking lot is currently zoned for a 160 feet building, you can count on it being at least 160 feet in the future.