Boom It’s the *@$#&% Economy
posted by August 4 at 15:02 PMon
A reader asks:
In May of 2007 there was a splash of news … about a four-star hotel to be built on Ballard Ave. It was big talk back then, but nothing seems to have happened, and I wonder if developers thought better of it. But I can’t find any updates anywhere on the web. I’m curious whether Sloggers can sleuth out the latest. Thanks!
Dearest Brooks, the Slog Bloodhound Gang is at your service. Malli Anderson, a land-use planner for the city, confirms that in 2006 the Olympic Athletic Club applied to build a shmancy five-story hotel on Ballard Avenue NW, across the street from Hattie’s Hat. But those applications have since stagnated. The permit, she says, “is not even close to being issued.” However, she didn’t know why.
“I believe the owners are trying to find the best financing,” says project architect Gordon Lagerquist, who adds that the market for new construction is shitty right now. “We’re just trying to stretch the permitting process as far as we can,” he says. Rather than the original completion date of January 2009, he says the owners now don’t expect to break ground until later that year.
So is dragging out a permit this long weird? “Not to me,” says Anderson. “Usually it’s hurry up and wait.” But she says things have been slower at the Department of Planning and Development lately. She says when she used to work in the application service center, where developers and architects go to file plans and ask questions, “We used to have 400 people a day.” But when she worked last Friday, she says, “We had one person all afternoon.”